When I first applied for the Gachon Hawaii Program, I didn’t have a good ability to hold a conversation in English. my speaking skills weren’t at the worst level. Since I was in Korea and I didn’t have many chances to use my language skills, I felt I was losing things I had already learned. So, in order to upgrade my English skills, I applied for the program. I was also interested in going to Hawaii because it’s often described as paradise. From the beginning, I assumed that it would be amazing to be there, but it was even better than I expected when I actually arrived. First of all, the best part was to travel around Hawaii while studying in the school. Generally if you simply travel to a place, you tend to visit only the most touristy and well-known places. However, since I have local friends in Hawaii, I had the chance to go to the places that were hidden yet were the most exquisite places. It helped me to experience Hawaii to the fullest. Furthermore, the location of the dormitory was fantastic. It’s located only 5minutes walk from the famous Waikiki beach, and the Trump hotel was on the same road. Also, the back building is the Hard Rock Café, and Waikiki luxury road was just a minute walk away. So, whenever I needed to have some fresh air, I could just walk to the finest beach on Ohau and go on shopping just by going around the corner. It was a true blessing. But the pleasure didn’t only come from having fun, but it also came from learning English speaking and other English skills, which was my main goal in the first place. There was also The Group English speech contest held by Gachon University, back in Korea. Since to compete you needed to create an English speech, it required multiple meetings and revisions of he script. During this process, we needed to keep on using English, which helped us to practice English speaking. Moreover, hanging out with the foreign friends at UH prompted us to only use English, which naturally leads to the improvement of pronunciation. UH not only helped with fluency, but it also greatly helped me on writing essays in a native way. If I had not gone to Hawaii I would never have got these skills. But that’s not all that I have learned in Hawaii. During the stay, I broke my leg, so whenever I got on a bus, the time had been delayed. But surprisingly, no one ever frowned. Instead, they asked me if I was okay and a customer at the café even brought me a cup of water. After going through these warm-hearted experiences, I have realized the true meaning of the volunteer work and serving the weak that Gachon’s president has always told us about. The 4 month stay in Hawaii has taught me a lot of invaluable lessons, that could only be earned through experience. I want to thank her letting me have this amazing experience.
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Seo Ji Yeon
Dept. of Computer Engineering