Story in Korea
Vu Quang Hieu
Hello! My name is Hieu and I am Vietnamese. I have just come to Korea in order to learn master degree at Medical school Chonnam National University. As a newcomer, studying and living at Hwasun hospital. I think I have better chances to view life in Korea which makes me from surprised to surprise.
About the weather, as the first time when I stepped out the airport gate in the middle of February, the scenes around me seemed to be dead. I had just seen trees without leaves, mountains to mountains and at that time, I am getting bored. However, two or three weeks later, the snow fell in Hwasun, scenes were cover with white color of snow. Wow, it was so great! It was the first time that I can touch the snow! It is so cool! And just one month later, everything around me have begun to wake up. Bubs were shooting and flowers have bloomed. The scenes are totally difference from everything I have seen! Sakura, rose, daisy…..from time to time they have bloomed in front of my view. It is totally awesome!
As I have told you, I am living in Hwasun, suburban of Gwangju city, where I can see fields of rice, potato, grapes, garlic, corn, bean, chili… Every day when I walk through them to my lab, I have feel like I am living in my country! I have seen hard famer plow on their fields, seed many kind of plants. From here, I can smell fresh rice in the morning and I can hear sound from frogs and insects in the evening. A sound and a smell of countryside are familiar to me and I usually call that “countryside flavor”.
People around me are so kind to me even though they know me is a foreigner. My lab mates are so kind; they have helped me to get familiar to living here. Or when I go to market, servants try to help me to find out what I want to buy, and they also explain clearly things I will buy. When I seem to be getting lost on bus, some nice people help me to find out the bus stop that I want to get off! On the whole, people around me are so nice. They are ready to help me I need.
Totally, I feel so great to be here, Korea, and I would like to say “thanks” to my Prof because he gave me a chance to study and live here. And to anybody who has read my writing that may non-sense to you but you should try to live at once. Living here, somehow, may be hard for you however I think you‘ll find interested thing here. Just try and enjoy it.
Kyopo in Korea
As a Korean adoptee, raised by Caucasian-American parents, I have had the opportunity to experience many unique and life-altering events. Growing up, the land known as South Korea was far away from me, both physically and emotionally. I had no ties as a child with South Korea, however, I often secretly wondered about the country, its people, and more importantly, my birth family. Thus,since I could not go to South Korea, I have always been interested in learning about other people’s cultures in America. I have incorporated my international passions into my education, employment, and future goals. As a NIIED scholar, I have found a way to expound all of my dreams, past, present, and future, into an opportunity that will allow me to continue achieving my dreams.
First, while in America, I was fortunate to receive a quality education which prepared and encouraged me to think globally. As a result, I have been attracted to the vast amount of cultures in America and would befriend and teach many non-native English speakers. Initially, I would be drawn to their cultural differences and want to help them while in America. Eventually, we would form a symbiotic relationship: they needed my help in English and I wanted to learn and experience their culture. Then, in high school, I became an ESL tutor through a nonprofit literacy group which taught English to immigrants. Next, in community college, I was able to volunteer in an ESL classroom, thereby, increasing my love and drive for teaching English to foreigners. Last, at myuniversity, I majored in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), taught ESL, and befriended many international students. Currently, I am enrolled at Korea University to learn Korean and obtain my MA degree in English Linguistics.
Second, I lived and worked in South Korea for all of last year as a hogwon teacher. This opportunity allowed me to obtain valuable teaching experience, meet other adoptees, and, more importantly, meet my birth family. First, I taught at an English hogwon for one (1) year and I enjoyed spending time with the children because, through them, I was able to learn, from a child’s perspective, more about South Korea. Second, last winter, I volunteered at an event for Korean adoptees from all over the world. It was eye-opening to see how many South Korean adoptees there are who have come back to the land of their birth. Each adoptee had a different story, outlook on their adoption, and experiences while in South Korea. Third, I was fortunate enough to meet my entire Korean family, which includes my mother, father, four (4) older sisters, one (1) younger brother, two (2) brothers-in-law, and a niece. It was truly an amazing experience and I hope to continue fostering our relationship.
Third, thanks to the NIIED scholarship program,I am currently enrolled at Korea University to learn Korean and obtain my Master’s degree. The NIIED scholarship program has provided me three (3) years of tuition-free education at Korea University. The first year will be taking intensive Korean language courses. The last two (2) years will be devoted to obtaining my Master’s degree in English Linguistics. During my ten (10) weeks at Korea University, I have been taking intensive Korean language classes in which I have made tremendous progress. I learn Korean for four (4) to six (6) hours each day, then return home to study independently for another three (3) hours. Furthermore, I have had the wonderful opportunity to befriend people from every continent which allows me to rekindle my love for different cultures. Therefore, NIIED has allowed me to follow my dreams of becoming immersed in my birth culture, making friends from all over the world, and continuing my education so that I can teach English to foreigners.
Last, I intend on using the NIIED scholarship as a springboard to become a university professor or researcher in the TESOL field. I would like to use my education and time spent as a NIIED scholar to positively influence the world, more specifically, non-native English speakers learning English as a second or foreign language. Ideally, I would like to live and work in South Korea withnon-native speakers and be able to teach them, not only English, but about my life as a Korean adoptee growing up in America. In addition, eventually, I would like to pass on my heritage to my children and encourage them to develop a relationship with South Korea.
In conclusion, although I grew up living in a country which was not my own, I took the education that was afforded to me and shared it with others by teaching English to foreigners. Now, I am the foreigner, living in the country in which I was born but not raised. My mission while in South Korea is to learn as much as I can from my birth country and take it with me in order to pass it along to others through my future students, children, and grandchildren. My life has been unique and I have had many experiences which shaped who I am today. I have had many exchanges with international citizens and would like tocontinue to have more. Overall, my year in South Korea has been amazing: teaching English to elementary school students, meeting other Korean adoptees, and meeting my birth family. I hope my next three (3) years as a NIIED scholar will be even better. My time here has taught me that I am proud to be a NIIED scholar and a Korean.
Life Experience in Korea
Taking Korean Air Line flight about 5 hours directed from Cambodia to Republic of Korea, I first arrived conveniently at Incheon international airport located 70 Km away from Seoul the capital of Korea in late August 2010. Landing safety, I was very shocked with the airport’s structures and decorations to which related my field of Civil Engineering closely. Taking on by bus moved forward to my destination about 4 hours in duration, I could see many modern and standard infrastructures along the way including transportations, high rise buildings, building condominiums, high ways, bridges, tunnels, super centers, houses and so on. I immediately recognized that Korea is the right place to further my study in field of construction. Then I arrived at Konyang University by which Korean’s administration division located in Nonsan, a city of Chungcheongnam-do Province. I was served enthusiastically by university staffs for dormitory stay and class of Korean language. Two days later as on 1st of September I started Korean language class with mix of foreign students mostly Chinese and Japanese. It is the fact that I am old in age but young in living life in Korea which gives me many experiences such as weather of four seasons, hot and spicy foods, shopping packaging, sharing room with Korean students in dormitory and studying Korean language. I have found my Lifein Korea is really interesting and challenging.
First of all, I would like to share my experience of getting new season. Because it was autumn the weather is same as one in Cambodia so that I easily adapt it. However nowadays winter is coming soon compels temperature sometimes fluctuates. To me, people used to live in a country consists of two seasons of spring and summer which the temperature is between 25 to 37 degrees Celsius, it is extremely cold some days. Certainly it surprises me when the temperature reaches to 0 degrees Celsius. To protect myself from this low temperature I was advised to have some necessary things such as winter clothes body lotion and have exercise schedule. Winter in Korea must be one of my new challenge and favorite season that I have never met.
I would like to keep my report goes on by describing Korean foods or, my personal calling, spicy foods. Living here I am not only face with weather but also foods. I cannot forget my first lunch which surprised me because I just ordered one but I got lots of side dishes. I try eating 김치,a well known in Korea but everywhere serves Korean cuisine, because I wanted to taste to find out why every meal time Korean people eat 김치. I cannot answer immediately I just found that it was a little bit pungent. My first unexpected Korean food was 된장찌개 the most pungent food that I ever eat. I wondered why Korean people eat such hot food like this, as Iknow eating many of hot foods affect stomach but I see Koreanpeople are healthy, beauty and handsome. Moreover, because it was autumn and I ate hot food I felt very abnormal both inside and outside of my body. Without knowing Korean language Iused to order foods that I could not eat at that time. It was when I did not know the name and kind of food and just try ordering. However the time passes day by day and Imust eat those of foods I can adapt Korean food very well because I know the name and taste of each food and not all Korean foods contain many spicy.I have found my favorite foods such as 비빔밥, 돈가스, 된장찌개 and 참치찌개.
Other thing to be shared is my funny of paying for plastic bag. Before I came to Korea I used to think that there must be have many differences such as weather, food, living style, culture and so on. But there is one thing that Ihave never thought ispackaging. I cannot forget a funny story of my first buying snacks. After seller checked bill I got only those snacks. I wanted a plastic bag but I could not speak this in Korean so I went nearby and pointed it. She understood my gesture and took one for me. I handed the bag and she said 20 won. I was shock with funny after giving her 20 won. I wonder why they sell such this small goods which is generally free when we buy goods that need it to carry in my country. After that day I used plastic bag very efficient that habit maybe the reason why plastic bag is not free.
I would like to further my description with my life of living in dormitory with Korean students. My dormitory life experience is one of much enjoyment and frustration.t is my first time of moving away from my parent’s home. Because of different culture, previous unknown, different habit especially that I could not speak Korean to my roommate made my living really not easy at the beginning. At our first meeting I could not tell him and he could understand what I wanted to say. We used computer anddictionary to translate word by word to reach the meaning and sometime we miss understood. But nowadays my roommate and I have recognized each other and we live happily. In addition life in dormitory is sometimes made me homesick. It is experience that joining outside or school activities and realizing environment has brought me a ways of feeling homesick. Moreover I have found my living in dormitory inconvenience when I am not allowed to cook and have my clothes ironed. If cooking is available I will I surely make Cambodia food and eat with my family through video chatting. But that is just thinking when cooking is not allowed is the dormitory rule.
Starting Korean language class is one of my unforgettable experiences. I study Korean language at Konyang University which is one of leading universities in Korea. I am here with helpful of university staffs, helper, teachers and friends. Most of problems have been solved by university staffs who work day and night, weekday and weekend. On the other hand, I met a Korean student coincidently and letter by arrangement of university he become my helper. It is my luck to know 이모찬 who warms me although I am far away from home. I cannot express my feeling about him by just writing. I just know this guy help me a lot. One day he told me "Lymei when you unhappy pleasecall to me because I understand your feeling as I use to be far away from home the same as you are now." It is not just the words but actions. This guy teaches me Korean language and tells me Korean culture and guides me through everything in Korean. I think that it is very helpful for foreign students to have helper. Similarly Ihave learned politeness and respectful culture of Korean expressed whenever and wherever in their living. Couple with my class, I learn Korean language uneasily because Cambodia language and Korean language are far similar however I am taught by pedagogy native Korean teacher who are very kind and helpful. My Korean is starting from nothing to a little and I hope it becomes better and better. I am in classroom with foreign students. Actually because of different languages we are difficult to communicate but it is good that we can practice ourlittle known Korean. We, also, share our cultures and customs and we found activities in class very friendly and actively. It is the university’s principle creation ofstudy tour activities to cultural sites which allow us to study about Korean culture and compare to ours. I get more interest on Korean culture while I found it has some part similarly to my cultures of my friends and mine. From my point of view the more we share about culture and more we get close. Therefore please teach and share me Koreanculture and other cultures and share you back mine and we will found something very fantastic.
All things mentioned above are my two months experience which can be shorted as protection from weather, recognition of hot and spicy food, paying of small plastic bag, life in dormitory and environment of Korean class. Without Korean language foreign students are very difficult to communicate; therefore we must enjoy study Korean both in and out class. Day by day my living is changing from good to better.
Для начала, расскажу немного о себе. То есть о том периоде моей жизни,который так или иначе связан с Кореей. Я русскоязычный к ореец. Родился я в Ташкенте в 1988 году. В Корею я п ереехал в 2002 году. Сначала я закончил старшую школу Кёнги в Сеуле . По нашему это 9,10,11 классы. Потом в 2005 году я поступил в Сеульский технологический институт, на факультет менеджемент. Сейчас я учусь на 4- том курсе.
В первые мои дни в Корее, я чувствовал себя очень неловко. Новая культура, новые люди, новый стиль жизни, новые места, словом все вокруг для меня было новое. К тому же абсолютное незнание корейского языка з атрудняло мою адаптацию в Корее. Я не только не мог общаться с корейцами, но даже элементарно не мог спросить что- нибудь, когда я чего-то не знал. Начав изучение корейского языка, я постепенно стал понимать корейскую культуру.
Первое, что я усвоил это то, что в Корее большое з начение придают возрасту человека. Младшие обращаются на уважительной форме речи к старшим. Старшие, наоборот обращаються на фамильярной форме к младшим. Но, когда корейцы видят чело века в первый раз, они всегда использу ют уважительную форму. А потом уже ,узнав про возраст либо меняют форму речи либо оставляют её такой же.
Потом меня поразил удивительный п атриотизм корейцев. В год моего приезд а в Корее и Японии проходил Чемпионат Мира по Футболу 2002. До этого чемпионата Корея почт и ни разу не добивалась каких-то серьезных результатов. Несмотря на это, корейцы тысячами выходили на улицы, одев красные футболки-цвет формы сборной Кореи по футболу-чтобы поддержать свою команду. Я сам видел как корейцы воодушевленно болели, во время каждого матча сборной Кореи. Они кричали, радовались, распевали песни чтобы поддерж ать свою команду. Раньше я никогда не видел такой верности и любви к своей стране. Во многом благодаря болельшикам, Корея впервые в истории заняла 4- ое место на этом чемпионате.
Также хочу отметить высшую степен ь восспитанности и цивильности корейцев. Здесь вы никогда не услышите ругательства с сво й адрес от каких нибудь хулиганов или пьяниц, здесь нет даже намека на нацизм, здесь у вас никогда не вытащат кошелёк из сумочк и, здесь можно со спокойной душой гулять по ночам, ничего не боясь, здесь есть все условия для приличной жизни. Корейцы очень вежливые, если кто-нибудь случайно на ступит вам на ногу или толкнет,он будет тысячу раз извиняться. К сожалению у нас в России этот человек скорее всего просто пройдет мимо, ничего не сказав.
Сейчас Корея входит в десятку сам ых развитых стран мира.По моему мнени ю такого результата Корея добилась во многом благодаря люд ям.Благодаря их любви к родине,их самопожертвованию,их старательности,их гордос ти за свою родину,их желанию сделать свою родину самой лучшей,самой процве тающей,самой высокоразвитой страной в о всем мире.
В заключение я хочу сказать всем русскоязычным корейцам: Корея - наша историческая родина и она достойна т ого, чтобы хотя бы раз её посетить .
Campus Life in Korea
Suh Jong Hee Elena
Hong Ik University is the one of the most recognize art and design university in Korea and I didn’t know about that till I came here. Also this University area is famous of it street art exhibition, young artist artwork and its nightlife. It’s a very artistic place.
I was born in Tucuman, Argentina and I never thought that I’ll be studying Industrial Design in Korea. This is my 4 year living here in Seoul and my 3rd year in college.
I came to Korea the first time in 2005 and it took me time to adapt to this new culture, people and country. It was difficult the first time because I was by myself and I didn’t know much Korean but during this year I met new people in the Korean language institute and I felt more secure. It was a new experience in meeting people from other countries and still contact with some of my friends that also stayed in Korea study. Also by 2005 while I was preparing to apply for Hong Ik University I went to a drawing academy. I was shocked when I saw Korean students drawing skills. I though I’ll never able to get into that famous art school. Fortunately I got in and had the chance to study design abroad. Since I was young I always love and interest about arts and I couldn’t miss this opportunity.
In my first year of university (2006) I never expect such a high level of education and competition, I was surprised. I had some problem to get in to the rhythm of Korean students and follow the class. I think because I didn’t know much Korean it was a difficult start and sometimes I regret coming to Korea to study. It was difficult to adapt into this society for a person that was born in a province with few Koreans but I didn’t give up and continue doing my best.
After the hard freshman period of the university on my 2nd year it started to change and be interest more about this university life (Festival, seminar, Dongari).Although I had a lot of work to do during every semester I try to participate during the Hong Ik university festivals and events. This year I luckily get into a group (K.I.M.C.H.I), I didn’t know about the existence of an international member group till I found a poster at the campus. Since then I always looked to apply and get to this group. I love the people of KIMCHI, they are very friendly and really interest about other countries and culture. I’m glad I got into the group and get to know new Hong Ik students.
It’s a very compact university life with a lot of work but also fun. I think Korea is the only country that has university life is so moved. It’s a new and a unique experience because there such a lot of new things that may be in Argentina university life don’t have it.
On my sophomore year I got more interest in my major and the things I learned in this university. I get to know better my classmates, university facilities, workshops, seminars, etc. But sometimes I wish our university gave to foreigner students more opportunities to get scholarships, Korean class, or cultural event. Luckily this year we went to Jeonju. It was the first time our university prepared this cultural trip. The first thing I did was calling my friends and join to the trip. Although I went to Jeonju years ago it was different, this time I went with university people and it was the first trip with foreigner students of our university. I really enjoy it, met new people and had fun. It was a really nice cultural trip.
I think this study trip to Korea is a unique one and every moment for me is valuable. My mom and dad always supported me throughout but specially my dad because he also graduate from the same university and connect me better to this life. I appreciate the effort of my parents, classmates and friends to support me every time I need them both Korean and Argentine friends.
Now that I have 1 year left I want I’m getting closer to graduate in Hong Ik University. I hope everything learn here will help me to be a good designer and a better person. I think fear to know and open my own mind to another culture and people is a thing of the past. I’m really glad and lucky to be here in Korea and learn new things. It’s a great opportunity and experience that I have till now.
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