inspired to come to Ewha because of its history as a innovative university working to empower women one day at a time. Being a Korean-American female, this mission really resonated with me. When I arrived on campus, I immediately felt welcomed and a sense of community belonging. As someone who is queer and gender-non binary, I was interested in the dynamic of learning about gender and sexuality while in the space of an all-women's university. Ewha also gave me the opportunity to take their Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in South Korea course with Professor John Cho, and the skills I learned from the course are ones that I will take with me for the rest of my academic career.
At Ewha I took three courses: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in South Korea, Studio Ceramics, and Korean Language Level 3. While picking a favorite is definitely difficult, I noticed a recurring theme in all three of my classes: that the professors genuinely care for the students and want them to succeed. When I was struggling in my Korean class my professor stayed after class was over to help me on my spelling and grammar. After submitting a rough draft for my final essay, I received thought-out and extensive feedback from my Sex, Gender, and Sexuality course professor. Whenever I would have trouble building a pot in our Ceramics class, our professor would always give us more time and would help us step-by-step. I was struck by how committed the teachers were to learning - both inside and outside of the classroom - as seen in the memorable experiences we had going on field trips to the Seoul Queer Pride Festival and the art galleries at Ewha.
Ewha introduced students to the culture of Seoul and Korea through the field trips they facilitated -- of which my favorite was definitely going to Everland with my friends and testing our driving skills on the bumper cars. With Ewha being located near the center of the city, it was easy for my friends and I to explore new places in Seoul through using the convenient subway system and Kakao maps. Some of the best memories were made in the most unlikely of places and circumstances -- like crowding in a small 노래방 after being tired from classes, when we got stuck outside in the pouring rain and were soaked, or when we walked back home late after a group dinner.
Perhaps one of the most memorable takeaways from attending Ewha were the people I was able to meet. I became close friends with people from other universities within the US and around the world as well. I was surprised by how open-minded and welcoming everyone was to each other -- of which I believe is thanks to how Ewha fostered the community environment. I became instantly close with students in my Sex, Gender, and Sexuality course, and we soon became inseparable, grabbing dinner together every day and making plans for the weekend. We actually already have plans for a meetup in September! My friends from my Studio Ceramics course and I still send each other pictures and talk about Shibas -- a mutual love of ours, and I'll never forget the late nights spent at cafes doing Korean homework together with my friends from Korean 3. The rigor of Ewha summer school pushes students to be their best while also allowing for close bonding and human connection to happen, allowing for a unique blend of both academics and friendships to bloom. Ewha makes it so that academics, friendships, and exploring the culture of Seoul are all integrated within each other, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind summer experience that I will never forget. Thank you Ewha!