Park, Caroline

Name: Caroline Park
Location of Study: South Korea
Program of Study: Korean
Sponsor(s): Liu Family

4 thoughts on “Park, Caroline

  1. Reflective Journal Entry-Task 1

    I have just finished my first week in the Korean Immersion Program here at Sogang University in Seoul. It has been slightly challenging getting accustomed to the culture here in comparison to that of the United States’ cultural atmosphere. Being in this environment, however, has allowed me to pick up different sayings not commonly taught in the classrooms, yet used widely in the community. 빡쌔다 and 대박 are two slang words I have picked up since being here. 빡쌔다 refers to going hard or all out, while 대박 is usually used in the context of expressing astonishment. For example, you can say 내일에는 공붕를 빡쌔게 할거야. This means that tonight, you’ll relax and play, but tomorrow you will study hard to make up for the night before. It’s fun to use this phrase because it seems to encourage going out with my newly acquired friends and exploring the city rather than doing the workbook assignments, which we do eventually get to. 대박 can be used when you order a fruit bingsu and it comes out looking much better than your expectations. I have found that people in the age category of 18-25 typically use these phrases more. While adults are familiar with the sayings because they hear it so often amongst the young adults, they do not use these words themselves. These slang terms just come out naturally for young adults so they don’t even realize that they’re using them. The adults say that they’ve learned to ignore these sayings so it has no real affect over them. Although I am not yet at the level of using these terms naturally, I am becoming more aware of these sayings and can hopefully utilize them so that I live up to the standards of my generation. Until my next blog, 안녕!

  2. Reflective Journal Entry-Task 6

    There are some people here in Korea who can automatically tell that I am a foreigner while there are also some who ask me for directions when I hardly know where I am going myself for the most part. When I tell them that I am from the States, they are fascinated and ask from what part I am from. I reply that I’m from New York and the response I get is “Wow, so lucky!” As I was getting my hair dyed, I asked my hair stylist what she thought of America. She was only a few years older than me. She said that she would love to be given a chance to live in America because she found the culture very interesting. She said that life in Seoul gets exhausting because every thing is so fast paced and crowded. Another big part of the culture year is the sauna. Because I wanted to take part in this experience, I went to a sauna and met a ten year old girl who is learning English at her school. She said that she thought America was weird because it is made up of so many different kinds of people and culture. She said she wants to see this one day so she studying hard so she can become fluent in English and experience American life. The last person I interviewed was one of my grandmother’s friend. He is 72 years old and has family living in America. He says he is thankful for a place like America because people can go there and become successful even if they have nothing here. He really believes it is a land full of opportunities.

  3. Reflective Journal Entry-Task 5

    Today we went to a hotel to learn about Korean cuisine and make the food ourselves. We made bulgogi, japchae, and kimbap. These are all dishes that are very popular to the culture. The chef first prepared the dishes and explained the ingredients as we watched before we attempted to make them. Japchae is a noodle dish with meat, a wide variety of vegetables, and soy sauce. First, cook the noodle for eight minutes. Chop up the vegetables and then fry the vegetables separately. After frying the onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, chives, garlic, and green onion. Then cool the noodles before putting in the marination consisting of soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and sugar. Once that is completed, fry the noodles until the liquid is all gone. Finally, mix all the ingredients together. Japchae is a dish that is almost always present at parties, celebrations, and holiday dinners. You can essentially put whatever extra ingredients you want. It is popular because it is easy to make and perfect for large gatherings.

  4. Reflective Journal Entry-Task 4

    When you hear about South Korea, you imagine a place that has progressed drastically in a short period of time. This attitude is partially correct because Seoul is in fact technologically advanced in comparison to many other parts of the world. There are many people who are well-off, and that is the general belief that I had when coming into this country. However, though there are those who are economically comfortable, there are much more who struggle to work in the blistering heat just to make enough to provide for their families on a day-to-day basis. A very elderly man sells his fans for 1,000 won (approximately a dollar) every day. Business is most definitely not blooming as probably 90% of by-passers simply ignore the grandpa on their way to the subway. He says that life is hard, but it is his life so he has to continue doing what he does. There are many people that look down on him and refuse to acknowledge his presence. His physique is worn out and weak; spending hours each day in the extremely hot conditions are far from ideal. But he says that Korea is a wonderful place and he would never even dream about leaving. Though I wish that he would receive better treatment from others, it was touching to hear his story.