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Seoul Searching: Cultures bonded by language

4 May 2014 By Ellen Back, Columnist No Comments

This week was filled with a ton of exciting events. First and foremost, I finally got hired as an English tutor! I met my student at a café in Sinchon, where we spent a couple hours getting to know each other as we talked about her goals in terms of wanting to learn English. Twice a week for two-hour sessions, I will be tutoring Hee-Jung, a college student who plans to move to the United States this fall, in order to attend a university in California. She hopes to improve her speaking, reading and writing skills before she leaves. So far, we’ve had two sessions and she tells me our lessons have been a big help. I look forward to continue working with her once I get back from my trip.

In addition to meeting Hee-jung, this week I also made a group of new friends. Their names are Aaron, Matt, Daniel and Michael. They are all students in the Korean Language Institute who have come to Yonsei in order to learn Korean. Aaron is half Korean, Matt is Chinese, Daniel is Norwegian and Michael is an adopted full Korean. Since they all have an interest in improving their speaking skills, my friends and I have agreed to help. We’ve had a lot of fun talking in Korean together since everyone is on a different level. Besides getting a job and meeting new friends, I am also thrilled about having another opportunity to travel! This time tomorrow I will be in Bangkok, Thailand. Our friend Reina left yesterday in order to spend time more with her family, so Kerry and I will be meeting up with her at the airport. Since we are only staying in Thailand for four days, we have every day planned out for our entire visit. Reina’s going to show us around and take us to her favorite restaurants, shopping malls and sight-seeing locations. I also hope to get one of those fish foot massage while I’m there! I’ll be taking a lot of pictures, so I’ll be sure to include one in the post for next week.

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