Friday, September 1, 2017

Day 10: Placement test

Hafjhfjagwahjbfwhjbwaj today was the day of the placement test. The test consisted of a written part and an interview.
Of course they had to place it in the afternoon as to torture us all day up until.

Except when we went out to have Subway, we spent all day in our room, in our beds, in our underwear waiting to take the test.

Suddenly it was time and we hurried down to the KLI building that is right outside our dorm. We were supposed to meet with Isabella outside but I think she went in just before we got there because she has to use the bathroom.

Inside we met a woman, who, in Korean, asked us if we spoke Korean or not. If we did, she handed us a small slip with a room number on it that we were supposed to go to.

Celine and I got into separate rooms. Once I entered mine, a teacher told me to sit down (everything was in Korean from then on), handed me a paper, told me to fill out my information, said that they didn't expect us to finish the whole thing, and that she would pull us out one by one as we were doing the test. Then she left the room. We weren't many in there, maybe 7-8 people. Looking back, I am happy it was like this! If I'd had to wait for my turn I would have become much more nervous than I was.

The test was pretty long! I didn't count how many pages but I heard somewhere that it might have been around 13 pages long? That didn't seem too off.
The first page was extremely easy and then it got harder as you worked your way through.
The first time I looked away to think was around the bottom on page 3 or so. I started having troubles on page 5-6 (which I've read that others have has as well in the past). I didn't do everything on page 6 and then I did maybe 7 smaller things on page 7 before the time was up and I was about to give up anyways. The thing is that with this test, since it gets exponentially harder, you need to give up when there's something you don't know.

While I was working on page 5, it was my turn to talk to the teacher. At first I couldn't find the room she was sitting in and I forgot to bring my student ID card and had to run back to the test room to get it..
I spent the two days before out test looking up what others had been asked during the interview to prepare but I feel like all of our questions varied a lot.
My teacher asked me my name, birthday, if I had a Korean name, where I had learned Korean (I major in it), and why I studied.
Then she asked me to speak to her in panmal (informal speech), she asked me to paraphrase what my parents had said to me when I told them I wanted to go to Korea, and whether I had any Korean friends. I told her I had a few and she asked me what we used to talk about. Last thing she asked was something related to club activities but in the moment I had forgotten the word for club and felt unsure of the question. I told her so and she told me to send the next student in. I have a feeling we were a bit pressed for time. My interview lasted between 3-5 minutes so it really wasn't long! If I could redo it, I'd tell myself to not be so nervous because the teacher was really nice and she started out with very basic things.

Once I got out, the building was almost empty except a few Americans we'd met in the elevator inside the dorm right before the test. We talked shortly about how it went and then I was off to the dorm. Celine and I thought they'd be strict and take away our phones so as to save time and not have to collect them later, we just left them in the room. That meant I had to go back to our room to be able to contact her.

Skip to me inside the room. I'm on my way out, the door opens, Celine enters, we lock eyes, utter sounds of distress, and throw ourselves on each of our beds and let go of the nervous tension that had been building up since this morning.

I hope it went well.. I mean I could answer her questions and understand her fine but I still stumbled from nervousness.

It was already pretty late. We'd decided to celebrate having sort of survived the test and went down to Sinchon for dinner. Celine found a place with boneless chicken where we had chimaek (chicken and beer).
We ordered chicken with a sweet chili sauce. It was so goooood! The skin was super crispy and the sauce had just about the right amount of spice and sweetness.

After eating, to clear our minds and enjoy some fresh air, we sat down at what has become our usual spot.
Short after sitting down, the performer in blue came over and asked for our names, where we were from, and how old we were. Then he went back to the mic to test the sound level and when he did, he said our names into it(??)

When they finished up, we decided to go look around Sinchon where we hadn't been before. We found a supermarket (the first we'd seen here!) and decided to go in. It was interesting to see how different it was compared to our own supermarkets in Denmark.
These are little shrimps.
This is a sort of dried squid snack if I'm not mistaken. I actually had it before! There's not much taste to it but it's a bit chewy.
Celine bought a peach drink (she's a big peach fan) with alcohol in that tasted EXACTLY like kool aid.
I had to use the bathroom soon so we decided to head home.
It was fine for a while except... we had no idea where we were going. The way we thought was leading us home really wasn't and I think we might have been on our way to Hongdae.
I found my offline map (thank gosh I head of it before coming here. It's an app called so we could find our way back home. It took us through a lot of smaller, darker, curvy streets.
At one point we walked past two foreign looking guys who - BEHOLD - spoke Danish to each other! What are the odds?!
We'd somehow gotten into this area where people lived, which was really interesting to see as well.
Soon we found our way back to the main road and walked back home. We walked past a bunch of places we wanted to eat at in the future and passed an almost entire street selling fried chicken.

Definitely going back there one day!

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