Thursday, 16 May 2019

YCC students in action for 2nd week of May

If you're a fan of K-pop, you probably know that BTS is making headlines right now with their sold out concerts and crazy fans! They are a prime example of Hallyu, or Korean Wave. Hallyu is a term that refers to the rise of Korean pop culture in various parts of the world, including China, Japan and US. More and more tourists are coming to Korea as a result of Hallyu. 

Students with tourists at Gyeongbokgung

As a country with the highest Internet penetration rate in the world, many foreigners find traveling in Korea to be easy. Korea is also known for having the highest percentage of post secondary educated people in the world. In the past, the majority of Koreans were illiterate. This changed dramatically in the last century with the widespread use of Hangul.

Students helping tourists at Namsangol Hanok Village. 


The YCC give free tours every weekend. 

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Join us for a free tour if you're interested!

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


The coming of early summer with YCC at Gyeongbokgung


It is the middle of May and the weather is getting hotter early. However, our YCC students are concentrating about commentary guide on historical places in Seoul. The free tour guide gives much information to foreign tourists and students can be more confidential.
























These are the students at Gyeongbokgung. YCC students can speak English and Chinese. They can grow communication skills with foreigners through this kind of volunteering activities.

 













































Foreign tourists come from many various countries. They are astonished and really get impressed by the knowledge of students about the history and the information of Gyeongbokgung. Through the explanation of the students, foreigners can acquire a lot of knowledge about Korean royal palace.

This picture is an example, that a student is explaining about the ranking stones for foreigner. Tourists can understand what is the meaning of ranking stone and think about the system of officials of Joseon Dynasty.

























When you come to Gyeongbokgung or any other cultural heritage sites in Seoul in weekend, YCC students will be there!

If you are interested with royal palaces of Seoul, then please contact us and we will briefly serve you! Visit our official website for the details on how to contact us.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

The coming of spring with YCC

As the weather continues to heat up in anticipation of summer, more people are taking the time to visit historical places in Seoul. Our students from YCC were at Namsan Hanok Village and Gyeongbokgung once again to help international visitors. The free tours that our students provide are an opportunity for people from abroad to learn about the history of Korea. Let's take a look at some of the pictures our employees were able to take. 


Here are some pictures of our students at Namsangol Hanok Village. Many of our students speak a second language, such as English or Chinese. Most of our students enjoy volunteering because it helps them develop their communication skills. 



The tourists we help are usually from diverse parts of Europe or southeast Asia. They get impressed by the level of knowledge that our students have. Most of them are also in Korea for the first time, which means our students play an important role in helping them adapt. 



This is a picture I took of our students with a pair of international tourists at Gyeongbokgung. During this weekend, the 2019 Royal Culture Festival was in procession. Many tourists were out and about to enjoy the various performances and programs that were happening at the Five Grand Palaces of Seoul. 

If you're in Seoul and you want a personalized tour with one of our volnteer tour guides, don't hesitate to contact us! We will be most honored to serve you. Visit our official website for the details on how to contact us. 

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Deoksugung Palace

Gwangmyeongmun Gate

Tucked away in a busy corner of Seoul is Deoksugung Palace, where you can find refuge from the neon lights and the endless stream of cars. This was the main palace of King Gojong during the last days of the Korean monarchy. Because Deoksgugung took a lot of damage during the Japanese colonial rule, only a third of its structures can be seen today.  

 
Ceremony at the main gate, Daehanmun

Even if you have not been inside the palace before, you might have seen the ceremony at Daehanmun, the main gate, which takes place three times a day. The changing of the royal guards is done in remembrance of the time when the palace was occupied by the royal family. Admission for the palace is currently ₩1,000 per person.  


The main hall, Jungwhajeon

As the smallest among the Five Grand Palaces of Seoul, Deoksugung was often used as a temporary residence for kings. King Seonjo resided here when all the other palaces in Seoul were burned down due to the Imjin Wars. Deoksugung was called other names in the past, such as Hyeongungung and Gyeongungung, before it became known as what it is today. 

Seokjojeon, the building designed by a British architect

The transformation that Korea has gone through can be witnessed through the buildings that remain inside this palace. What makes Deoksugung different from the other palaces is that two of its buildings were designed in European style. These buildings were built in the early 20th century, shortly before the last king of the Korean monarchy, King Gojong, passed away. 

Volunteer tour guides from Youth Cultural Corps giving a tourist a tour

As a coordinator for the Youth Cultural Corps, a non-profit organization with a focus on Korean history, I visit Deoksugung quite a lot. My job is to help students match with tourists who want to receive a free tour. Deoksugung is one of the palaces that the Youth Cultural Corps visits on the weekends, along with Changdeokgung and Gyeongbokgung. 

To come here, take line no. 1 or 2 and get off at City Hall. It should take you no longer than five minutes to reach the entrance of the palace. 

Youth Cultural Corps Volunteer Guide Service

Place
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Namsan
Hanok Village
Deoksugung Palace
Seoul Education Museum
in Bukchon Hanok Village
Changdeokgung Palace
Seodaemun Prison
History Museum
Amsa Prehistory Settlement Site
Time
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 13:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 13:00
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
13:00 ~ 16:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 16:00
Date
-Every
Sat. & Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-Every Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-1st & 3rd Sat.
-Every Sun

Thursday, 28 March 2019

YCC in Seoul, 3rd week of March 2019

The Youth Cultural Corps were in full force at these historical places in Seoul on the 16th and 17th of March. Here are some photos that we took of the students giving a tour.  

Namsan Hanok Village

During the Joseon Dynasty, the foot of Namsan Mountain was where the locals went to enjoy the weather. It is now a tourist spot where many cultural programs and activities occur throughout the year. Five hanoks from various parts of Seoul were relocated here  to remind people of how Koreans used to live in the past. 


Deoksugung

The original name of Deoksugung was Gyeongungung. It was the main palace of the Joseon Dynasty after the Imjin Wars. Even though this palace is small, it has a lot to offer to visitors. One example is the changing of the royal guards in front of Daehanmun Gate. It is a spectacle you can see everyday except Mondays. 


Gyeongbokgung

As the largest palace in Seoul, there is a lot to see at Gyeongbokgung. Even though most of the palace buildings were destroyed during the Japanese Colonial Period, you can still find a few buildings such as Gyeonghoeru Pavilion there. If you want to learn more about how the royal family had lived during the Joseon Dynasty, try visiting the National Palace Museum. Many relics from the past can be found there. 


To receive a free tour, check out our schedule.  

Youth Cultural Corps Volunteer Guide Service
Place
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Namsan
Hanok Village
Deoksugung Palace
Seoul Education Museum
in Bukchon Hanok Village
Changdeokgung Palace
Seodaemun Prison
History Museum
Amsa Prehistory Settlement Site
Time
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 13:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 13:00
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
13:00 ~ 16:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 16:00
Date
-Every
Sat. & Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-Every Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-1st & 3rd Sat.
-Every Sun

Thursday, 14 March 2019

YCC at the palace grounds, 1st week of March, 2019

The Youth Cultural Corps are a group of dedicated Korean students who aspire to teach foreigners about the history and traditional culture of Korea. They volunteer as tour guides at many historical places in Seoul.

Even though it is still cold outside, many students from YCC were able to participate this weekend. Let's take a look at some of the places where the YCC were to help tourists from around the world. 

Gyeongbokgung Palace



There were five palaces during the Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910): Gyeongbokgung(‘Gung’ means a palace in Sino Korean), Changdeokgung, Changgyeonggung, Gyeongungung (Deoksu) and Gyeonghui-gung. The capital of Joseon was Seoul, so all five palaces are in Seoul.
Gyeongbokgung was the main palace and the largest among the five.
Gyeongbok means “Great Fortune.” It is also the first palace in Joseon. King Taejo, the founder of Joseon, ordered a new palace built for the new dynasty.

There were mountains behind Gyeongbokgung and a stream in front; it was the perfect spot for the new palace. (According to feng shui, the theory of fortune-telling based on geographical features)

Deoksugung Palace


Close to City Hall Station, this small yet elegant palace serves as a reminder of Korea's  past. It once belonged to the older brother of King Seongjong, who was in power during the 15th century. Later on, it became a royal residence under the name of Gyeongungung Palace in 1611. Gojong, the last king of Joseon Dynasty, often spent his spare time here until his death in 1919. Many Western style buildings were constructed inside the palace to reflect the changing times. 

Namsan Hanok Village





Namsan Hanok Village was created by the government in an effort to preserve Korea's cultural heritage. Five hanoks were relocated from different parts of Seoul to the foot of the Namsan Mountain,where they were restored to their original state. The village was officially opened in 1998. Many performances and programs occur throughout the year at Namsan Hanok Village to help visitors learn more about Korean traditional culture.

Changdeokgung Palace




Among all of the palaces in Seoul, Changdeokgung Palace is regarded as the most well preserved. It served as the royal residence of many kings during Joseon Dynasty. Though the palace was once burned down by angry citizens in 1592, it was restored by Gwanghaegun in 1611. The rear garden of the palace is famous for its pavilions and fountains that encapsulate the beauty of Korean nature. 


Youth Cultural Corps Volunteer Guide Service

Place
Gyeongbokgung Palace
Namsan
Hanok Village
Deoksugung Palace
Seoul Education Museum
in Bukchon Hanok Village
Changdeokgung Palace
Seodaemun Prison
History Museum
Amsa Prehistory Settlement Site
Time
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 11:50
10:00 ~ 13:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 12:00
10:00 ~ 13:00
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
12:00 ~ 15:50
13:00 ~ 16:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 15:00
13:00 ~ 16:00
Date
-Every
Sat. & Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-Every Sun.
-2nd & 4th Sat.
-1st & 3rd Sat.
-Every Sun

Friday, 13 March 2015

AMSA-DONG English tour through my eyes 

Instead of sleeping in this Sunday I went to Amsa-Dong. It is a pre-historic settlement site in Seoul, South Korea that displays pit houses and Neolithic earthenware that were uncovered after the flood in the year 1925 but excavated only years later. Even if you are not interested in Stone Age pit houses the place has a wonderful park and on a sunny day can be a delightful place to walk or have picnic J
I heard about Amsa-dong from ICI world, an NGO committed to promoting Korean culture to both Koreans and those visiting Korea. ICI offers free interactive tours in various historical places in Seoul. One of those tours is held at Amsa-Dong every Sunday from 10am until 3pm. The tours are conducted by a Korean middle-school student and an international volunteer. The main language of the tour at Amsa-dong is English. Of course Korean is used to help the visitors further understand what is said in English if necessary.   
So on Sunday I had the privilege to participate in one of these tours as a co-guide. I enjoyed meeting the youngsters that conducted the tour with me and learning more about Korean Neolithic history as well as culture, language and habits.
It was beautiful to see how appreciative Korean people are of the opportunity to learn new languages and also to ask about my own culture and language after the official part of the tour was over. It was intriguing how surprised the children were to find out that although I speak English I am not necessarily from England, America or Australia. Also, the fact that one can be born in one country while the parents were born in another country and now live in a third country seemed interesting and unusual to the youngsters although it is quite common in Europe.
In my opinion this tour is a wonderful opportunity to expose youngster as well as their parents to the English language and give them an opportunity to freely interact with international people who are not always native English speakers as it was in my case. Also, as the tour is interactive, the visitors learn new words and are encouraged to use them.  
The middle school students that conduct the tour do it as part of their mandatory volunteer service and at the same time learn public speaking and the art of presentation and problem solving. It was refreshing to observe how the students grow in confidence and in their ability to face different listeners with each tour. It is beautiful to watch J
JJJ I look forward to another one of the tours next Sunday and hope to visit other tours that are conducted throughout the city. Why don’t you join me JJJ   

In case you are interested in more information about ICI and volunteering opportunities:

http://portal.icworld.or.kr/ 
https://www.facebook.com/iciworld.official?ref=hl
https://www.facebook.com/mariestory.official?ref=hl


Picture 1: A Korean middle school student explaining the use of stone hammers and other stone tools.

Picture 2: A row of pit houses.



Picture 3: The entrance to one of the pit houses.



Picture 4: Group picture after the tour was finished J