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Aloha! My unforgetable Excursion in Hawaii
During a week in winter vacation, I've stayed in Hawaii through overseas culture excursion operated by CWNU Language Education Center. Five students were chosen as members of overseas culture excursion team. Fortunately, we were exempted visa through ESTA(Electronic System for Travel Authorization). We arrived at Hawaii on January 31.(local time) There is a nineteen-hour time difference between Seoul and Hawaii. I went through a complicated procedure to pass immigration.

When we got out of the Honolulu International Airport, a staff of University of Hawaii(UH) came out to greet us. In Hawaii, it is summer all the year round. Because I was wearing a jacket, I felt the heat. After we unpacked packages, we were given orientation in Center for Korean Studies. This center was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and US. After orientation, we went Ala Moana shopping center which is the biggest and most famous center in Hawaii. We originally intended to go to Pearl Harbor and Arizona Memorial which are World War II memorial sites. Because the orientation was behind schedule, we could not visit there. From February 1 to 5, Arizona Memorial was closed for repairs. So we missed an opportunity to visit Pearl Harbor. On the first day of the trip, I was tired all day because I was still jet lagged.

We took class in multiculturalism because Hawaii has multicultural diversity. Prof. Reed said that "Hawaii is composed of people of various races. The differences can be ironed out based on mutual trust and respect." Korea is gradually becoming multicultural society. In my opinion some Koreans are ethnocentric. It is certain that they should value ethnic and cultural diversity. After class, we went to Diamond Head which is one of the most famous volcanic craters in the world. It is located on the South-east Coast of Oahu at the end of Waikiki overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It takes an hour to climb Diamond Head. The sunset of the Diamond Head is a magnificent sight that is incomparable to any other.

On February 2, we participated in Field Trip Program of UH. First, we went to State Capitol Building and Iolani Palace. Iolani Palace is the only true royal palace in the US and the last official residence of the kings and queens who ruled Hawaii. The Queen surrendered to the US to prevent the bloodshed of her people and hence, Hawaii became a territory of the US. Next, we went to Byodo-In Temple. This beautiful temple is a replica of the 900-year-old Byodo-In located in Uji, Japan. This temple was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and US in 1965. Next, we went to Kukaniloko Birth Stones. This historical site located in Central Oahu is one of the most important sites in Hawaii. Known as the Royal Birthing Stones, this location is where royal women were brought to give birth. Because we used public transportation, we were hard to go to northern areas of Hawaii. If UH had not offered Field Trip Program, we could not toured beautiful sites. I´d like to express my heartfelt thanks to UH.

On February 4, we went to Hanauma Bay. This bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. This is the very best beach area if you are new to Scuba diving or snorkeling with a diversified population of fish and a rich coral reef.

On February 5, we went to Hawaii Plantation Village which reveals the story of the 400,000 people who immigrated to Hawaii to work for the sugar plantations. The Plantation features 30 original and replica homes and buildings representing each ethnic group's lifestyle from 1900-1930.

While I stayed in Hawaii for a week, my English speaking skills did not develop enough. But this excursion helped broaden the mind. Unfortunately due to the lack of budget, whether this program will continue or not is yet to be known. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of Language Education Center.

Ahn Seong-Bin  ahnbin1205@changwon.ac.kr

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