Hi everyone! I’m Rose and I’ve been asked to hold a short speech for you. Our time here has finally come to an end… We’ve done so many things. It feels like I’ve been here a lot longer than a month. I’ve been to Namsan Tower, Lotte World. I’ve made kimchi, I even went to a raccoon cafe… .
But you know what the funny thing is? I don’t think these will be the things I’ll remember most from my time here. What I will remember are not the big tourist attractions like Myeongdong or SM Town or even the DMZ, no matter how fun or interesting they were. What I will remember is “studying” in the lounge with my friends, and doing laundry with my friends at midnight. What I’ll remember is the time I met a former comfort woman, who wanted to change her outfit in the middle of our meeting because she wanted to wear her most beautiful clothes for us. What I’ll remember is all the kind elderly Korean people who always tried to help my friends and I on public transport, even if they didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Korean and their help was not always necessary… I will also remember how inspiring my teachers were and how they motivated me to work harder for a program I wouldn’t even get credit for. And most importantly, I’ll remember the friends I made. I know, a little cheesy, but it’s true. The CB gang was formed our first day of the program and I just feel like I’ve known them for a much longer time than just a month.
Being at Ewha was not just an experience that was a lot of fun, it has also given me a deeper understanding of Korea and issues that I was not aware of before I came here. Before I came here, I thought the concept of a women’s university was a little strange, and I chuckled a little at what I thought was a misspelling of the term “women’s university”. But being here has shown me how important to women’s roles in Korea a woman’s university was and is. When my gender relations professor took me to the Women’s History Museum here on campus, I was shocked in the best way to see so many photographs of a 100, 150 years ago, featuring mainly or only women in positions that I was normally used to only seeing men in. They were scholars, teachers, Ewha presidents.
Ewha has shown me that it does not matter what gender, colour, sexuality, or age you are, you should always be allowed to follow your own path and defy the expectations that have been set for you. Being here has made me realize how lucky I am to be in my position and has motivated me to not just be in this privileged position but also help others who might not have the advantages that I have. I am sad that our time at Ewha has come to an end, but I’m sure we will meet again in the future. I thank you all for listening to my speech and I wish you a safe trip home.