Country: South Korea, 49 million people; 3.3 times larger than the Netherlands
Studies: International Communication (Communication Campaign minor)
Loves: girlfriend, soccer, chocolate, internet surfing, Gift, Challenge
Last time you were in South Korea?
‘January. I just came to the Netherlands a month ago. I departed from Seoul on January 14. Before coming here, I was in Paris for three weeks visiting my cousin. I love Paris! It is a very artistic city. I visited several museums.’
What was your first impression of the Netherlands?
‘I always thought that Amsterdam Central Station was very huge and extremely busy. When I first arrived there, I was rather disappointed with the whole situation. It was not as nice as what I thought. On the other hand, the Netherlands will always remind me of the small houses, canals and ships.’
Tell us about Korean culture
‘If I have to describe Korea, I think red is the most suitable colour. It symbolizes the passion that Koreans have in doing things. Korean people are also very hard working. It can be seen from the progress that my country made for the past forty years. It has been growing so rapidly! I would also say that Korea is technologically very advanced. You will see people using their gadgets everywhere around the country. Looking at our values, my American friends said that we are very humble. We are also very family-oriented. To me family is the most important thing in the world.’
Is this your first experience studying abroad?
‘Yes, but this is not the first time I came to Europe. I was working in the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade last year. I attended a conference of the World Trade Organisation in Switzerland. During that one week, I learned many new things and got to know many representatives from different countries.’
What do you miss the most?
‘My parents and my girlfriend. I keep in touch with them almost every day through phone and instant messenger. I haven’t really missed the delicious Korean food yet, I still have some of the food that I took with me from home.’
Korea is known for its strict education system. Is it true students attend cramp school after a normal school day?
‘Secondary school students who want to go to university study really hard from 8 am am to 2 pm everyday. After attending public school in the morning, they will go to private school in the afternoon or go to libraries. However, once you get into university, people will just relax. To get into a university is though, but university studies are not that difficult.’
Can you recommend us a place to visit in South Korea?
‘Definitely Seoul! It’s the fastest city in the world. If you order a book today, don’t be surprised if it reaches your doorstep tomorrow morning. Moreover, the city boasts over 4300 years of historical sights for you to enjoy. In the countryside, you’ll also find beautiful scenery: mountains, exotic beaches and nice weather. I would say Seoul is a combination of a modern and cultural city!’
Last but not least, what is your motto in life?
‘Be passionate! Maintain a positive attitude.’
Source: Hanze Mag