Hello, my name is Shin Yujin, and I'm Lee Yebin. We are English members of the Sookmyung Interpretation Volunteer group. Nice to meet you. We hope that today's interview will help many international students who will visit the school in the future.
How did you end up coming to Sookmyung Women's University?
My senior introduced the school to me. That was the first time I got to know Sookmyung. I think this is the main reason I came to Sookmyung at that time. I came to Sookmyung as an exchange student because my previous school had a relationship with Sookmyung. And the other reason is that this school is located in a very nice neighborhood. I can easily visit popular places in Seoul like Myungdong, Itaewon, or Namsan Tower.
Can you share with us your best experience or memories at Sookmyung?
I have many wonderful memories while I was studying in Sookmyung. I was especially able to meet many international students from other countries. I think that was the best experience I've ever had because they all have different backgrounds. I could meet girls from different cultures, who spoke different languages and had different tastes in cuisine. I think that was a very wonderful experience to get to know more people from different backgrounds.
Do the Korean education system and Indonesian education system have any differences in how they teach and study?
When I studied in Sookmyung for the first time, especially during the exam week, I was surprised. Korean students study really hard even until morning. They don't sleep the whole night. It’s different from my country. They do study but not that hard, but I think Koreans in general work hard. When I studied at Sookmyung, I knew Sookmyunians were really competitive. It's hard to get an A because they are working so hard. But it also motivates me to study.
Were there any particularly impressive or interesting classes you took at Sookmyung University?
I had a lot of interesting classes in Sookmyung. The recent one I took was a drama class. I took this class before COVID-19, so I could have the class offline. At the beginning of the class, we had a small fun interactive activity. We created a small drama. It was a really fun class. At the end, I had to write down something about the drama on paper. It was cool but hard. The class was the most interesting class I have ever had. Also, I had two group members for the drama, and we became good friends through the class.
Is there any course or lecture that is not available at Sookmyung at the moment, but which you would like to attend later on?
Korean classes. If you are an exchange student, you can take that class, but if you are a regular student, you can't take the class even though you are an international student. Maybe after COVID-19, they can change the rule. But it would be really nice if our regular students can also sign up for the class. Even if you are a regular student, there is a need to take classes in Korean, like writing or listening. If we can learn more Korean, it would be better.
You must have had some plans before but had to give up due to Covid-19. What were the plans and what regrets do you have?
I think it was the 2019 winter break, I was planning to go to Japan, but at that time, there was the Covid-19 outbreak, and everyone got into a panic. So, I canceled everything. After situation gets better, I am considering visiting Japan. I think that was the biggest thing I regret. During that time, I spent about 3 months staying at home just going outside for buying grocery stuff. Not being able to go outside and do things like on normal days. Not being able to meet friends and people was hard. It might be the hardest for everyone.
Which Korean culture do you find interesting or enjoyable, such as K-pop, Korean dramas, and Korean movies?
The main reason I came to Korea is Korean dramas. I love Korean dramas. Recently, I watched the drama "Sisyphus" in which Park Shin Hye is the main character and "Start Up," which was so popular in my country. SUZY described how so many young people wanted to start their own company. That's why that drama got so famous. Korean dramas also helped me learn how Korean people use this grammar or that vocabulary in a natural way, in real life. I think that is a great thing. I also love IU, and especially BLACKPINK. They make good music.
Is there any experience you have had in Korea that you would like to recommend to an international student?
I remember I participated in a student club called GPM, which is a Global Peer Mentor. That program was created to help international students to know Korean culture more. So, I was paired with Korean students. At that time, I was able to learn about Korean culture a lot. I went out for dinner together (before COVID) and watched some movies; they even helped me learn Korean. I visited some popular places like Gwanghwamun and wore Hanbok (Korean traditional clothes). It was such a wonderful experience. As international student, I still don't know the culture, but they helped us a lot. I think it's good if you could make friends with Korean students. I think this kind of program, the program from GPM and SMIV, is helpful. Through this kind of program, you can make not just other international students, but also Korean friends.
If you could take one thing from Korea to your hometown, what would you take?
I would take Sirutteok home. I really like 'Tteok (rice cake)', and I also like Injeolmi. I know a famous tteok place near our school.
What does Sookmyung Women's University mean to you? Try to tell us by starting the sentences with S, M, W, and U.
While I was studying at Sookmyung, I met so many strong, independent women so S would be Strong, M would be Magnificent, W is Wonderful, and U is Unique. It was a unique experience for me. I have never studied with only women. This is because in my country we don't have schools just for women. So, U for unique.
Today, we talked about so many things about your experience at Sookmyung. We enjoyed hearing about your experiences today. We are definitely sure that today's interview would be a great help to foreign students who are hoping to apply for the exchange student program at Sookmyung.
We hope you make a lot of great memories and also achieve all your goals at Sookmyung. Thank you for your interview today!
SMIV: Sookmyung Interpretation Volunteer group
SMIV stands for Sookmyung Interpretation Volunteer group, and it's a leadership group of Sookmyung Women's University. We were first formed in 2002, and we are also known as the first translation volunteer group that consists of university students.
The members of our group can speak various foreign languages including English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French, and German. We take part in various events inside the school, join international conferences and forums and make memorable experiences. So, if you have a friend at Sookmyung, please let them know of this amazing opportunity.