Hi, I am Markus Maximilian Dieminger and 22 year old exchange student from Germany, studying at SKKU/Technical University of Munich for a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science. I’m also teaching Taekwondo to childrens in Yongin.
Q. What type of housing do young people in Germany prefer these days?
There are different options for young Germans. There are similar types of housing like Mangrove and I have lived in one but it was in poorer condition. It was a student housing, with students from different universities of Munich living there. There is also what we call “WG” which is a shared apartment or share-housing, most commonly used by friends or other students.
Q. What was the most important factor or concern while looking for a house in Korea?
My priority was having a room alone as well as an opportunity to meet new people from other countries and especially Korea. In addition, I wanted a home with certain security, trustworthiness and standards before coming to Korea, which Mangrove is definitely living up to.
Q. How did you find out ‘Mangrove’? Any specific reason why you decided to live here?
I got to know about Mangrove through an agency called Hirevisa, which was recommended by the University. I decided to live here because I wanted an opportunity to get to know international friends. Also safety and cleanliness were important factors while choosing home.
I wanted a home with certain security, trustworthiness and standards before coming to Korea, which Mangrove is definitely living up to.
Q. So how is living in Seoul? Does it meet your expectations?
I think Seoul is a City of Opportunity to meet new people and to have diverse experiences. There are many cultural and historical landmarks as well as many cafes and restaurants and other interesting places to be visited. Whether meeting with friends and going to cafés and restaurants, going shopping, enjoying cultural and historical sites, or going to concerts, Seoul is the city to live!
Q. ‘Sinseol-dong’ is a neighborhood with lots of local charms. Do you have any favorite places to visit in the neighborhood?
I like several smaller rivers where some break from Seouls busy city life can be enjoyed along with outdoor activities. As for my impression of the neighborhood, it is quite different from my personal experiences from Germany. Korean city life feels fuller and more compact. Restaurants, clothing stores and sports & entertainment places are found in a quick manner. Public transportation system is highly developed and it is easy to get around quickly and affordably.
There is always someone interested in
meeting new people and sharing their interests!
Q. Are there any differences in cultural or residential characteristics you find interesting in Korea?
The first difference I noticed was the existence of shared rooms, which is uncommon in Germany. Shared apartments and houses are common, however the rooms for sleeping are not commonly shared. Another difference is that it is more common to cook in your own home, which seems to be not as common in Korea.
It’s my dream to open my own Taekwondo gym in Germany oneday.
Q. You’ve practiced Taekwondo over 10years. What was your first impression of Taekwondo?
At first it was quite strange. The cultural differences such as bowing and using terms like “master” are quite unusual for european people, and I found it interesting. But over time, as I got more proficient, I started to adopt the values of Taekwondo. As for the sports-aspect of it, I always liked it. It is an opportunity to give 100 percent and find and expand the limits of the body. And in addition to the purely physical aspect, it also develops self-confidence both in body and mind.
Q. What do you think is the true charm of Taekwondo?
The charm for me is being surrounded by like-minded people, who push each other to their best and help at their worst. It is an opportunity to find another family, who will support each other no matter what. And despite differences in worldviews and opinions, there is always room for friendly exchanges of opinion.
The charm for me is being surrounded by like-minded people,
who push each other to their best and help at their worst.
Q. You seem to enjoy being surrounded by people. Are you the type of person who gets energy from others?
I do get inspired by people and their passion. It is exhilarating to see other people light up from talking about the things they feel passionate about. Finding those with whom a conversation can be struck up and held, about any topic, whether it is something that both agree or disagree on, is always an experience I appreciate.
Also considering that there is a cultural exchange being made between different continents and countries with different languages is interesting to see the perspective of some of the events that are happening in this world from those who have grown up with different views.
Q. What do you usually do on weekends?
Considering that I am usually quite busy during the week, the weekend is my time to relax and spend time with friends I made in Mangrove. We often cook or watch movies together and I hope to go to visit more of the cultural and historical places together as well. I want to get to know Seoul and South Korea in general better, something that I was unable to do yet, with me being preoccupied with lectures and training.
It is exhilarating to see other people light up from
talking about the things they are compassionate about.
Q. Is ‘Mangrove’ the right fit for your personality and lifestyle?
I personally enjoy living here very much at Mangrove. There are many people to meet, and I regret not being able to meet more due to my busy schedule. Apart from that, I feel right at home and quite welcome here. Having friends right in the same building is also awesome, as it is possible to just meet when one has time.
Q. Are there any tips on making friends in Mangrove?
The best way to make friends is to partake in many social activities found in the app or write a post, asking if anyone wants to meet and mingle. Whether for learning another language, watching a movie, playing a board game or other activities, there is always someone interested in meeting new people and sharing their interests.
Community activities supported and encouraged by the community team makes it easy to find friends and find new activities to enjoy.
Q. Which part do you enjoy the most in living in Mangrove?
Mangrove application for sure! The Mangrove application gives an opportunity to meet new people. I do not know how common it is to have such an active community in such an accomodation, however it is something that I quite like and having community activities supported and encouraged by the community team as it makes it easier to find new friends and new activities to enjoy.
Q. From this month, we started a new program named ‘Mangrove Social Club by members’. Would you consider making a social club of your own?
I actually was interested from the beginning in teaching or giving personal lessons in Taekwondo. However I don’t have any equipment or space to hold the lessons in the building. So once I figure out where to hold the lessons, I would love to give it a try.
Editor | Dabomi Shin
Photograph | Seokhyeon Lee