Korean High School Cultural Exchange

Monday, 19 September 2016

There is a program that I joined, together with Nicole, which brings us to Jeju to mentor high school students there. It's a joint cause to allow more globalization to the local students here (especially the ones located far away on Jeju Island) and also a good opportunity for us to give back to the society and have some cultural exchange about our countries. On top of getting an expense paid trip for 3 days to Jeju Island, we get to see some of the famous tourist attractions together with the high school students. Although frankly, having been there for 3 times already and would be blowing that number up to 5 by the end of this year, I wasn't looking forward to Jeju, but more toward the mentoring and having an experience to share about my country.

So anyway, in preparation to go to Jeju, we had many practices with our powerpoints and presentations and the 3 of us (Me, Nicole and this Taiwanese girl) did well and were asked to give a presentation to an all-female high school near the Jamsil Baseball Stadium. So on Friday we went down to the school, called Chungshin Girls' Middle & High School. Apparently it's one of the better schools since it's near the Gangnam area as well. 

I was feeling really nervous when we arrived, since I've never given a presentation about my country before, and especially not to a bunch of high school students. I'm also not the most patriotic person that you would meet from Singapore but I tried to be proud of everything my country has to offer. 

Anyway, if you know high schoolers from Singapore, they're certainly NOT the same as the ones in Korea. They were really supportive and had great reactions to the things that we said. When we came into the classroom they were cheering and clapping and while we were presenting they were listening attentively and even asking questions. Singaporean high school students on the other hand.... would be uninterested and even making noise in their own corners (most of them, at least). 

But it was such an enlightening experience and they were genuinely happy to listen to us and learn about our countries which they have heard before but have never had an introduction about it from a native. Anyway, we were introduced by one of the staff, and I did my presentation first, followed by Nicole. 

It was an interesting experience sharing about my country, and coming from me, I was a little bit disappointed that I couldn't share more, or the fact that I did not have any cultural clothes that I could have worn there to show them. But it was ultimately an enriching experience for me as well as the students and yeah, even though there were no monetary benefits or anything, it was really heartwarming and more of a body, mind and soul benefit kind of experience. They were first years in the high school and very impressionable, having big reactions to the many things that we mentioned about our country and having looks of awe at the photos we showed. It was the first time of many things having been to a high school in Korea and being given the opportunity to share so much about my country with the next generation.

Here's a bonus picture of Nicole and her wet pants which she swears happened "from her waterbottle" but I saw no such leak. 

1 comment:

  1. You got to read this article about US best High Schools, to stay in touch with the topic and also discover some great places where your child can get the best possible education.