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A Day of a KDI School Student

26 Apr, 2019 KDIS News Center 4,818

“THIS IS THE PHILOSOPHY BY WHICH WE, PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT CORNERS OF THE GLOBE, COEXIST IN COMPLETE HARMONY, BANDED BY EDUCATION AND DREAMS”

Life in Korea, they say, “is busy”. Student life in KDI School is a blend of busy days and fun days. Everyone has his/her own perspective about student life in KDI School. To get a detailed picture of how a student spends his/her day, we got Ms. Somaya Iqubal Khan to share with us what she does on a typical day in KDI School.

Ms. Somaya is a Spring 2019 student currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Public Management at KDI School. She holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and has worked with CARE as a District Monitoring Officer in the area of Public Health (Maternal and Child Health) in Rural India. Somaya has a passion for writing, having already published two books which are available worldwide and working on a third. She also paints in her free time. This is how she describes her usual day at KDI School.


My days are shorter, and nights are longer in KDI. I, sometimes, can’t get hold of how quickly time is passing by, and I am struggling because I want to make every minute count. I want to build memories that would last for life.”

My weekdays are spent running from one classroom to another between lunch to dinner from one cafeteria to another; whereas nights are peaceful in the silent alleys of magnificent library and cozy corners of our personal reading rooms. I, sometimes, spend my nights in these corners and walk back to dormitory in wee hours; this, to be honest, is one of the most beautiful things to do.  Yes, it is overwhelming to me, maybe because I try to relate it to my past experiences and observations back in my home country and reflect on it. As I have been working with sensitive groups of people like victims of domestic violence, drug abuse, mental health problems, and vulnerable and excluded communities, it has transformed me into a person who appreciates every little thing as if it is the ultimate happiness. I feel blessed to be one of those fortunate people who have little peace in the world full of chaos. Many social workers suffer from burn out phase of their profession because emotionally heavy jobs derail us from objectivity and clarity, which is why this period of schooling is actually very therapeutic to me. And one of the many reasons to come to KDI was to build my capability in that area of management and leadership and be able to make a bigger difference in social development by learning to align my efforts and ideas into impactful policies.

So coming back to my schedules in school, weekends are generally packed with assignments and I desperately want to crib about it, to sing the song in oneness but deep down, I have no qualms about it. I sometimes enjoy how it keeps me completely immersed in things I love to do. When I say this, it is by no means a hint of asking for more assignments, not at all. I am guilty of procrastinating and I end up working around the most dreaded “deadlines”.

Well, on a normal school day, my day begins at 10 AM., when I leave dormitory and walk to school in full glory. I personally love morning classes because we study with a fresh mind, but for me, all my classes are very interesting that keeps me on my toes because I never came across a class that is noninteractive, you want to speak because you get to share what’s on your mind. Our professors also tactically assure us that what we think does matter. This, I believe, really encourages our participation.

Around 12 noon, I quickly rush to the student cafeteria, which serves both Korean and International food, for lunch. I always have my lunch in the cafeteria because I am a terrible and accident-prone cook. I, therefore, avoid the kitchen, by all means, in the interest of all. After lunch, I usually have my classes, when I’m awfully food-induced sleepy. To save myself from the embarrassment of being caught in dreams by our professor, tip to remember, I visit Vobiscum to grab something that keeps me awake; Choco-latte works for me because I cannot stand caffeine, which is sad, I know, as coffee tastes so much better.

By the time it is evening, I am almost drained out. This is when I take a quick nap for an hour in our awesome sleeping lounge which is truly a blessing and thing to envy. Oh! That really helps me to stay at school round the clock.  6 p.m. is usually my dinner time and I prefer Korean food in the evening because I am so fond of the hot soups served in the cafeteria; it keeps me awake for the rest of the night, which I spend in the personal reading room. For the fact, it really keeps me focused and I end up doing more than what I could have done in my dormitory. I guess that is the reason why I am able to write more these days and I’m aiming high to complete my writing targets.

Talking about schedules, I forgot to mention the amazing exchange of smiles with people we cross paths with. Tiny little stories we share while we fill up our water bottles, sharing food, holding doors for each other, and sometimes the peaceful silence while sitting across in a complete bliss of togetherness. It is a beautiful experience of living a life where people care, where “You matter more than I”, and at times, I feel maybe this is our philosophy by which we, people from different corners of the globe, coexist in complete harmony, banded by education and dreams.