on March 8 and 9, twenty-two open-air stalls of university clubs are installed to reach out to reclusive and bookish students at the University of Seoul.
Attracting students with a few pairs of colorful scuba diving suits and a laptop screen showing divers striding under the ocean, Flying Fish is one of those clubs. Two students, Lee Kyeong-ran, 24, and Son Young-su, 26, who were keeping the booth said, "We took this clip during our trip to a nearby sea last year. You should join us. It`s really fun and rewarding."
Ms. Lee herself was enticed by one of these video clips two years ago. Ms. Lee said about the name of club, "Flying Fish (nalchi in Korean) fly on the surface of the ocean without restraint. It adequately represents scuba divers who swim in the water freely." Flying Fish was first started as a small organization under the Department of Industrial and Visual Design by a professor in 1996. As it became bigger, it was officially authorized by the university in 2004. Now it has 20 members.
The biggest attraction of the club is that it doesn`t require much devotion from members. Flying Fish holds a meeting only once a week strictly for instructions. Meetings take place mostly on weekends so as not to disturb students busy with studies and other responsibilities.
It plans alternately verbal instruction and practice at the diving pool in Olympic Park in eastern Seoul every other week. As there are a lot of things to keep in mind before diving into water, the club devotes a relatively large portion of time to instruction. Yet, all the education is covered by a membership fee of 30,000 won for a year as senior members give instructions for free.
Also, scuba diving suits owned by the club can be borrowed without charge. The only other expense you should expect is an entrance fee to the diving pool and transportation fees.
As it rigorously emphasizes instruction, most members get an open water license, the most basic official license as a diver, within a year. In early May, the club organizes a practice tour to either the Eastern Sea or the Western Sea.
In summer, it organizes a 10-day tour to Ulleung Island. In winter, for those who want, it organizes a scuba diving trip to Southeast Asia such as the Philippines or Thailand. Ms. Lee said, "People tend to think scuba diving to be very professional. But once you try, you will realize that it is a very accessible and refreshing sport."