REPOST: Heading into Week TWO!

Authored By:

Jennie Gold

*Reposted from July 18, 2023.

It’s hard to believe that we are already almost halfway through week 2 of the Gaming & Esports program! It’s been an unusually rainy week here in Seoul, so we did our best to stay dry while still enjoying our activities. Thankfully, all of the days that we had longer outdoor activities, we were able to avoid the rain! In the last week, the students have been getting to know each other, participating in Gen.G and Korean classes, trying new Korean foods, visiting some historic landmarks, and participating in Korean cultural activities.



 On Wednesday, the students divided up into two groups and worked together to complete a scavenger hunt through Seoul. Challenges consisted of finding the best form of public transportation, making sure that all students in the group got off at the right stops, and finding the best spots for group pictures. This was the students’ first opportunity to take the lead in navigating through the city and working together to establish roles and communicate within the group. Students traveled throughout the city, visiting places like Seokchon lake, COEX, the War Monument, and Seoul Station.

On Friday, the students traveled with some of the instructors from Gen.G Global Academy to visit the Korean Esports Hall of Fame. They had the chance to use some of the technology employed by Esports programs in Korea, as well as a behind the scenes look at some of the players beloved in Korea and around the world.



 On Thursday, the students tried a shared chicken dish called “jjimdak”, which is a mixture of cooked chicken, dumplings, vegetables, and glass noodles in a delicious soy sauce. We had our second Korean class where the students practiced writing in Korean and introducing some basic information about themselves, like their name, where they’re from, and what they like. Afterwards, the students went to Bukchon Hanok Village where they had the opportunity to do some traditional watercolor painting on hanji (Korean paper) fans with symbolic Korean designs. We then went to a traditional hanok (Korean house) and tried two popular Korean treats - omija tea (kind of like a tart pomegranate juice) and pat-bingsu (shaved ice with red bean paste and rice cakes). The students were then given time to explore the traditional hanok village.

 On Friday, we took a chartered bus out to Yongin Korean Folk Village, a place where students can see and experience past Korean lives. The village has a mixture of different types of hanoks, specifically those for lower and higher classes in ancient Korean society. Unfortunately, the intense and unexpected amount of rain that Seoul received over the week led to some of the cultural performances being canceled, but there were still many things for the students to explore and experience!



 On Saturday, the students met their “Seoul Mates” for the first time. The Seoul Mates program functions to connect CIEE’s students with local high school students who have shared interests with our students. This program’s Seoul Mates are currently studying at Gen.G Global Academy, so the students had a lot of things in common to talk about, especially regarding games. We spent the afternoon with them - getting to know them, playing games with them in the orakshil (Korean arcade), and then battling it out in the archery cafe for a prize of ice cream!

 In the evening, we traveled to Myeongdong as a group to watch Cookin’ Nanta. If you’re familiar with the show “Stomp” in the U.S., this show is very similar. It showcases some traditional Korean instruments and uses found objects to create beat-based music. The students enjoyed the humor and the interactive nature of the show. At the conclusion of the show, the students were given time to walk around Myeongdong’s food street and try some of the many popular street foods that are available. There are so many different things to try, including a variety of foods on skewers, mochi fruit, fresh juices, chicken, and many more!


 This week, the students are working hard in their Gen.G classes, preparing for the League of Legends Esports Tournament at WDG Studio. They’ve been assigned different roles to help run the entire tournament by themselves for some of the trainees from Gen.G Global Academy. Tomorrow, we will head over to the studio to practice each of the roles and prepare for the official tournament on Thursday. Next week’s blog post will cover how that went! The students have even prepared their own Gen.G t-shirts for the tournament, with their names and roles decorated on the shirts. We are looking forward to seeing how the students will do during this activity!


We also have a lot of fun cultural activities planned for the rest of this week and the following week, including a weekend overnight trip to Gangneung (a coastal city about an hour outside of Seoul by high-speed train), as well as an opportunity to try on traditional Korean clothes (hanbok), participate in a Korean martial arts class (taekwondo), watch an official Esports match, and picnic along the Han River.