Articles From the July 1995 Unification News


Study In Korea Program - Getting Over The Culture Shock

by Kori Richardson-Seoul, Korea

I am 16 years old and I came to Korea in 1990. My parents wanted to come to Korea for many reasons, but our opportunity came when my parents were selected to be dorm parents for the foreign students.

My elder sister Sechany was able to enter the GOP program, but my younger brother, sister and I went directly into Korean public school. At that time I didn't know one word of Korean, or even the Korean alphabet. When I first went to school, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I was in total culture shock. I will never forget the first day of school. Practically the whole school came to my classroom to see the only foreign girl in the school.

My teachers have been very helpful. At that time they taught me how to read and write during their lunch breaks and free time. My first teacher taught me out of a first grade elementary school textbook. I was able to pick up little by little.

Most of the kids at school were very nice and many wanted to be my friends. I was surprised that they were anxious to see me every day. I was always interacting with them and that helped me a lot. After two years I could understand about 50% of conversation and my textbooks. But I still had a lot of vocabulary to learn.

When I went into middle school I was very fortunate to have very nice and understanding teachers. They always seemed to willing to help me. One night I had a dream in which True Father came to me and tested me in Korean and English. That made me feel good.

Now I am in middle school third grade and I can understand and speak about 98% in Korean. I have had my difficult moments, but now I can see that it was worth the trouble to learn Korean at my age. I think the most important things about learning Korean are being around Korean people every day and speaking to them all the time.

Reprinted from "The Western Program's Dormitory News"


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