Hi guys! So recently there was an announcement from the Cham Education and Culture Organization that they were looking for 120 volunteers for the festival that are going to be held in the Royal Palaces. They needed 100 foreigners and 20 Koreans (and there was no requirement of Korean fluency!!), so I decided to apply for it! The application process was conducted online-we just needed to fill in our information and wrote a short essay on why we wanted to be a volunteer there.
A week after, I was called in for an interview. The interview was conducted in Korea House, located just 10m away from Exit #3 at Chungmuro Station of Subway Lines #3 and #4. When I got there, there were already many people waiting to be called in. The interview was a Mass Interview, where 3 people as the interviewer interviewed 10 interviewees. We only had 10 minutes inside and it was so nerve-wracking (at least for me, haha). The interviewers had our application forms printed out and were placed on their desks, so they could immediately “mark” our papers during the interview.
There were only 3 questions asked, and we need to immediately answer that question based on the order of our seats. I sat on the edge of the line, so I was either the first one to answer or almost the last one. The time to think was roughly 2 seconds after the questions were asked, so I didn’t have enough time to think and just blurted anything that came in mind.
The interviewers said that the announcement would be sent out the next day, but surprise!- the announcement was sent out on the same day! I was so happy to receive an email from them that stated that I am selected! Yeay!
Our orientation day was on Saturday, 18th April 2015. We need to gather at GyeongBokGung Palace from 10 am to 5 pm. As an introvert person, I was always nervous in terms of meeting a large group of new people like this 😦
I arrived at the GyeongBokGung area and yes, there were a lot of people there. We checked our attendance and were given a name tag! (I was wondering why the others had their full name written on the name tag as I only had my middle name written on it but,-never mind!)
The orientation began, and Mr. YoungTae Ha- the CEO of Cham Education and Culture started to explain about how this program worked. He explained that this program has 4 core values which are: Fun (재미)- Make fun memories at Palace; Learn (배우)- Learn about Korean History and Culture; Friendship (우정)- Be friends with people from around the world; Pride (자부심)- Have pride as we are the ambassadors of Korea. Volunteers will be introduced to the history and culture of Korean, in particular the Joseon dynasty and court life. We will receive a lot of lectures about history and culture to promote the knowledge on the role of courtiers, court etiquette, and their responsibilites. Hope I can survive through the whole program! lol
We will be a volunteer for approximately 2 weeks and the schedule was so packed yet fun! We were also divided into 8 teams, and I am team 8.
After the orientation, we gathered with our groups and started to introduce ourselves. My team members are from Korea, Australia, Russia, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Iran, India, and of course Indonesia-which is me! We had a group mission which was touring around the National Palace and select one artifact that we considered the most attractive and take a picture in front of it. And after it, we had a nice lunch together! 잘 먹었습니다!
After lunch, all of us gathered again in the main hall to learn….FLASHMOB! Flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and seemingly pointless act for a brief time, before quickly dispersing. They are often used for the purposes of entertainment, satire or artistic expression. For us, we are going to have a massive dance altogether at the Korean Palace. We practiced the dance for almost 3 hours and it was so tiring yet fun!
The day quickly ended, and we were given a short briefing on our next schedule, which is tomorrow! Can’t wait to see what we will do tomorrow J
-And as a volunteer, we need to share and spread our experiences through social media so I decided to make a journal of this program!-
Seoul, 24th April 2015