OWL Magazine Korea

Korea’s Top University, Seoul National University ‘Gwanak Campus’

Seoul National University was originally located in Jongno-gu, where Hyehwa Station is now. However, in 1975, the Gwanak Campus was established, and most departments were relocated there.

Now, when you think of Seoul National University’s campus, you naturally picture the one nestled against Gwanak Mountain.

“Seoul National University Gwanak Campus”

It’s said that there are three types of ‘fools’ at Seoul National University, which resonate even if you didn’t attend the university:

  1. People who walk from Seoul National University Station to the main gate
  2. Those who proudly claim to have been first in their high school class
  3. Those who enthusiastically participate in festivals

In reality, if you try to walk from Seoul National University Station on Line 2 to the university itself, it takes a considerable amount of time. Therefore, when going from Seoul National University Station to the university, most people opt to use the shuttle bus provided by the school or take one of the city buses operated by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

However, this time, despite knowing all this, I walked to Seoul National University to capture a photo of the main gate.

“The Under-Construction Main Gate of Seoul National University…”

When you think of Seoul National University’s campus, the ‘샤’ shaped sculpture at the main gate immediately comes to mind. This was derived from the initials ‘ㄱ, ㅅ, ㄷ’ of “국립서울대학교” (National Seoul University). Its meaning is “the key to seeking truth.”

I wanted to capture the clean look of the main gate in a photo, but unfortunately, it was under construction, so I couldn’t get a clear shot. It seems that I chose an inopportune time to visit.

“The Expansive Gwanak Campus of Seoul National University”

Seoul National University, as the top university in South Korea, boasts an impressive campus size. With Gwanak Mountain as its backdrop, exploring every nook and cranny of the campus is no easy task. If you attempt to thoroughly explore every corner, it would take several hours.

As a result, you can find buses circulating within the campus. Comparing it to smaller campuses of other universities, it’s quite a cultural shock.

When I took a stroll around Seoul National University’s campus after a long time, it felt similar to before, yet there were subtle differences. On this particular visit, the weather was exceptionally nice, making the campus appear even more splendid.

“The Motto of Seoul National University: VERITAS LUX MEA”

When you look at the school emblem of Seoul National University, you can see the phrase “VERITAS LUX MEA.” In classical Latin pronunciation, it reads as “Weh-ri-tas Luk-seu Me-a,” and in Ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation, it reads as “Veh-ri-tas Luk-seu Me-a.”

This was established by the inaugural president, Dr. Harry B. Anstead. Its meaning is “Truth is my Light.”

“The Seoul National University Library”

The Seoul National University Library is located at the heart of the Gwanak Campus and is of considerable size. It features reading rooms for enrolled students as well as separate reading rooms for the general public.

You can also borrow books from the library, but in the case of non-students, you need to pay a membership fee and register to borrow books. The membership fee varies depending on whether you are a graduate, general member, or a member of the Gwanak-gu community. You can find more detailed information by visiting the link below.

Seoul National University’s campus, rightly considered the best university in Korea, is not only substantial in its reputation but also in its physical expanse. While I couldn’t explore every corner, I hope to revisit in the future and see the places I missed this time.

Being able to witness students studying diligently at Seoul National University, acknowledged as the nation’s top university, is motivating. If you have aspirations for academia, purposely visiting this place might be a good idea.

“Seoul National University Gwanak Campus”