Milestone of My Life
Milestone of My Life
  • Kang Yewok
  • 승인 2010.09.13 08:28
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The experience as an exchange student was very valuable to me.  I could face myself, and find out about myself.  I could also find out what I really wanted to do.

Challenging and Obvious Dream

For me, being an exchange student means more than just studying abroad.  It was a challenge to my limitation.  At university, I met students who are superior in English to me. And that stimulated me to start studying English.  Finally, I got conditions for exchange student, like TOEFL scores and university grades.  I applied for University in America 2008, but I failed.  At that moment, I realized there is one point that I missed.  It was the answer to the question; what should I study abroad, for what purpose? Until that, exchange student meant just experience in abroad and life in an English speaking country.  But I realized, I need an obvious goal for my major and field.  So before I applied at the next chance, I attended English language classes, and considered my future career.  I found notice for 2009,AustrailiaGriffithUniversity .  GriffithUniversity is famous for Hotel management and Tourism, and my major is the same.  I thought I wanted to study my major at a high quality university with foreign students.  After fierce competition, I was selected as the only applicant forGriffithUniversity .


Introduction of Gold Coast

Australia Gold Coast is a vacation spot where you can enjoy warm sunlight all year round. Every year, not only foreign visitors but also many Australian visitors come this spot. Griffith University Gold Coast campus is situated near many tourist attractions.  I usually went to Surfers’ Paradise Beach and it is really a beautiful spot.  At dawn, I enjoyed sunrise, and at afternoon, under warm sunlight, I enjoyed reading books and listening to music.  At night, I played with my friends at various kinds of parties.


Gold Coast Campus ofGriffithUniversity ? 


 Griffith University is famous for Hotel management and Tourism, and there are many Asians. For me, classes of tourism and event theory were very interesting, compared to SMU.  I was very surprised at students’ passion for classes and I was satisfied with the practical contents of the class.  I discovered the possibility of tourist industry at tourism economics class which integrates tourism into economics.  In the Conference and Event management class, I had chance to participate in a project of 2010 second half Conference of Eco-Tourism Australia Association, with students from various countries.  And I felt very fulfilled when our idea was used for practical events.  By attending these classes, I could feel true attraction to tourism.  In addition, the university held parties every month for students, so I could easily be friends with other countries’ students.

Living as an Exchange Student

 My living atGriffithUniversityVillage was the one of the most impressive memories I have while I have been an exchange student.  Even though theGriffithUniversityVillage is a school dormitory, students here are so openhearted that they held party a lot.  Because of participating in weekly parties, I could make plenty of friends, and improve my English very fast.  As well as the parties, facilities in the dorm such as pool and theater helped me relax and enjoy the time.  At the university, I hung out with four American students and I could learn English with an American accent even in.  These days, when I think of those days, trivial daily life like going to the grocery store and library with my friends, dining, and exercising in the afternoon, is deeply in my memory.  For the first time leaving parents behind, I lived with other students from different nations making meals, cleaning, at last understanding each other by fighting, and learning how to spend money wisely. Appreciating all these experiences, I could be a mature grown-up.  I bought the same earrings with my friends one month before I left.  This exchange student program became a precious experience to all of us.

To the Sookmyungians Preparing for an Exchange Student Program 

 What I want to emphasize the most is, have a clear thought on what you want to study ahead applying for the program and be exposed to English using surroundings as much as possible by attending lectures in English.  For the students who are to leave as exchange students, I hope them not to concentrate on improving English only.  When they do so they are not able to appreciate academic experiences. Additionally, they are easily being distressed because their English skills are different from other students.  Furthermore, I hope them not to limit themselves because of the nationality that “I am Korean.”  ‘I,’ myself, is the most important that it is significant to experience as much as ‘I’ want. Finally, students have to evade racial discrimination.  For the reason to make a improvement in English skill, most Korean exchange students show amicable attitude to western students, while they tend not to Asian students.  It is agreeable to have relationships with students from all the nations since this helps us to understand and experience different and various cultures.  In addition to that, we can meet Asian friends easily after the program ends.  The fascination of the exchange student program is to grow up and encounter oneself in the process of accepting differences without perception.  The most difficult part was the linguistic communication.  The first fact that I realized is that other foreign students cannot afford my poor English but they don’t care about me.  Since they had other friends fluent in English from English-speaking countries, I was the one who needed to make an attempt. I realized that to be a friend it was necessary for me to participate in conversations and be with them as much as possible.  I participated in parties to make friends, watching movies and dramas to study English, and to eradicate the fear of using English.  I was hurt when the other students laughed when I used English, but day by day I was accustomed to using English and became real friends with them, especially my roommate, breaking the language barrier.


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