How Different? – The United States and China
How Different? – The United States and China
  • Kee Seong Eun-hye
  • 승인 2007.11.05 23:01
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Every summer vacation, there is a ‘Globalization Project’ which offers a great opportunity to Sookmyungians to visit foreign sister-universities and carry out projects.  Again this summer, 125 Sookmyungians did their project somewhere else in the world.  After finishing their project, 2007 Sookmyung Global Project: return briefing session was held on Oct 11 at the room 612 of theQueenSunheonBuilding .  In the meeting, the top seven teams presented their reports.  They visited the United States, France, Japan, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, respectively. 

Among the seven teams, The Sookmyung Times met Yang Eun Mo and Cho Moon Jeong who visited theAmericanUniversity located in Washington, D.C., the and Noh Ji Heui, Lee Ji Eun, and Lee Jae Eun who visitedHebeiUniversity situated inBaoding, China.  How different are the United States and China from Korea?  Listen to what they said.

Part 1, the United States

Differences in the University                                                                                                             “There was big difference in the lecture.  Except PBL and discussion lectures, SMU has original lecture form, in which professor speaks to the students.  However, at theAmericanUniversity, the desks were arranged to facilitate discussion, and university invited speakers.  The students could discuss with them freely,” said Yang Eun Mo.  

“Moreover, American students use teaching aids during the lecture by preparing them thoroughly.  I had an opportunity to attend a lecture.  Even though the situation wasn’t expected, big world maps and small regional maps were stationed so we could use them,” she added.  Cho Moon Jeong said, “Individually, I could taste the freedom and disengaged atmosphere by seeing students who ate lunch on the lawn or bench and played sports as though they were in summer vacation.”

Differences in the Life

“New thing that I found there was a tip culture, which is not popular in Korea but one part of American culture.  In Korea, you tip at just a few restaurants, but in the U.S.A., it's a part of life,” said Cho Moon Jeong.  “We had a chance to ride in a taxi.  When we took off, the taxi driver said, “Thank you, ladies,” again, again, and again.  So we said, “Thank you.”  Then, we didn’t know what he meant.  Latter, we learned that the saying “Thank you, ladies.” was asking us for a tip.” 


She spoke of one other difference that she experienced.  “Every state has different features.  We visited Washington, D.C. and New York.  Even though one is near the other, their atmosphere is so different.  Also, the traffic system was well-organized in the U.S.A..  People stopped at intersections, even at small alleys.  It was impressive for me.”           


Part 2, China

Differences in the Food and Traffic

“I was not experienced eating Chinese food, so I was surprised at the Chinese food culture.  In China, a lot of food is greasy.  Also they use spices a lot.  When I met an exchange student, she bought me donkey meat.  However, it was hard to eat because it didn’t taste right to me.  But I couldn’t reject her kind intentions,” said Noh Ji Heui and she talked about  China’s traffic, also.  “China’s traffic is terrible.  Cars avoid people in the street.  As I rode in a taxi, I was afraid since the taxi driver drove so fast.  I think it is so scary that foreigners can’t ride a car.”


Differences in the Words

Lee Jae Eun talked about some confusion which resulted from different usage of words.  “When we went by train, one of our team members was sitting separately from us.  So, we asked a man to change his seat with my friend’s.  At that time, we used the name ‘uncle’ when we called him.  But the person seated next to him said it was wrong.  She said that using ‘Mr.’ is right when we speak to someone we don’t know.  It is because it’s more respectful, and that ‘uncle’ is rude.  It threw me into confusion.”     


Differences in the Image

“Some people still think China is dirty.  However, this is not always the case anymore.  Shanghai and Beijing are developed cities.  I thought that China is developing more than Korea.  Also, there were many Korean signboards and I could hear Korean being spoken because a lot of Koreans live in China.  In this view, I want to explain that China is not as dirty, underdeveloped, or as unsanitary as I thought.  China is really keen to develop because of the 2008 Olympics,” said Noh Ji Heui.


Noh Ji Heui said, “Except few universities, there is no program which offers students to go abroad and visit sister-universities with project like ‘Globalization Project’ in Sookmyung Women’s University.  However, a lot of Sookmyungians are not aware of this program.  I expect the more Sookmyungians have information about this and the more of them do project effectively.”  As she stated, SMU gives students the opportunity to follow the Globalization Trend, but it's up to the students.  Through the 'Globalization Project,' Sookmyungians are expected of take-offs into the world.  


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