|Jieun, Kim, Andrss|
Even though I am enrolling in CNU, I did not know anything about international students. I was curious about them, so as a Worldwide CNU cub reporter, I planned this interview to be a friendly article for both CNU students and CNU exchange students. I hope Korean students will enjoy reading about the life of an exchange student and have more interest in them. For exchange students, I hope this article will be helpful for their study and stay in CNU.
Exchange student Info.
Major: International Trade
Exchange date: August 2015 to September 2019
Major: Korean studies/ Computational Linguistics
Exchange date: March 2017 to March 2018
Q1. Do you have any interesting stories about enrolling in CNU?
Andres: During the Language Course opening ceremony, a police officer came and showed us a video of real accidents, of people jay walking and getting hit by cars or buses, which was really scary...
Kim: As an international student, it was interesting to me that I could take whatever classes I wanted in CNU but, before getting excited, international students should note that sometimes English classes are not really done in English.
Q2. How would you praise CNU to your friends? (If there is anything)
Andres: I would say that CNU has a very beautiful Campus, with natural scenery and buildings. In my case, being in CNU helped me study because the campus is very clean and organized. It has various restaurants and coffee shops. I almost did not need to leave the campus.
Kim: The fact that CNU is outside of Seoul is a benefit because students are able to study without many distractions. Exchange students don’t stick with foreign students as much as Seoul exchange students do. In this way, I guess exchange students in CNU are able to fit in with Korean students more. Plus, there are buses in the campus, which is not very common.
Q3. What kind of fantasies did you have about Korea before you came, and what was the reality?
Andres: I have not had many ideas about Korea but I knew that Korean people are hard working and that students study very hard. When I came I found out that these ideas were quite right.
Kim: I really did not have fantasies about Korea even though I majored in Korean in Germany. But I want to tell the foreigners who do to not expect everyone to be interested in you because you’re a foreigner, and have in mind that most Korean college students don’t talk about K-pop since they’re mostly not interested.
Q4. What do you think about ‘Makdong’?
Andres: I have not experienced this... Kim: Makdong is really just cute. It was like summer culture in Germany.
Q5. Tell me how it felt studying in the CNU library. Was the study environment different from your country?
Andres: I have studied in the library every morning before class and I really like it. When I was in University in Italy we didn't study in a cubicle environment like CNU but I like it because it gives me the feeling of being alone, which makes me concentrate on my studying. During breaks, I sometimes meet interesting people. Kim: Even though I am sad I was not issued a student ID card yet, I was impressed with the school’s book selection and I recommend foreign students to use the library because of the good Korean language learning books.
Q6. What do think about Korean drinking culture? How was the ‘Sul-game’ and ‘Chi-maek’?
Andres: I think Korean drinking culture is very interesting, especially the drinking etiquette, like serving the drinks with both hands and turning your face when you drink with an older person. I feel drinking games help a lot to break the ice; they’re fun and they help people to open up. In general, I feel Korean Culture is pretty strict, but in my experience, when Korean people drink they tend to open up and get very friendly. I like Chi-maek, and I have noticed that almost all Koreans like to eat it. It is always a great solution for Friday or Saturday dinner.
Kim: ‘Sul-game’ was a cute experience where people looked quite relaxed with no forced drinking whatsoever. Chi-maek seemed like a fun combination because in Germany we only have KFC.
Q7. How are CNU’s club activities?
Andres: They have been great for me because the Taekwondo club which I joined had very friendly and welcoming members. There were training sessions and also tournaments, Taekwondo presentations, and social activities. I met good friends in the Taekwondo club.
Kim: I would strongly advise foreign students to join a club! It’s one of the best opportunities to make Korean friends and because of the lack of speaking, sports clubs have less of a burden on communication. Even though Taekwondo could be hard for beginners, I am sure I could suffer with you together. Especially in Taekwondo club, there’s even a foreigner discount. Everybody in CNU is welcome.
Q8. Is there anything you want to say to CNU students?
Andres: I would suggest to them to keep being as they are, mostly nice and welcoming.
Kim: I want to tell them to please don’t be afraid of foreigners. Don’t think that all foreigners speak perfect English or they can’t speak any Korean. Most of them try to make an effort to talk with you and while they do, most of them would be very happy.
BONUS. How would you say CNU life was with ‘three words’?
Andres: Studying. Exercising. Fun.
Kim: One. Time. Experience.
ji-eun Son, CUB Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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