KAIST in Autumn

Go back a few hundred photos ago to when I first posted about KAIST in the Summer!! Unlike my beloved home city Melbourne, Korea actually has seasons! It’s super obvious when the seasons change here and I finally understand why they use a Fall Semester / Spring Semester system here. If we had a “Summer Semester” and an “Autumn Semester” at RMIT, I’m pretty sure nobody would know when university begins and ends (seasons are super ambiguous in Australia).  Here are some photos from campus, I will be sure to take plenty more photos before I leave in a month (sob).

Oh HEY, it’s me! In a JUMPER?

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Oh HEY! It’s Lucas! On a CHAIR?FullSizeRender

HEY, Tyler! In a FOREST?IMG_0783IMG_0796IMG_0830IMG_0838

HEY, Industrial Design building! Looking all lush and innovative in Autumn. IMG_0839IMG_0841

Hey LU! Your hair matches the leaves!IMG_0849


Hello, loyal fans. I’m afraid you’ll have to get creative with the captions for this post because I’ve just about reached my blogging threshold. A few weekends ago, we drove to Gyeongju which is one of the most historical sites to visit in Korea. Historical in the sense that there are lots of historical landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage sites. I’m pretty sure these photos are out of order but enjoy the autumn colours and the good times.


Mid Semester at KAIST

The reason for my lack of blog posting! I wanted to post some of my KAIST life on here at it is the main reason I came all the way to Korea! So here it is! Some of the most stressful weeks of my life! Enjoy! (Stay tuned for finals week to see how much more stressful that will be!!)


Well this post was a bit of mixed bag, wasn’t it? At least I know what was going on here, but it does trigger minor symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder!!

Chuseok – Korean Thanksgiving

WOAH, I have a blog about Korea that I haven’t updated in 2 months. It is fair to say that I’m an entirely different person since my last post and also a very cold person. Going through a big chunk of assignment deadlines and presentations can really jolt a human and encourage them to grow quite uncontrollably. I’ve found a pocket of time at my local Green Brownie cafe to post a few images of what I’ve been up to the past 2 months. Sadly this means less witty Jo commentary and more threads of random images that I may or may not remember the context of. The Christmas songs are blaring in this hip cafe and it’s slightly overwhelming but we shall push on.

Chuseok happened a while ago, it was in October perhaps? Septemeber? Oh goodness…I googled it and it was in September. I spent Chuseok in my boyfriend’s hometown of Yeosu and needless to say, there was a bit of alcohol consumption and overeating going on. At this point, the weather was still sticky and hot hence my vague memory of events.

I succumbed to tourist peer pressure in this pic because everyone was taking a selfie here and I still have no idea what I’m standing in front of!


Cable cars in Yeosu! Worth the 17 year wait in the sweltering heat! DSC01462

A beach! The closest I’ve been to Australia in the past 4 months i.e. very South Korea, the most Southern South of South Korea.DSC01472DSC01475

I saw some little kids doing this pose so I decided to adopt it for myself. DSC01480

A dyeing shop with cute hats and scarvesDSC01493DSC01494DSC01518

Temple! Giving thanks to tiny turtles and perfectly stacked rocks!DSC01542DSC01553DSC01554DSC01565DSC01569

Dongdongju – not quite makgeolli but may as well be makgeolli to a clueless foreigner like me. DSC01576DSC01579

Actual makgeolli and a catDSC01584

And that, folks, was my Chuseok week. Forgive the lack of family time photos and delicious food pics, I was busy using the 7 Korean words I know to converse with a non-English speaking family.



Train to Busan

Hey there, loyal follower of Jo’s blog! Have you got a spare 15 minutes and a bottomless cup of tea? Well, you’re in for a treat because I’ve crammed in my long-weekend-getaway-Busan trip into one mega post because I don’t really have the patience to do it any other way! Hahah! Let’s get started, shall we?

Okay, from the beginning! Here are some strangers waiting for some trains to take them to some strange places at Daejeon Station. What you can’t see in this picture is that I had already ruined my crisp white shirt with chocolate fingers before the trip had even begun.IMG_1223

I haven’t yet seen the film Train to Busan but based on my track record of liking zero zombie films, I think I’ll just stick to my real life version of taking the train to Busan.

We arrived on Thursday evening and I was ready to snap photos of the old men and women of Busan as soon as we disembarked from the train. Our accommodation was called ‘Indy Hotel’ in the Haeundae Beach area!IMG_1232

‘Street food and existential chats on the beach’ – I’ve decided to name my autobiography this. IMG_1263

Day One: Jangsan Mountain

Cats being catsIMG_1344

Hiking up Jangsan Mountain – that’s right, folks, I went on a hike. 85% because I am doing a project about connecting local hikers to tourists for uni and 4% because I am forever overestimating my hiking abilities. IMG_1378

Hula hooping mid-hike.IMG_1395

Getting lost is part of the fun?IMG_1403IMG_1427IMG_1436

Youssef on top of Busan!IMG_1461

The theme of this Busan trip was ‘Jo is hungry and it has only been 2 hours since she last ate’. It was tricky to get a photo of me at the top of the mountain where I wasn’t scoffing down my crunchy apple. IMG_1472IMG_1483IMG_1486

Shoes outside the temple at the base of Jangsan.IMG_1503IMG_1512

Younggungsa Temple

A highly recommended temple visit, I mean, a temple is a temple, sure, but this temple is on the cliff’s edge and it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before!IMG_1524IMG_1533IMG_1541.jpgIMG_1549IMG_1566IMG_1579IMG_1602IMG_1604

Take the bus to the temple and never look back!IMG_1609

Dusk Dinner at Haeundae Beach


Day Two: Gamcheon Culture Village


This guy has seen some sh** in his lifetime:IMG_1770

So has this dude:IMG_1776

Busan Tower


An 8,000 KRW view of Busan was thoroughly enjoyable but not as enjoyable as getting some Asahi from the convenience store, chilling on these lounges while enjoying a free indie rock concert.IMG_1810

Gwangalli Beach Fish Market


Day Three: Busan Museum of Art

I’m being stalked by a ping pong cloud shadow!IMG_1857IMG_1859IMG_1864

There you have it, a condensed version of my Busan holiday! I love being able to head off to different parts of Korea on the weekend and come back to class on Monday like a normal university student. It’s very affordable and I feel fortunate that I am experiencing an entire country and its culture rather than just one city. I am going to post my colour images from Gamcehon culture village separately and hopefully, it will bring some joy to your Sunday evening. I’d really love to hear any feedback you have about my blog because I’m never quite sure if people just look at the images and scroll to the end, praying for it to be over soon.

A quick Seoul getaway

I took the time to take a three-day staycation in Seoul and boy was it a good one. It costs 9,700 KRW to take the bus one way from Daejeon to Seoul. Because I spent a week or so in Seoul before arriving at KAIST, I didn’t feel so pressured to do EVERYTHING and take pictures of EVERYONE and every puppy I saw. So, here are some photographs from my smaller point and shoot camera, and not my DSLR.

Jeonju – the students flee the study nest

This weekend, the international students of KAIST were hauled across the Daejeon freeway and into a new place where homework was banned and fun times were compulsory. It was odd to leave the 10km radius surrounding KAIST that I’ve been trapped in for the past two weeks. I’d forgotten that the world beyond university involved houses and small children frolicking in ponds, enjoying their lives. We were fortunate enough to explore the village of Jeonju, about a 1.5 hour bus ride from campus. The streets there are filled with Hanbok rental stores, street food and, as was the case yesterday, sweaty international students on the quest for the strongest, most pure rice wine. Please enjoy my captions of the images that are often self explanatory but really fun to write about nonetheless.

When you’re getting married at 10 but have to be at the race track at 1:30:


I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, or perhaps have just had 20 conversations about it, but people do NOT wear helmets in Korea. It’s absolutely fascinating. Safety first, folks. IMG_1166

This bike rental store in Jeonju must know no carrying capacity bounds. Small families of 5 or 6 were being carted all over Jeonju in these bad boys. Babies, big people, old, tall, short. No helmets, of course. Helmets will ruin your ‘do.IMG_1167IMG_1096

‘So yeah, if you could just help me get 30+ likes on this profile pic, I’ll buy you a chicken skewer. Thanks, kiddo. Appreciate it.’IMG_1129IMG_1102IMG_1143

The hanbok photoshoots were happening everywhere.IMG_1177IMG_1205

Oh hey, here’s me!IMG_1075

Oh hey, here’s Magnus eating soup!IMG_1059

Bibimbap Bibimbap. I love it I love it!IMG_1056IMG_1050

Here is Kaity standing in front of some textural surfaces and complementary colour schemes.IMG_1025

Nathan was a good sport and finished off our un-finish-able bowls of bibimbap. Cheers, nath! Everyone needs a Nathan with them when they travel. IMG_1062

Balloon darts! IMG_1084IMG_1090IMG_1188

My friends looking at something.IMG_1148IMG_1197

My friends throwing some sticks at something. IMG_1193

Close up of the sticks.IMG_1201

Men, doing men things.IMG_1218

Oh hey, bonus friend snaps!IMG_1110IMG_0983

And there you have it folks, an actual blog post that was posted with actual internet. People keep telling me that ‘Korea has the fastest internet in the world’. Okay, show me whatcha got, Korea, I’m ready for high speed internet. Anything you got. Please!

Oh hey, bonus round of images of me just for you, mum! (and because I’m a borderline psycho narcissist lady!)

Here we are drinking beer at 11am! It’s cheaper than coffee and just as energising!


I’ve definitely nailed the ‘How to look like an awkward emo teenager in a photograph in 3 simple steps!’ look!P1050727

Seriously, could somebody send me some bondi sands spray tan in the mail, this ghost lady is almost invisible!

It’s not Daejeon…It’s bike Daejeon

The title of this post is my interpretation of signs that are all around Daejeon’s plentiful bike paths. The signs make sense but at the same time, no, no sense at all. (There is a photo at the end of this post which shows what I’m talking about). I’ve been in Daejeon for one whole week now, and have finally settled into my dorm and a new life on campus at KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology). I was sadly (or not-so-sadly) one of the few students who didn’t get assigned a roommate. Yesterday, I decided to venture out on my bike and take some photographs of the campus and the surrounding areas outside of the campus. So far, I am loving the greenery and the swampiness. It feels extremely refreshing to be here after spending time in Hong Kong and Seoul which are both heavily air-polluted places. I will be sure to post more updates about my experience at KAIST once I get further into the semester and gain a full understanding of what goes on here. My blog posts might start to get less and less witty and hilarious because I think my English is getting worse. I feel that sometimes I have to adjust the way I speak to other international students in order to make some sense.


There are many cats here on campus, they all hang around this shed like some sort of adorable kitten gang?


A bit further east of the adorable kitten gang is the Geese Club. The geese get to hang out at their own fountain and even have a designated “geese crossing”. Everyone at KAIST is treated as respectfully as possible: student and goose alike.


The river and bike paths just across from campus. Such an incredible spot for jogging, fishing, cycling and contemplating your life.


This guy clearly aligns his sartorial choices with his favourite bridges.


‘Yo, papz, just let me walk like a normal baby? This foreign lady is over here taking a photo of me like I’m some kind of circus monkey.’ This is an actual quote from this small child, babies are really smart here in Daejeon.


My leisurely bike ride was all fun and games…. until I had to cross this tiny bridge with my bike to get back to KAIST. It looked nice’n’easy except the water had quite a strong current and was semi crashing into the rocks…and it was a bit slippery and…next time I might just ride around and not be a silly billy.


It’s Bike Daejeon!

Note: I started writing this post three days ago but my slow wifi and my minimal patience has meant that I’m only getting around to posting it now. I’ve since started classes and will be sure to update my blog about how my life is going at KAIST!