The KAIST campus is full of little surprises. For the new, especially international, students, finding out about the remote amenities of the school can be difficult. Here are the secret jewels of the KAIST campus that will improve the day-to-day lives of the students. For any questions, contact us on the KAIST Herald Facebook page!
If you feel a need to stretch out your legs a bit and break a bit of sweat, there are variety of sports you can enjoy on campus. At the Sports Complex (N3), you can play table tennis, badminton, basketball, and volleyball. You can borrow all the equipment needed on-site after you place your Student ID Card as collateral. The court or the tables might be in use so if you really want to play, reserve online through the Unified Reservation System (https://urs.kaist.ac.kr). Tennis courts are also available for reservation, of which there are three: in front of Areum Hall (N19), near Sejong Hall (E8), and behind the Alumni Venture Hall (N22). If you’re not in the mood to move around, you can also enjoy a game of billiards with your friends at the Student Center-2 (N12).
B. Open Road
Established in 2015, the Open Road connects KAIST with its sisterly neighbor, Chungnam National University. It is a steep climb, but thanks to its existence, the way to Gung-dong, the hub of leisurely activities such as drinking, games, and shopping nearest to KAIST, became much shorter. The trip takes roughly 20 minutes via brisk walking starting from the north dormitories. However, do not ride your bikes or electric scooters on the road! The path is prone to many accidents and requires extreme caution.
C. Pianos (N13-1)
For both zealous beginners and adept pianists, the KAIST Student Culture and Space Committee has pianos prepared on the first floor of the Chang Young Shin Student Center (N13-1). While you are free to play at any time if the rooms are empty, reserving either of the two rooms through the Student Space Committee website (https://scspace.kaist.ac.kr/piano-room) is highly recommended. If you notice any problem with the instruments, make sure to report them to the committee. While other pianos are also available in Kai Lounge and a few other places, they are out in the public or do not have a formal reservation system, so you might not always be lucky!
Eoeundongsan, the natural oasis of KAIST. The hill or mountain between separating the West dormitories and the rest of the campus is a perfect place to go for a walk or take a breath of fresh air (if that is possible in Korea). If you get tired during your walk, you can rest under the gazebo behind the Outdoor Theatre (W9) or among the lights of the deck near the entrance next to the Duck Pond. There are rumors that a deer roams around the hill. It is believed that sighting it is a good omen, so keep an eye out for it during your walk.
Though ducks may be our official animal mascots, the campus is home to numerous cats roaming the premises. The hottest feline venues include: in front of Heemang Hall (W4) and Areum Hall (N19), near the International Center (W2-1), and behind the International Village (W5-4). Areum Hall even has a resident cat named Areumi, who gave birth to five (very vivacious) kittens this summer. Just last year, an organization named the KAIST Cat Shelter was formed in order to look after the many cats who live without proper care. It provides rescue service, distributes food, and organizes fundraisers for supplies. If you wish to donate to the cause or find out more, visit the Facebook page at /@kaistcatshelter.
F. Dongra (East Ramen) (E5)
Dongra, the abbreviation of “East Ramen” in Korean, is a popular midday snack among all late sleepers in KAIST. If you woke up too late to have lunch or are hungry after your 1 p.m. class, head to the East Cafeteria (E5). Between 2:00 and 3:30 p.m., you can get a bowl of ramen with an egg, topped with your choice of rice cakes or cheese for 2000 KRW. Add 500 KRW and you get a plentiful bowl of rice to mix into your soup once you’ve slurped all your noodles. You can get a bowl as long as you are in line before 3:30 PM, so rush there and get a taste of Korea’s favorite snack.
KAIST has many amenities to aid in the busy and diverse lives of KAISTians. However, many of them require prior reservations, and the process is centralized at a single website: Unified Reservation System (URS) website (https://urs.kaist.ac.kr/). In addition to the sports amenities mentioned above, you can reserve seminar rooms, sports courts, and even buses to Seoul that leave every Friday from school.
H. Coin Karaoke (W9)
Is the semester stress piling up on you? Need a place to scream and let it all out? Then, Coin Karaoke (Coin Noraebang) is for you! Located behind the Outdoor Theater (W9), the Karaoke operates all 24 hours of the day, apart from the 30 minutes somewhere between 4 and 6 p.m. during which members of the Undergraduate Student Council perform routine maintenance. For only 1000 KRW, you can sing five songs from a wide collection of songs in a variety of languages from Korean to English to Vietnamese. The karaoke rooms might smell and it can get pretty hot at times. However, for the value and proximity, KAIST’s Coin Karaoke is always the number one option. In addition, alcohol is strictly prohibited within the premises — violation will result in a possible permanent ban.
I. Student Center Rooftop
Every KAIST student needs a break now and then from the academic stress. For those in the north, If you are in desperate need of a place to ponder on your existence or just enjoy a late night snack with friends, climb the tall stairs to the rooftop of the Chang Young Shin Student Center (N13-1). The overlook is equipped with tables, chairs, and benches, allowing for a nice rest spot with a great view of the buildings sprawling across the campus. However, don’t forget to clean up afterwards and respect the common space.
J. Swimming Pool (E15)
While gyms are numerous throughout the campus, for the swimmers, the KAIST Swimming Pool located beneath the Auditorium (E15) is the only place to head to. The price of admission is 1000 KRW per session. It’s open from Mon to Fri: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sat: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, check the calendar at the entrance to avoid clashing with the class times. Make sure to bring your own towels, toiletries, swimsuits, goggles, and caps as they are not provided.
New members of KAIST may be confused by the blue, football-shaped creature plastered all over the school. When the school announced the mascot that took inspiration from the shape under the KAIST logo, students expressed anger towards the “indescribable” design and the 120 million KRW used for its creation. Once a source of outrage, Nupjooki has now become a lovable mascot who appears on all KAIST-related merchandise and events. In this issue, look out for him for a chance at the giveaway! More details are on The KAIST Herald Facebook page.
Compiled by Juhoon Lee and Tae Soo Kim