SSU oversees the Foreign Student Helper program. One of ST reporters recently joined the program to provide you with a vivid review and more information.ㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍㆍ Ed
Last spring, I participated in the school program, Foreign Student Helper, which was established by the Office of International Affairs. The Foreign Student Helper program connects Soongsilians with foreign students. They exchange their cultures and learn from the lifestyles of other countries. This program recruits Soongsilians throughout four seasons, spring, summer, fall, and winter. I participated in that program during the spring season program, when there were too many students applying.
However, many students like me hesitate to apply because of “the language barrier.” I cannot speak any language that the Office of International Affairs states as basic language (Japanese, Chinese, and English) fluently. But all of these thoughts were unfounded fears. My friend, a foreign student, knows basic Korean, and we could communicate well. Familiarity with short Korean phrases facilitates understanding.
Also, in relation with the purpose of language exchange, I teach Korean to foreign students, and they also teach their native languages to me. It’s quite useful. I become a “Mentor” to a foreigner friend, but I also become a “Mentee” at the same time.
Through language exchange, this program broadens the viewpoint of culture exchange, and appropriates the “Global Brain,” a very useful and appropriate skill nowadays. We can introduce Korean culture to foreign students by visiting Gyeongbokgung Palace and other famous museums. Then, it’s also a chance to know Korean culture deeper. Also, by introducing K-pop, I can learn about advanced music culture. Through this program, I learn about aspects of Korean culture that I do not know well, and learn about my foreign counterpart’s culture and lifestyle.
While I can debate with foreigners about social problems, including Korean youth unemployment rate, boycotting, and minimum wages, I realize that other cultures have considerably different opinions. If you are knowledgeable about these facts, you can easily adapt to global markets, and be ready to adjust as necessary. Based on this viewpoint, the Foreign Student Helper program is useful.
Pick any activity among the choices. Basically, one can arrange for a one-on-one meeting, but group meetings are fine, too.
Park Yoo-bin (ST Reporter)