Lucie, a scholarship student in her 2nd year of the Bachelor “Culinary Arts”, chose to spend a semester abroad. She entered one of our 23 partner schools: the Woosung University in South Korea.
Lucie shares in an interview, her adventure far from Lyon and her motivation to go to Deajeon in South Korea
Why did you choose South Korea?
It all began when the Paul Bocuse Institute gave us the opportunity to spend the spring semester abroad. Asia have always been a destination I was attracted to, because of its famous street food and its wonderful landscape.
I had many choices such as Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and South Korea. I leaned toward Woosung University thanks to the positive reviews from other students who’ve made their exchange there.
Therefore, here I am, 9 200 kms from Lyon, in Daejeon for approximately 4 months, in total immersion in the South Koreans’ students life.
How are your lessons going?
I was extremely well received, students and professors were glad to welcome a French student. I didn’t feel disoriented much since some professors were French, which allowed me to fit in more easily. Moreover, the pedagogy is familiar because Woosung University belongs to the Institute’s Alliance Network, which means I have access to a broad range of teaching. All classes are taught in English, which represents a significant asset for my learning. I want to improve my language skills.
Over here, the pandemic is carefully managed. Since the restrictions have been relaxed, I got to discover the local cuisine and restaurants. Once we go through the 2-weeks quarantine at our arrival, the only obligations are to wear a mask, get your temperature checked frequently and undergo the rigorous control at the entrance of every public indoor area.
Fortunately, I get to attend to class physically in the various kitchens of the University. Up till now, I have undergone courses on working chocolate, on the production of pastries, which we would additionally use for the application coffee shop and a course for breakfast all over the world. By the end of the semester, I will be qualified in “Western Cuisine” and baking. The subjects of my learning are amazingly diverse, fascinating and, above all, enriching.
South Koreans are glad to witness French people taking an interest in their charming country. I positively experienced it in the way they welcome me. They insist on supporting me when I need something. Naturally, the language barrier is present, but I always manage to find a way to communicate : a few hand gestures and a cheerful smile allow us to understand each other. They like laughing at my Korean and very approximative pronunciation, but they appreciate the effort I invest to adapt to their culture.
What memories do you keep of your stay?
Since my arrival in February, I had the opportunity to explore the country. I did many activities. Some of them are: hikes to peaks of mountains, witnessing the changing of the Royal Guard at Gyeongbokgung Palace, tasting many Korean dishes…
One of the peculiarities of South Korean “street food” is that, no matter the time, you can constantly eat in one of the many market stalls over a glass of soju.
My stay in Seoul was extraordinary. I was able to discover many local customs, taste fabulous dishes (Gimbap – Korean maki -, samgyetang – chicken soup with ginseng -, kalguksu – broth with fresh noodles) and visit Buddhist temples, which leave you speechless, as they are majestic and their atmosphere soothing. When the good weather arrives, I plan to visit the tea plantations in Boseong, Jeju Island and Busan.
If you had to recall one thing about South Korea, it would be the importance it places on donuts in its culinary culture. Once you’ve tasted the hotteoks (pancakes filled with brown sugar, cinnamon and walnuts) , it will undoubtedly become your South Korean Proust Madeleine.
Students naturally open to the world.
The Institut Paul Bocuse trains decision-makers and managers who are responsible, agile and open to the world. International academic experience is encouraged through mobility or internships to allow students to mature their choices, discover unfamiliar countries, test unknown paths to succeed in a globalized environment.
The place of international perspective represents an integral part of the identity of the school and is experienced on campus: 62 nationalities, English-speaking programs, the recruitment of global professors and teacher-researchers…
Whatever the form and the amount, you can support the G&G Pélisson Foundation scholarship program and allow passionate students like Lucie to fulfil their dream!
For further information about our scholarship program.