Love Lasts in Overseas
Last year, I arrived in Hawaii on August 24. It was much cooler than I expected. It was not that humid, either. During the fall semester, I lived in Waikiki with a nice roommate who was from California. My roommate was younger than me, but she cared about me a lot, like an older sister. For example, when I was so sick that I could not go to school, my roommate gave me very strong vitamins and medicine. Although I hung out most of the time with foreign friends including my roommate, I could meet Korean friends in Korean church as well. They were such friendly people, so whenever I felt homesick, they encouraged me a lot. Even though I went to Hawaii by myself, I was not alone anymore. Also, since I went to the church for a Bible study every Friday, I was able
to hang out with American Christian friends, and get to know them. We were like family. In addition from the winter vacation, I moved to a foreign friend’s house in Kailua, which is one of the most beautiful places to live in Oahu Island (Waikiki is in Honolulu in Oahu Island). Living with them was such a great blessing for me. Also, thanks to my Hawaiian family, I could experience many different kinds of American culture. Furthermore, living with them helped me to improve my English proficiency.
Further Own Learning
Meanwhile, I also met fabulous professors and classmates at HPU. In fact, I was able to take any courses that I wanted to because my major was general studies for a year. However, in SMU, my major is Division of Education and I have studied School of English as a double major, so I wanted to take some classes related to my original majors. Also, I have heard that HPU has very good TESOL programs. It was true. There are a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, certificate TESOL programs, and so forth. I took part in the certificate program, so I could get a TESOL certificate in two semesters with 24 credit hours of specified courses including an observation class and student teaching. Observing language classrooms was very interesting and I learned lots of useful tips from real learning situations.
In addition, I needed to do some studentteaching. My students were Korean students at Kookmin University (KMU). KMU sent HPU high-quality equipment, which includes a camera, a microphone, and a speaker, and they wanted to try anything that could be useful for their students with that fancy equipment. Therefore, my professor suggested to me that I become a student teacher for KMU. One of my classmates also wanted to participate in this program during the summer session, so we became partners. We made lesson plans together, and did team teaching. In fact, I was very nervous at the beginning of the student teaching. I did not have much confidence with my English, because I am not a native speaker. However, through this student teaching, I realized that if I have good lessons, people will quickly forget about my being a non-native speaker. Thus, it went better than I expected. Our team teaching was effective and unique. As I mentioned above, our target students were Korean like me, but my partner was not. It helped us to make some lesson plans really effectively, because I was able to make some activities based on my knowledge about the Korean culture. In addition, students could be involved in our lessons well; they were motivated to teach my partner Korean culture naturally, since she didn’t know much about the Korean culture. Sometimes, my partner talked about her culture as well. During the study abroad program, I met a lot of nice people and got to know the beauty of nature. Also, I learned many things from
classes with passionate professors and friendly classmates. Truly, my Hawaiian life was a successful experience. Mahalo! (Thank you in Hawaiian).