Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Yeongnam University vs. Keimyung University

Daegu, South Korea
Exploring the Green Line
Blog by Jenikah Joy

Back to Daegu!
This weekend I returned to Daegu to do a little comparison travel. After my last visit where I spent most of my time in the city center, I wanted to travel to the outskirts and see what there was to experience. I decided to take the #2 Green line in either direction and see what was at the end of this line. At one end is Yeungnam University and close to the other end of the line is Keimyung University. Since I really love the university areas in Seoul like Hongdae, Sinchon, Kondae, etc, I thought this would be a great way to see Daegu's young university areas. 

I found more than I expected.

영남대학교 Yeungnam University

I honestly had no idea what to expect since this area of Daegu is still foreign to me, so it was quite nice to come out of station exit 3 and be directly at the main entrance of the campus which has a beautiful lawn and entryway presentation. Now this time of year, school is not in session, so overall the campus was very quiet, but it was nice to be able to enter and see the layout without any crowds or noise.

Line 2 Yeungnam University Station Exit 3 | Main Entrance
Natural Beauty
The first thing I noticed as we walked along the grounds is the giant lily field off to the west side. There is an organic farm and lovely walkway that leads to the south end of the school. You can see beautiful flowers along the side of the stream and water lilies as far as the eye can see. It was truly idyllic because the school grounds themselves are not especially manicured this time of year.

Once you cross from the path back to the campus, it is nice because there is a campus map right there, and the buildings are very simply labeled, making it easy to find your way around the campus. As I looked over the map, I noticed right away that the school had a 구계서원 (민속촌) folk village, which I found surprising for a school, but I guess not for Korea. The folk village is located on the far east side and available to see even though the rest of the campus was closed.

Campus map located behind the E29 Mechanical Engineering Building

구계서원 (민속촌) Folk Village
One of the nice things about this particular folk village was how nicely preserved it is. Although these houses were built at the University in the 1970’s, with some sections from the 1600’s transplanted there, they took great care in their reconstruction and maintenance. At the entrance you can see a large map showing the layout of the grounds as well as some historical information. There are seven different units you can see and it’s a terrific place to take photos or walk around. The school holds an annual cultural festival here which is just one great reason to come out and visit this location.

Entrance to the Folk Village

Swing Away
One extra little feature of the folk village is a giant swing that reaches taller than the tree tops. You can swing on it while looking around at the beautiful surroundings. There are also clay pots with sticks so you can play 투호 a Korean stick tossing game. It’s a great place to explore when the weather is nice, and I imagine even more beautiful in fall and spring.

Love for Life or Live Alone?
Nearby the folk village are two notorious campus locations which hold folklore of their own. The first is the well known 러브로드 Love Road. Here it is said that if you walk the road holding hands with your loved one your love cannot be broken. 

The second, is the lake in front of the Love Road. This splendid lake is known for being a go to spot during the cherry blossom season. However, rumor has it, that if someone falls into the lake, they will be alone forever. Pretty daunting stuff! Fortunately, I did not fall in while I was visiting!

Big Man on Campus
As I was walking back towards the campus entrance I came across one of the school’s major landmarks, 홍만이 Hongmani, located in the center of the campus. This large statue is hard to miss, a large man with a noticeably small head and wild hair. He’s looking down at a small object that notes the sculptor's information.

홍만이 Statue Near the University Library by Kim, Sung Kuk

계명대학교 Keimyung University

Next I headed towards Munyang on the green line where I got off at the famous Keimyung
University. This school is well known as a filming site for many popular Korean dramas like Love Rain and Boys Over Flowers, as well as other movies and commercials. This school has an enormous campus, and is extremely curated and pristine in its presentation. The style of the school is reflective of Harvard University with many Roman columns and brick buildings; it has an ivy league feeling.

Line 2 Kiemyung Station Exit 1 | Main Entrance
한학촌 Hanok Village
Perhaps one of the school’s most notable locations is the hanok village located at the south side of the school. This location, while similar to that at Yeungnam University, feels much less original and historical. It is not in the wilderness, and the stream and pond that surround it are man-made. This however, does not detract from its beauty and contribution to Korean cultural history.

Although the stream wasn’t running and parts of the village were closed for the summer, the
grounds were still really wonderful to see. I loved that at the bottom of the stream there was a small koi pond with various sized koi fish. Also, in the large pond, you can see many things from the pavilion that overlooks the water.

Many Mini Monuments
Walking the grounds is a favorite activity for students and visitors alike. All throughout the campus you can find various sculptures placed among the many grass lawns. I can imagine the conversations that have been had on these lush, grassy spaces. One rumor has it that if you don’t get significant other by the end of your sophomore year, you will not have a relationship for the rest of your time at college.

As an art student myself I appreciated the variety of pieces, and this helped lead me over towards
the school’s art center.

계명아트센터 The Iconic Art Center
Keimyung Art Center is a well known performing arts center that contributes to the social and
cultural life of not just Keimyung University but of Daegu itself.

Keimyung Art Center located by the East Gate

Final Comparisons
Like other university areas in Korea, each presents its own interest points. Some of the school life and atmosphere I was unable to view as school was out of session. However, I left having an enjoyable time at both locations. Yeungnam is farther out of the city, a bit older, but had so many fun things to see and experience. Keimyung is newer, bigger, and a really impressive place to visit. I can’t say for sure which location I liked better, so I guess you will just have to visit and decide for yourself!

Fun times at Yeungnam
Beautiful Campus at Keimyung University

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