Dear Seoul: WHY IS THE WIFI SO TERRIBLE? For such a connected city that provides accessible public wifi practically everywhere, having great wifi for actual college classes is a frustrating task. Contrary to the Western world, in Korea, Samsung and PCs have the superiority here. At this point, i'm not sure if it's the internet, or the lack of Macbook presence, but my PC friends always end up having a slight better luck coneecting to wifi than me. Exhibit A, Bananapresso, a popular study hub for students in Sinchon. In the times I've been there, I was not able to get any wifi connection at all. But at Twosome Coffee, the wifi connection is very stable. Follow this up wiht the contant glitch in the con-campus wifi, where it has become the source of my students' stress during midterms and important lectures. I remember the university group chats just going off during midterms season on the terrible state of campus wifi. Maybe I’m just a bit nitpicky, but I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve been kicked out of zoom during class, or have my professor freeze mid-speech. But that’s just the tea.
Anyways, let’s look at some possible solutions, emphasizing on “possible” here: the logical choice is to use a phone hotspot for class. But given that my data plan offers a limited high speed data per month, that idea is completely out the window. Next, is investing in limited wifi plan, to be clear, had I known that the campus wifi is this terrible I would have planned accordingly, but given that we’re almost a month or 2 months in (I wasn’t counting), spending all that effort for a wifi is kind of pointless. A third option, which I think is the best so far, is go somewhere else - a cafe, assuming your professor allows you to keep your camera off or keep your mask on to participate (most of my classes required participation in a quiet space, and the professor wanted to see our faces). Or level up and go to a study cafe (yes this is a thing). There’s even 24-hour ones in Sinchon, the downtown metro area literally just outside of campus. They’re actually kind of nice, and you can book a quiet room to take your classes or study, but it does get pricey if you go all day everyday, so not a long term solution. Honorable mention: portable wifi egg/box/thingy. Ok, so I’ve heard a lot about these. To put it simply, it’s like a power bank, but replace the charging function with your own personal wifi, yayyy! It’s also kind of pricey, therefore I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve heard positive reviews for those who did. So alternatively, you can choose to not get a cellphone plan and just carry this wifi egg thingy with you everywhere, and you can use it to connect to your laptop/PC.
By the way, I do think for those who use PCs, you scored big in Seoul. Some wifi are totally not Apple-friendly (looking at you Bananapresso!), and the times I’ve connected to wifi but instead received no internet. It really made those study sessions inconvenient. So that’s that. Stay connected...
XOXO, Gossip Girl, yea nevermind let’s just end it here.