03.07.2012 – Expo 2012: Intercultural experience

After the first night in the beautiful MLV Hotel with a stunning view over either the sea or the EXPO area, everybody was excited to start the day. As some of the students even took the chance to relax at the spa yesterday, it could be expected that everybody was ready for the second day at the Expo.

We met in front of the Swiss pavilion at 08.55 am. After everybody had arrived, we headed to the Russian pavilion. We were accompanied by the two guides of the Swiss pavilion, Marlène Stadler and Youmi Lee. In the Russian pavilion we saw some impressive facts about the Arctic. The Russians achieved to use oceanic resources and research in a contributive way. A highlight especially for male students was the boat simulator, which is exactly the same as they use for the real education of the fleet stuff.

The second pavilion we have visited was the Australian. It was a spontaneous decision due to a little time slot. However, the Australian pavilion was not very informative. They did not cover the topic of the whole EXPO.
Next stop was Denmark. Four walls (creativity, wind power, ocean transportation and water) vividly demonstrated that Denmark has a responsibility for the ocean and sustainability, which they recognize. As could be seen on the ocean transportation wall, the prominence of the Hong Kong harbor decreases while the importance of the Singapore harbor is rising. At this point, we like to thank our guide Christian Hagstrom, who explained things further.
After that we went to the Spanish pavilion. We did not explore a lot about Spain and its dependence on the sea. However, we did see 630 out of 70’000 water samplings in glasses.
The next pavilion was the Turkish. Our guide, Ms. Yunwoo Oh, was very nervous in front of such a big group of foreigners to present the clue of the Turkish pavilion. But as we experience during the whole trip, the Korean shyness is close to the Korean charm. ☺
The Kazakhstan Pavilion was our next stop. They apply for the EXPO 2017 in Astana. That is probably one reason for their big efforts in presenting the beauty of their country. A promo movie about Astana, a traditional guitar player and singer, interactive screens and an opportunity to take a photo and send it to your email address as a souvenir were part of the pavilion. Of course a few ZHAW Students took the chance to present themselves with funny grimaces.
At the end of our Expo tour we get the pleasure to visit the Belgium pavilion. Some students were surprised that “Tim & Struppi” is coming from Belgium. Most of the Students loudly objected as our tour guide, Yumi Kang, claimed that the best chocolate in the world is made in Belgium. Of course we all know the best chocolate is made in Switzerland. Although we must admit that the offered sample was quite delicious. ☺

After the EXPO tour we all went to a good korean restaurant outside of the area, where we ate traditional food including pork, rice, fish, salate and the must-have “kimchi”.
The rest of the day was free and the students were able to visit other pavilions. The most suggested ones by the tour guides were the German and the Singapore one.
To sum up the whole EXPO in Yeosu it is important to mention that a lot of pavilions did not exactly cover the topic of the EXPO and some of the tour guides were hard to understand. But still it was a good experience to be part of this exhibition. Most pleasant is the fact that almost every staff member is attentive and kind. The whole atmosphere of Korean and some (but not many) foreigners was nice. To mention one more good experience: A Korean family (most of them old people) offered a few students to take part of their lunch on the ground and were incredibly excited to see foreigners. Does that happen in every country? We do not know, but we like it.
As the day ends, we are looking forward to travel tomorrow morning to Busan and visit deeply interesting companies.

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