One of the exciting things about starting a new semester is listening to how other students spent their vacation. As there are so many things one can do in two months of summer, it is certain that everyone had different experiences. If everyone already has such different vacations, what does the vacation of an international student look like? We interviewed Pham Van Phung from Vietnam, and Huang Pei and Wang XiRan from China. Let’s hear what they did over summer vacation.
Pham : My favorite part of summer vacation was that I didn’t have to wake up early in the morning anymore! But I did not enjoy oversleeping too much. Rather, I usually went to the library in the morning to read books. I worked 2 part time jobs to fill my days. It was hard when I started, but I got used to it really fast. I also donated blood, which was my favorite part of this vacation, and took my driver’s license test too. I heard that people usually go to an academy to study driving in Korea, but I just studied alone. It was difficult to study driving with Korean books. With the help of my friends I passed the paper test in August, and will be taking the road test this September. Then it will be much more convenient to get around here. Even if I don’t get a car, I will be able to ride motorbikes legally. I often rode motorbikes when I was in Vietnam because riding a motorbike is much more common there than in Korea. I can hardly find them here; everyone drives cars or just takes the bus. I enjoyed this summer, but next time I would prefer to travel all over Korea.
Huang : When summer vacation started, I went straight back to my old university in China. I didn’t even stop by my home. It was my last vacation before my senior year, which is referred to as a “golden time” to prepare for the future. In Chinese universities, the first 3 years might not be busy, but in senior year most students are very busy with studies or internship programs. There are lots of students who want to go to graduate school. It turns the studying into a competition as severe as that experienced by senior students in Korean high schools. Other seniors usually go on internship programs in diverse fields. It is very common for seniors to work in companies to match their interests and develop working skills. Only a few students, especially those who are in specialized majors, get opportunities to go to internship programs in Korea. I was in an internship program too, and I studied throughout my vacation. I believe that this time will lead me to a brighter future.
Wang : I spent lots of time hanging out with my friends and working on my studies to prepare for the next semester. One of my favorite things that I did during this vacation was working as a “translator”. I worked in a big workshop held by many international companies in my city. There were many companies working together using many different languages, I was one of the Korean translators. My Korean is not perfect, but I was able to give several presentations and answer many people’s questions. I didn’t expect to use this much Korean when I first applied for this job. If I had known I would have taken my Korean classes more seriously. It was a challenging time for me but it is certainly an unforgettable memory now.
By Han Si-in, cub-reporter
|▲ Pham Van Phung, Vietnamese student majoring in mechanical engineering.|
Han Si-in firstname.lastname@example.org
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