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Research Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen Blogs and Postcards

Postcards from East Asia ​

Picture: Jeffery DelViscio

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Mandatory Quarantine in South Korea

Author: Nathalie Maucher, 12-11-2021

The Covid-19 Pandemic has made life difficult in many aspects, from constantly wearing facemasks, quarantining, maintaining social distancing to having online classes instead of meeting real people. Deciding to study abroad in South Korea on an exchange during a global pandemic took all of these measures to another extreme. Read more.

Tarot and fortune telling: a trend for young couples in South Korea?

Author: Kayleigh Kingma

During the heat of this summer, I found myself in the Southern city of Busan, South Korea. Because of my interest in Korean culture and language, it was the perfect opportunity for me to attend the Summer School at Pusan National University. Since my major is Religious Studies, I have the tendency to look at a country from an anthropological point of view and I like to focus on its religions and old traditions. Read More

My experience of studying abroad in Asia

Author: Laura d'Hease

This summer, I had the opportunity to take part in the summer school at Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea. Having studied abroad my whole university career, I have identified a certain pattern – with all its ups and downs- in the living and studying abroad experience. A few months ago, I discovered that the Centre for East Asian Studies in Groningen offers scholarships for a summer school program in the South Korean city Busan. Read more

Discovering the (K-)Beauty of South Korea

Author: Marijke Valk

Finally, the trip to Korea which I had dreamt of for so long! I was ready to see and do all the things which I had done research on beforehand, and I am glad to say that it met most of my expectations. The students who attended the summer school in Busan came from lots of different countries, which was very interesting because this was a good chance to learn more about not only Korean culture, but cultures all over the world. Read more

The Height of Summer at PNU!

Author: Sona Kim, IRIO student

A majority of people have already heard about Seoul which is the capital city of South Korea. Even though Seoul is the most well-known city, Busan is definitely a city to visit when you go to South Korea! Read more

Experience PNU Summer School

Author: Natascha Lüger

It's a scary thought for sure: leaving your home to visit a foreign country that's thousands of miles away, especially if you can't read, let alone speak the language. Yet that's what I've always wanted to do, having had in interest in East Asian countries and their cultures for years. And so, when I heard that the University of Groningen offers a summer school programme at Pusan National University in South Korea, I knew I had to go. Read more

Experiencing China

Author: Zeger Glas, IRIO student

As part of the Tsinghua University Experiencing China Summer School I departed mid July to get an introduction into the history and culture of this far away land. I was excited and stepped on the plane with high expectations, even though the summer school would only take two weeks they promised to ‘open up’ the diverse country of China and looking back it is safe to say that they kept this promise. Read more

My exchange experience in Groningen

Author: Jaewoo Choi

Luckily, I was given a chance to study in the University of Groningen. Initially, the Netherlands were not a place where I considered to study abroad since I did not know much about it. My knowledge was restricted to Van Gogh and the attitude of Dutch society towards soft drugs and prostitution. However, I was so excited to study abroad since I had never been abroad before going to the Netherlands. Read more

Step by Step

Author: Aleksandra Gierz

Saturday and Sunday, indeed indeed, a perfect time to do some relaxation and visiting. If you’ve read through my other posts you might remember me mentioning that Saturdays here are devoted to another day of travel, whereas Sundays are lazy, lazy days of sleeping, eating and mental preparation for another 9am class the next day. And so not that much surprise as to what this weekend has brought to me... Indeed! Read more

No Chinese in Korea: peace and quiet ordisastrous?

Author: Lisa van den Broek

The Chinese form a large part of the tourists within East Asia. With the rising level of   welfare, more and more Chinese are visiting other countries within the region for holidays. South Korea is one of the favourite holiday destinations of the Chinese. Until March 2017 the Chinese made up nearly half of all the tourists that visited South Korea. Read more

Plastic fantastic in Seoul, is it vanity?

Author: Lisa van den Broek

This statement would come across as quite odd or even shocking in many countries yet is a common belief held within South Korea. South Korea and especially Seoul has become the plastic surgery capital of Asia with a higher ratio of plastic surgeons compared to other medical specialisms than any other country within the region. One in every fve women in South Korea has had plastic surgery and there is a growing demand amongst men to have plastic surgery. Read more

Religion, a very visible matter in Korea

Author: Lisa van den Broek

When one first arrives in Seoul, the city providesits visitor with many impressions. At first glance the city appearsto be a cosmopolitan westerncity with a never endingcity life. As the saying goes: “There’s always something open in Seoul whether it’s daytime or nighttime”. Yet when spending more time in the city one becomesaware of the unique city life of Seoul that is formed by a mixture of modern values and traditional values. The modern aspects of life such as the high consumerism and the drive for education and welfare aremixed with traditional aspects such as religion anda special levelof respect for theelderly. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Rick Stratingh

Date: July 2017
Author: Rick Stratingh

As a participant of the Netherlands Asia Honours Summerschool (NAHSS), I have the opportunity to do a summerschool at one of the most well known universities of China: Peking University (PKU). The university is recognized as one of the most progressive in China, having contributed to major events in Chinese history. Read more

NAHSS 2017 by Amber Ebskamp

Date: July 2017
Author: Amber Ebskamp

As part of the Netherlands Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS), a group of 30 students from all over the country including myself took off to Beijing, the capital of China. Before departure I didn’t have many expectations, only a few. Some good and some bad, whereas some of them turned out to be true. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Cas Klatte: Business and Pleasure

Date: July 2017
Author: Cas Klatte

Currently, I am in Hong Kong participating in the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) program. The NAHSS offers 100 excellent students the opportunity to experience Asia. These students are separated over four cities: Taipei, Chengdu, Beijing and Hong Kong. I am currently with a group of 32 students in the latter. The program consists of cultural -, business – and academic elements, which are interconnected. Given the rise of China within Asia, I think it is important to gain a comprehensive understanding of these three elements. In this short blog, I will discuss last week and try to show how the NAHSS helps you to expand your knowledge on these aspects. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Marthijn Kinkel

Date: July 2017
Author: Marthijn Kinkel

There we were. Six NAHSS-participants shooting photos in front of a monument that marked the central point of downtown Chongqing. To my left, the largest Louis Vuitton store that I have ever seen, covering almost the entire Western facade of the square. When I turned my head eastwards, 5 story-high tv screens made me feel minuscule. I was overwhelmed by the sheer size of the brand new Xiaomi smartphone that was displayed. The shock was intense. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Merthe Weusthuis

Date: July 2017
Author: Merthe Weusthuis

What has positively surprised me the most about the NAHSS so far are the people. The type of person you find at the NAHSS is just different from the average student that you are used to. NAHSS’ers are selected based on their intelligence, dedication, drive, interests, and social capability – and it shows. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Gaibar Hasami in Hong Kong and Shanghai

Date: July 2017
Author: Gaibar Hasami

In the summer of 2017 I have had the privilege to participate in the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summerschool (NAHSS). As part of this programme, I followed a summer school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and conducted a consultancy project for a major Dutch bank. Additionally, we visited Dutch banks and multinationals in Hong Kong. We concluded this programme with a culture- and business week in Shanghai. The NAHSS is a very comprehensive programme as it gave me a unique insight into many aspects of Asia such as its culture, its people and its economy. Read more

NAHSS Experience by Nol Duindam (in Dutch)

Date: July 2017
Author: Nol Duindam

De eerste twee weken op Sichuan campus zijn voorbij gevlogen, maar hebben toch een grote indruk op mij gemaakt. Ten eerste omdat ik het niet voor mogelijk had gehouden dat scherp eten zo onmenselijk scherp kon zijn. Het blijft een dagelijkse uitdaging om met gebrekkig Chinees aan de verkoper duidelijk te maken dat ik de Sichuan cuisine slechts gedeeltelijk kan waarderen. Lees meer

NAHSS Experience by Erwin Karsten (in Dutch)

Date: July 2017
Author: Erwin Karsten

Ik denk dat ik namens de groep spreek als ik zeg dat onze tijd in China tot nu toe echt geweldig is geweest. Het begon allemaal wat ongelukkig, met een geannuleerde vlucht en verloren bagage. Dit heeft echter nooit de pret mogen drukken, en was na 5 dagen gelukkig ook weer verholpen. De afgelopen weken hebben we tijd gehad om kennis te maken met de geweldige Sichuan University campus. Wij hebben een hele fijne dorm, dat eigenlijk een beetje voelt als een hotel. Lees meer

Postcards 2016

NAHSS experience

Date: December 2016
Author: Alexander van 't Hof

I look back at my NAHSS experience with joy but also respect. The experience itself can best be described as a pressure cooker on a rollercoaster. That sounds weird, I know, but it is the best metaphor I found. But first let me start by explaining what the NAHSS is. All the official info you can of course find on, but in short: 100 students are selected per year by the Dutch Universities and large Dutch & Chinese multinationals to follow a program in the Netherlands and in East Asia. This program basically consists of three main parts, a summer school in East Asia, a consultancy research project for a NAHSS sponsor, and company visits in Asia. Read more

NAHSS experience

Date: December 2016
Author: Serte Donderwinkel

It has been a month since we arrived in Hong Kong. Hong Kong? Yes, Hong Kong. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Netherlands Asia Honours Summer School. This is a program that gives 100 students from the Netherlands the chance to attend a summer school in Asia, work on a consultancy project, and visit multinational and local companies. I’m one of the thirty lucky ones who were ‘sent’ to Hong Kong. We started early in April with our project for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and Saturday the 24th of June we got on our plane to the far east. We are here with 29 people, fully enjoying all of the aspects that the NAHSS offers us. This is how I find myself currently writing this blog, sitting in a strongly air-conditioned room, surrounded by Asian students and with an amazing view outside. Read more

Peking University; as big as my home town

Date: 16 September 2015
Author: Matthijs Verver (student Peking Summer School)

As big as my home town, more inhabitants, more facilities. That’s the campus of Peking University. People tell me approximately 10.000 people reside in these dorms, while I come from a Dutch town with nearly 7000 inhabitants. Here you can buy phones, go to the cinema, hit the swimming pool and also study. I walk from just outside the campus, where the dorms for international visitors are located, to class every day. In the Netherlands I would detest to walk this distance once, let alone daily. But somehow it grows on you within a few days, when you start to realize that Peking is a city with a scale Dutch people are unfamiliar with. Read more

Exchange programme at Tsinghua University, China

Date: 19 September 2016
Author: Jordi Zuur

Much has been written about China’s rise. Every day, there is some sort of article in the newspapers describing the marvel of its economic ascent, a feature of its increasing stature in global governance or, usually more negatively, its endeavors in the South China Sea. The East Asian Studies program at the University of Groningen does not only allow you to study these phenomena from multiple angles; it also offers the opportunity to experience them at hand, in China. Read more

Mirai Program Japan 2015

Date: 17 February 2016
Author: Yi-han Wen (University of Groningen) and Douwe Meuldijk

Last December, Yi-Han Wen (University of Groningen) and Douwe Meuldijk (University of Leiden) were selected by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to act as the Dutch delegation in theMIRAI program (MIRAI means 'future' in Japanese). This program, which is completely organized and funded by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, invites the best 150 students from Europe and Central Asia to visit Japan. Aiming at promoting mutual understanding, the program simultaneously attempts to enhance intellectual discussions and to build strong networks among future world leaders. Read more

Experiencing Hong Kong

Date: 01 December 2015
Author: Alexandra Crisan

I have had the great opportunity, this summer from the 1st until the 8th of August 2015, to be the delegate of the University of Groningen at the 6th edition of the University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Hong Kong. The experience was greatly enlightening, enriching and educating as I had the chance to meet participants from 54 countries and listen to world leaders in several different fields. The speeches and the activities were exceptionally motivational and afforded an opportunity to the young future leaders to question societal issues and find their role and passion in order to help contribute to a world in need. Read more

Last modified:16 December 2021 09.46 a.m.