2022 EISC Tesimonial
James Francis Kerwin
Hey guys, my name is James Kerwin.
When I first arrived at Ewha, I was feeling a strange emotion I wasn't used to feeling: fear. I tried to play it down but my first night in Korea, I was actually really scared. I was scared of being so far away from home for so long. I was scared because I was visiting a country where I didn't speak a lick of the native tongue. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to get a TB test the next morning, and I'd never end up in a dorm. And, most of all, being so far from home, I was scared that I'd never be able to connect with any other people in a meaningful way.
Ewha helped me assuage these fears. Now I can say, I actually really enjoy being far away from home. After taking a single Korean language course and watching like at least 12 Korean movies, I think I'm pretty much fluent. The TB thing was no biggie, although the new Covid test I had to get the next morning was a bit of a pain in the ass. Despite that, and most importantly, Ewha helped me meet and connect with people like I'd never considered possible.
I've met people from Netherlands, Hong Kong, Peru... I've never thought I'd be able to relate to people from such different places, but here in Korea we're all foreigners! Of course, there are also the people I've met from Korea, many of which are not here today but still hold a special place in my heart for making my visit to Korea as memorable as it has been. I can't forget to mention my Peace Buddy Sam, who helped a lot, endless thanks to her.
I can talk on and on about all the great things we all must have done here. Just this weekend I went to Jeju and climbed a mountain! I'm certain you all must have done spectacular things as well. For those of you who went on the Ewha field trips, I'm sure you enjoyed them. Even the lines at Lotte World are fun in Korea! Maybe that's going a step too far. Regardless, our experiences here have been endlessly enjoyable and rewarding.
The classes I have taken have been excellent. I really never thought I could learn so much Korean, having no prior experience, in such a short amount of time. Before I came here, I wasn't aware of the Korean culture of education, but now I know that it's pretty hardcore over here. The 2 and a half hour classes do not mess around, that's for sure. That being said, these classes were worth it for the amount I've managed to learn so quickly. I can confidently say Korean Cinema has made me fall in love with Korean movies, like Decision to Leave which I highly recommend you watch in theaters before you go, and thanks to Korean Language I can even read their titles in Hangeul.
As it is, the world is far from perfect. I'm sure we're all aware of that. There's a whole lot to be afraid of or anxious about. Looking at the way things are around us, sometimes I think I really do have good reason to be scared. But my time at Ewha has made me realize: maybe not. Maybe the world seems like a scary place, but if you just take a step out of your comfort zone, you'll realize that things aren't too bad. In fact, here in Korea and at Ewha, things are better than "not too bad." Things are pretty great. Thank you.