Name: Jun Sung Yang
Location of Study: Seoul, South Korea
Program of Study: Yonsei International Summer Program
Sponsors: Liu Family
A brief personal bio:
Although I was born in South Korea, it has been nearly 10 years since I moved to the United States. I was at least able to speak Korean with my parents back home, but now I barely speak any Korean because I am always surrounded by people who only speak English.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
I have not gone back to South Korea for nearly 10 years now, and this summer is probably the last chance for me to visit South Korea and do the program before I graduate because I have to get internships for summers in coming years. However, my parents are not financially capable enough to support me for this language program. I really wish to visit South Korea before I totally forget its culture and language.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
When I came to the United States about 10 years ago, I learned English simply by going to school and talking to other kids. Although I studied grammar and writing in English classes, I learned how to speak by talking to other kids, and I believe learning Korean is similar as well. I will participate in multiple activities outside of my classes. The Yonsei summer program offers field trips to many attractions in Seoul; this is an opportunity for me to not only learn Korean culture but also to make friends. Also, there are over 80 clubs at Yonsei, and I am excited to participate and meet different people. There are clubs like IYC (International Yonsei Community) and HUG (Hands up for Gathering), and these clubs help international students to come in contact with Korean students. The Yonsei summer program also offers Korean cooking class, mask dance, Korean Calligraphy, and many other exciting activities. While all these activities are fun and great, I think making relationships with people I meet during these activities is also significant.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
1) At the end of the summer, I will be able to communicate in Korean with native speakers on academic and political topics.
2) I will be able to joke around with Korean international student at Notre Dame.
3) I will be able to go to Korea by myself without anyone’s help.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience:
As I am getting older, I am starting to realize how important it is to remember my Korean Heritage. Although I have assimilated into American culture, the fact is that I am still Korean. However, I am starting to forget how to write and to speak Korean, so this summer program would be a great opportunity for me to remind myself of Korean culture and language. It is also significant to note that many top companies in the world are accentuating the importance of diversity; therefore, it would be a huge advantage for me to understand different cultures and speak another language. Plus, there is always a chance that I might go back to my home country for work, or personal reasons, and it would be extremely helpful to fluently speak Korean. Furthermore, when I came to college, I ascertained that learning languages is not only an intellectual development but also is an easier way to get accepted by people who speak different languages. For me, taking a Korean class at Notre Dame was a turning point decision because I can now approach Koreans easier. If I go to a university where everyone is Korean, I am confident that my Korean will improve even further.
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Reflection on my language learning and intercultural gains:
Reflection on my summer language abroad experience overall:
How I plan to use my language and intercultural competences in the future: