At my home university in Toronto finding a decently priced meal that is both substantial and healthy on or around campus has always been a bit of a challenge and it seems that this sentiment is felt by other North American students that I’ve met here. I’ve always found this both strange and counterproductive as students are both well known to have little money and also to be constantly working hard at their studies and would likely benefit from a healthy meal. Yet it often ends up that the food on campus is largely made up of fried fast foods that, while tasty, leave much to be desired health wise. What’s worse is these often end up costing more than they would at a restaurant off campus!
Well here in Korea they seem to have the right idea as the student cafeteria provides a number of food options from healthy Korean food, to pasta, to less healthy more indulgent choices all for nominal prices that are actually significantly cheaper than they would cost off campus! What a notion! Yonsei boasts 4 cafeterias in the student union building alone, all with varying menus that change daily with prices ranging from around $2.50 – $7.00, with most dishes priced around $4. What’s more is that the servings are often quite generous and one can even get partial refills for free! The cafeterias are also open from morning till night with different foods available throughout the day and beyond the initial 4in the student union building there are also numerous other student restaurants spread throughout the campus offering even more options at similar prices.
As a student in North America I’ve sometimes felt exploited when I would have to drop $10 on a sandwich and beverage because I didn’t have time to make my lunch that day and time constraints kept me from venturing off campus for supplies – but in Korea it’s actually cheaper to eat on campus than it is to buy groceries and make your own food! Now that makes sense to a busy and penniless student like me!