On Monday (6/17), Alejandro first met Dr. (referred to here as “Prof.” to avoid confusion; “Dr. Kim” is Gloria Kim from the University of Florida) Sung June Kim and Ph.D student Gwang-jin Choi in Prof. Kim’s office. They briefly discussed topics that Prof. Kim’s lab addresses (and which he will address in the next two months); the overall subject of the lab group is neural prosthetics. This category of microelectronic devices includes cochlear implants (to treat hearing issues), retinal implants (to treat vision-related issues), and deep-brain stimulation (for other nervous system-related issues). For the rest of the week, Alejandro browsed through academic papers, several of which Prof. Kim contributed to, pertaining to these devices; unfortunately he missed one day of work through sickness. Additionally, Choi showed him one of the laboratories that he will be working in and one of the tasks that he will be assigned later in the summer (quality control testing for electrodes based on impedance and current properties).
On the first night in Seoul (Saturday, 6.15), Alejandro moved into the Shilla Stay Guro hotel (in Guro-gu, as the name suggests) with his temporary roommate (William). He and William then went to a .nearby KBBQ place for dinner, where he surprised himself by eating raw crab and kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage) for the first time. On the next day, he walked around the Guro-gu area and (with William) took his first Seoul metro ride to and had lunch in the Hongdae area. Later that day, he met with the other cohorts and Drs. Moser and Kim for dinner/dessert.
On Monday, Alejandro took his first walk around the Seoul National University (SNU) campus with the other cohorts, and on Thursday, he visited Prof. Kim’s garden with his coworkers after lunch (pictured below). Later that day, he and William moved into what would be their home for the rest of their stay in Seoul: the Avengers House in Gwanak-gu.