To improve my English skill, I usually go to CSF, a kind of church, on almost every Sunday. There, my Korean friends and I meet diverse international students who are from China, Japan, France or Italy, as well as American people. In my opinion, the church and Christianity seem a little negative to non-Christians in general. However, different from what I had expected, American Christians and churches are kind of different. They neither ask people to attend the church every Sunday nor require them to pray. In an atmosphere like this, I could become adjusted to this church and go there comfortably.
At the beginning, I felt a little awkward in my relationship with most of the international people. I didn’t know what subjects are good to keep the conversation going and somehow it was unnatural to talk to someone whose name I didn’t even know. Yet, I talked with a person about American and foreigner movies. It was a very exciting conversation. Frankly speaking, even though almost all people say they like movies and music, when they start to talk about them, it’s not easy to keep the conversation going about the subject. I guess it is because generally people don’t care about the other person’s interests. Watching famous American movies or foreigner ones like those from India and listening to their latest music, I have tried to talk with foreigners with common interests. I think it is very helpful to get to know foreigner culture as well as communicate easily, because other people say their opinion about movies or are concerned with their customs.
I didn’t like my major of cultural industry, so I didn’t do my best to be taught in my class before. Talking to people about American movies, a person said something about Pride and Prejudice. I had already known about it, because I saw the movie and learned about it in my class. At that time, one realization that I had is that nothing is unnecessary knowledge in the world. If I thought the class was nothing and dropped it, I would still have suffered when approaching people and giving my opinions to them. Even if you thought that knowledge or something that you are taught is worthless to you, it will be helpful for you in some way. We don’t know how they will help us in the future. However, we’d better prepare for our future from what we had learned.
There are two incidents that gave me a great enlightenment. First, when I had just arrived here, I tried to cook a hamburger in the microwave in my dorm. I made a mistake and set the timer too long and there was almost a big fire. Fortunately, some staff came and the situation was resolved well. But this incident made me more timid and it was scary for me even to try something new. I didn’t like this incident at that time; however it was good luck. That’s because this incident is a kind of good memory to me and I use this story to talk with others. It was quite an interesting topic of conversation.< 저작권자 © 광운미디어위원회 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
Second, once I was waiting for a parcel from Korea. Somehow, the parcel was not delivered and I was anxious about it. Those days, I was always stuck thinking about getting my delivery and having Korean food. Finally, I called the customer center and told them about my problem and that I wanted to know what happened. It took me a long time to get the information that I needed. Before I dialed the number, I hesitated to call and was afraid of making a phone call in English. This is because phone calls in English are more difficult to understand what the other person says or to give my opinion. However, the longer I talked to the person, the more I felt my fear disappear and my confidence recovered gradually. Ending the call, I was not afraid of phone calls in English anymore.
Now I think that the more I suffer difficult events, the higher my English skill becomes. If I had stayed in Korea and lived like normal, I would think that everything around me was not good and that I was unlucky. However, experiencing those incidents abroad, I think I got to know how to regard everything affirmatively. And now I know that nothing is always bad. Rather, I am looking forward to meeting other difficult matters, because I know they make my English skill more fluent. Nowadays, I learn confidence, braveness and positive thinking more than English skills, and I think that those feelings are the most valuable instruction.
Lastly, I recommend all students to experience an exchange student life or to live abroad. I know it takes lots of money, but it is ever so worth experiencing. If you are ready to be courageous and not give up, go ahead right now!