OWL Magazine Korea

Ewha Womans University, Seoul: Scenes from the 2023 Graduation Ceremony

In South Korea, schools hold graduation ceremonies at the end of February each year. This means that you can commonly witness the lively scenes of congratulatory celebrations at various university campuses.

By the end of February, flower shops line the streets in front of schools, and the campus is filled with students wearing graduation gowns, taking commemorative photos. You can enjoy the energetic atmosphere unique to graduation ceremonies, with parents, families, and friends bustling around to congratulate the graduates.

“Once a Bustling Tourist Attraction: Ewha Womans University”

After taking a tour around Yonsei University’s campus, I also took a stroll through Ewha Womans University’s campus, located just across the street from Yonsei University.

Until before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ewha Womans University was especially popular among Chinese tourists. There was a superstition that if you took a photo in front of the mural of a boat on the main gate of Ewha Womans University, it would bring good luck in finding a spouse, so many people could be seen taking certification shots here.

Upon visiting Ewha Womans University again after a long time, I noticed signs reading “No Entry for Tourists” placed all around the campus, likely due to the fatigue caused by the large number of tourists.

“Scenes from the 2023 Graduation Ceremony at Ewha Womans University”

Even though it was relatively late in the day after touring Yonsei University’s campus, I still found people taking commemorative photos in various spots.

Ewha Womans University’s central area, known as the ECC (Ewha Campus Complex), was particularly busy with people taking commemorative photos. I could easily spot crowds of people taking photos in front of the ECC’s main gate. The central area of the campus on the opposite side also had many people capturing memories.

For reference, ECC, located at the heart of Ewha Womans University’s campus, won the 26th Seoul Special City Architectural Award in 2008.

“Ewha Womans University ECC”

Ewha Womans University ECC, short for “Ewha Campus Complex,” is a comprehensive facility within Ewha Womans University designed to support university life.

The ECC is composed of a total of seven buildings, offering facilities such as a student cafeteria, an academic information center, a student union building, a startup support center, a healthcare center, and a culture and arts center. In addition, there are convenient facilities within the campus such as convenience stores, cafes, banks, and a hospital, contributing to a convenient university life for students.

The ECC is not only available for Ewha students but also open to the general public. Various cultural events and exhibitions are frequently held here. Additionally, it is one of the university’s most prominent facilities, hosting lectures and research presentations by well-known figures and scholars from both domestic and international communities.

“The Harmony of Traditional and Modern Architecture at Ewha Womans University”

Ewha Womans University, established in 1886, was the first women’s university in Korea. It boasts a history of 135 years.

As a result, you can encounter buildings with a nostalgic feel on the campus. The modern architecture of the ECC stands alongside the buildings with an old-fashioned atmosphere, allowing you to experience both a modern and traditional ambiance.

“The Statue of Kim Hwalran”

At Ewha Womans University’s campus, you can find the statue of Kim Hwalran, known for her pro-Japanese activities. Kim Hwalran was an educator, journalist, social activist, pro-Japanese collaborator, graduate of Ewha Haktang (predecessor of Ewha Womans University), the seventh president of Ewha Womans University, and the first Korean woman to serve as president. While she gained tremendous fame for obtaining a doctoral degree in an era when few women received higher education, she is also known as a pro-Japanese collaborator who actively supported Japan’s oppressive policies. The statue of Kim Hwalran can be found in the northwestern part of the ECC.

Overall, the atmosphere of Ewha Womans University’s campus conveys a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. The ECC, an ultra-modern building, coexists with the buildings that preserve the serene atmosphere of the past.

Ewha Womans University holds special memories for me, as I had a friend who used to attend Ewha back in the day. I visited the campus a few times to explore. However, I hadn’t come back since the COVID-19 pandemic swept through. Visiting again after a long time, it brings back memories and offers a renewed experience.

Anyway, I extend my support to the youth stepping into a new world as they celebrate their graduation at Ewha Womans University’s campus.

“Seoul Sinchon, Ewha Womans University 2023 Graduation Ceremony”