ISC: Yewon Kim from University of Virginia
The summer I experienced at Ewha Women’s University was not short of transformative for me. Although I am Korean-American, I rarely had the opportunity to surround myself with Korean friends or people in the U.S., or did I have the opportunity to visit South Korea often. I knew that embarking on the journey to attend the International Summer College was going to be an eye-opening experience, but I did not expect the extent to which I would learn about myself and other people. Being able to befriend and live with people from all corners of the world, as well as experience the idiosyncrasies of their cultures, taught me things I did not know I needed to know.
Going out to experience the culture of Seoul after class with fellow students and PEACE buddies, experiencing funny culture shocks, shopping, and getting lost, were a few of my fondest memories from the program. The sense of oneness I felt with the people who originally had very little in common with me, was exhilarating as we could share the commonality of being foreigners in the city. Every experience I had with these people and with the country became memories that I wished to cherish for the rest of my life. I learned not only about others, but also about the sounds and sights of my home country of which I felt so much more connected to by the end of the Summer College. Being able to go on culturally immersive field trips, as well as being able to seek out short individual embarkations alone, taught me to gain a deeper understanding of South Korean society, and where I fit in with it as a Korean-American. These valuable experiences and friendships made with fellow students and PEACE buddies extended well beyond the short four weeks of the program, and I brought back home with me not only more knowledge, but also an experience that will stay with me for a lifetime.