The dormitory at Changwon National University serves as a temporary home for many students on campus since not everyone lives near the university. There are people who came from different regions to study, and others come from different countries to experience Korean culture and language. What if your roommate is a foreigner from a different country?
This semester, there are five exchange students who came from France. One of them is Loriane Lerat, she lives in BTL 7 with her roommate, Cho In-Young, who is a Korean student studying Chemistry in the natural sciences department. We interviewed Loriane and In-Young to find out what it is like to share a room with someone from a different country.
Q1: Are the facilities satisfactory? What are some of the downsides if there are any?
L: Yes, although this is my first time living in a dormitory, I am very pleased with the room. Also, the personnel are very friendly to me. I remember one day before class, it began to rain. Thankfully, one personnel lent me an umbrella so I was able to get to class without getting wet. I feel like there aren’t any downsides.
I: The dormitory is excellent and I am satisfied with the amenities provided here. However, it is a bit troublesome to not have a refrigerator to store food or a kitchen to prepare my own meals. Other than that, I feel like it is a great place to live considering that it is located on the campus with great security.
Q2: Were there any difficulties with communication?
L: I was surprised at first, and also worried about how to converse with my roommate since I am not able to speak Korean. Thankfully, In-Young and I both speak English and we started from there. So, I was very relieved that I was able to talk with my roommate.
I: It was a bit new to me, but Loriane and I adjusted to each other and I think we’re doing well. Also, since English is our second language, we speak at the same level and are able to understand the gist of what we want to say to each other. If it is really difficult to express what we want to say, we use our smartphones to show translations or pictures of what we are trying to say, so there really is no problem anymore in terms of conversation.
Q3: Have you realized something or learned new things from your roommate?
L: I feel very blessed to have been assigned to a room with In-Young since she can English because I would have been struggling to talk to someone who does not know English. So now, I feel that I will have a great semester here in Korea.
I: I first thought that someone who came from Europe would be very different, but living with Loriane has made me realize that Western people are not that much different from us. We both act and think alike, and the only thing difference between the two of us is our cultures. Thus, I am very pleased to have had this wonderful experience of living with Loriane.
Living with an exchange student is definitely a unique experience. It shows how language plays a huge part in our lives through communication with others. More importantly, this shows how foreigners are regular people and they are someone who you can communicate with. Hopefully, more foreigners who will be a part of the exchange program at CWNU will give courage to students and influence them as well.
|An illustration of the two roommates not so comfortable with each other just yet.|
|This is the real-life picture of In-Young and Loriane’s room|
By Baik Jong Min, Cub Reporter Jmbae1025@gmail.com
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