KUBA: The Korean Buddy Program

When exchange students first arrive at Korea University they are placed into groups of 100+ that are matched up with Korean students that have decided to be a part of the KUBA program.  The Korea University Buddy Association is where we get the most contact with Korean culture as well as integration with the general student population.  Every week each group meets up for lunch and dinner together during the school week, and during the weekend plans are made to do things such as ice skate, visit an amusement park, go sightseeing, eat, see a baseball game, etc.

Below is an example of what we have planned for the month of November:McGauleyS13

Aside from having daily events, we see our buddies as well as the other exchange students from our groups regularly around campus.  I found it to be very refreshing to have these groups made as it is honestly not very easy to talk to or even approach other Korean students and make Korean friends.  These groups on the other hand give us the chance to connect with Koreans who have a desire to interact with exchange students, many of the buddies have been a part of the KUBA program for multiple semesters and it illustrates their desire to branch out and make new friends.

McGauleyS15

Events such as field day and membership training are organized to get everyone together and participate in fun events. Additionally, as drinking is a large portion of Korean culture, often every week many of us will get together to relax after a long week and drink some soju at one of the many bars that exist around campus.  These nights are some of the most fun because a large part of Korean drinking culture revolves around games of various kinds, number games such as Mandu or Baskin Robbins 31, or games involving funny chants such as Bunny Bunny, Cheers to the Governor, etc. Everyone gets a little rowdy but never to a point that’s too much as everyone is watching out for one another and food is often required at many of these bars if you are buying drinks.

McGauleyS17

I don’t know what my life in Korea would be like without KUBA, but I know for sure that it would not be as interesting and I’m thankful for KU and everyone involved in this program.

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