Thousands of blessings from the eleven of us to Ms Kim
I had always wanted to visit South Korea and I recently had the chance to spend a period of time in this amazing country. Unlike its northern neighbour which is pretty much closed to visitors, South Korea is a welcoming and hospitable country. It is an interesting place with a unique culture and a highly developing economy.
I flew into the capital Seoul with three new-made friends, Zhao Yen, Hui Sze and Sze Sern. Upon arrival in the city, it was the marked contrast between modern skyscrapers and high-end shopping malls and the shanty towns that was immediately striking. It was an eye-opener to see tiny quaint traditional shops along little narrow alleyways which branched off from the wide streets lined by fancy boutiques amidst the clutch of great tourist attractions.
Having said that, my tour itinerary did not actually begin in Seoul but in the city of Jeonju which is located in the North Jeolla Province to participate in the Summer Feeling Korea Programme organised by Chonbuk National University (CBNU). CBNU arranged a lot of activities to ensure participants could really experience and assimilate into the new environment. Among the events I participated in, what was most impressive to me was the Korean Language classes each weekday morning.
Recalling the first day when I came to this land, I have noticed how difficult it was to survive in such a community where it has differences not only in language, but also in culture. Even though I was confronted with not only interactional norms, but also a language that was different from my home country, I still believe that studying a foreign language (i.e. Hangeul) in the country where that language is spoken could enhance the learner’s ability significantly and indeed, it was a good practice for me.
Our first Korean language class began when our “Ye Pu Da (예쁘다, meaning pretty)” lecturer, Kim Mi-Jeong walked into the classroom and gave a lecture to eleven of us. Ms Kim’s lively teaching included an interesting class on relevant Korean music videos to attract us, Korean songs which related to our lessons and dances to help us pick up the language quickly!
The afternoon and evening sessions were visits to places such as Hanok Village, Jeonbuk Hyndai FC Club, Hyundai Car Factory, Samrye Culture Art Village, Everland, Temple stay, and some traditional experiences like making pottery, attending a traditional wedding, experiencing their traditional music, and learning the K-pop dance. All these visits were all unforgettable to me.
For friends that love traveling, I would highly recommend you to pay a visit to South Korea. I assure you that you will have lot of fun and incredible experiences there. You will never want to leave this beautiful place and you will miss it so much at the end of your trip, like I did.
Some “Groupfie” of our Korean Language Classmates
Photos of Our Beloved Lecturer
Photos of the Activities in Class
‘This is the way you do it,’ Ms Kim says. Performing with Yi Jin, my groupmate.
A treat from our lecturer!