The Campus Journal met Kim Naima who came to Korea from Germany four years ago after she married her Korean husband. She runs her household and studies at the same time. Even though she is very busy doing both, she always smiles and never loses her joy for studying.
Q: Please briefly introduce yourself.
Kim: Hello, my name is Kim Naima. I'm a 23-year-old German student from Nuremberg, majoring in International Relations.
Q: What made you come here to Korea?
Kim: In Germany we learned very little about Asian countries in school, but because of my mother's interest in Japan, I naturally developed an interest in Asia, too. The different culture and language was something that fascinated me a lot. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to travel to Asia often, but after my first visit to Korea, I knew that I wanted to spend more time here. So moving here almost 4 years ago to live with my husband wasn't such a big problem for me.
Q: You are majoring in International Relations in CWNU. Why did you choose this major?
Kim: I chose my major because I wanted to learn more about how different countries interact with and influence each other. Especially due to globalization, we are all becoming more connected than ever and I hope that in the future, I can contribute to making it easier, especially for Koreans and Germans to understand each other and have closer relations.
Q: Is there anything that makes your time in Korea difficult?
Kim: Sometimes it’s difficult to communicate with other students, not only because my Korean isn't always good enough, but also because I feel that the cultural differences are sometimes a problem, too. Age differences, for example, are not a big deal in Germany. I know it's an important part of Korean culture to respect these age differences, but sometimes I feel a bit distanced because of it. Being more direct and honest is something that's a bit lacking in Korea.
Q: Isn’t it difficult for you to run a household and study at the same time?
Kim: It's challenging to do housework and university assignments and still be able to get enough sleep or make free time, but even though it is sometimes difficult, I really enjoy being a student at the university. And I expected that being a daughter-in-law would be difficult anywhere in the world, but because Korean and German cultures are really different, the first month was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. At first, not only was the language a big barrier, but also daily things like food. A German diet, as I'm used to, consists mainly of bread, cheese, and more plain tasting food, usually without any side dishes. Germans tend to eat less rice, spicy dishes and seafood, so eating warm soup, rice or fish for breakfast was difficult at first. Also, because I'm a vegetarian, I can't eat many Korean dishes which was a problem, too.
Q: What do you love the most in Korea?
Kim: Living in Korea has definitely changed me a lot and I got so used to things like fast Wi-Fi, fast package delivery and free water in restaurants. Whenever I go to Germany, those are what I miss the most from Korea. Compared to Germany, I also feel really safe when I go out in Korea because there's a lot of CCTV. I also came to like the language a lot. Learning the language has been really helpful in understanding certain cultural and social aspects. One more point I really like about Korea is that many Koreans are really warm-hearted and caring. Koreans socialize quite quickly.
|▲Kim Naima wants to be a professional in International Relations|
Q.: Lastly, do you have any further plans?
Kim: I'm looking forward to continuing my studies in Changwon and hope to make more friends, many unforgettable memories and to improve my language abilities.
By Gwon Min-gwan, reporter email@example.com
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