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Preparing for an Exchange Student
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승인 2004.09.01  00:00:00
트위터 페이스북 구글 카카오스토리


Kim Eun-kyong 
Jr., Dept., of Political Science and Diplomacy

   As we go through life, we constantly strive to make the right choice at the right moment. For me, applying for an exchange student was one of the greatest momentums I have ever caught so far.

   To tell the truth, going to Belgium was not my first hand choice. In fact, millions of thoughts had crossed my mind before I made the final decision. Prior to anything, I had to start off with questioning myself: "Why do you want to go abroad? What do you want?"

   Different cultural backgrounds create different perspectives. As semesters passed by, and as Korean-perspective-driven knowledge gradually accumulated, I felt the need to experience a different cultural background to diversify my views. In addition, I believed it was time I had experienced independence ? from doing my own laundry to being responsible for my everyday needs.
Then came in the second self-interrogation: "Where do you want to go?"

   Since I have lived in Asia for my entire life, I thought I should reach out to explore the other end of the world. Having previously adapted to International schools, I knew things were meant to run smoother if I decided to go to an English-speaking nation. But despite the convenience, I chose to gamble a fourth of my undergraduate years in a French-speaking university - in which I will be almost deaf and mute. FYI: 3 years of high school French is all I had; nothing remains vivid in my mind but a simple salutation of "Comment Cava?"
Someone may well ask "Why then abandon the easier route and take the rougher one?" 

   In my defense, I've always been fascinated by the French culture and their way of life; I wanted to learn their individualistic yet tolerable way of thinking. Plus, because it is my belief that a culture can be best understood through its own language, I am daring to take my academic courses in French.

   As this column finishes, as my departure time gets closer, I can sense the hardships coming nearer. On the other hand, I envision myself returning with the prowess of an undaunted challenger ? mature with multicultural perspectives. They say future is for those who challenge and now, I'm ready to be one.


About Belgium

   Belgium is a small country (11,730 square Miles, the size of Maryland) with a population of slightly less than 10 million.

   Brussels is the capital of Belgium. The majority of the people in Brussels speak French and Dutch. Now English has become another language used in this country. In the global world Belgium is a country where people could experience many different cultures.



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