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The Gachon Herald
The gift from HawaiiStudent Column
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Updated : 2012.12.24  14:15:04
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  Aloha~! What do you think about when you think about Waikiki beach? Coral blue beaches, sexy girls in bikinis, and hot guys? Or, palm trees, hula dancing and honeymoons? Perhaps almost everyone has the same impression of Waikiki and Hawaii. I have been there last winter when it was very cold here in Korea. However, Hawaii’s weather was very nice, it felt like spring, and it was perfect timing on my part to go to Hawaii. I was there for a month and it was not a vacation or a honeymoon either! I went to Hawaii for the sole purpose to study English. Hawaii is U.S. territory, so almost everyone (not including tourists) speaks English as their first language.
  A while ago, I heard from my professor that our university would send many students to Hawaii to study English. I studied for my TOEIC in an Institute and took the test, but the results were disappointing, as I only got 785 out of 990. However, that was the borderline passing score to go to Hawaii, as it was considered a relatively high score in the midlevel category (at that time the midlevel was 600~799, but since then it has changed).
  When I heard I was going to go to Hawaii I was very excited. As I was preparing for my trip I did not know what I had to pack. No one I knew had ever been to Hawaii, but then my mom said “Hawaii is a shopping heaven, so you don’t need many things. If you need something you didn’t pack, you can buy it in Hawaii.” So, I didn’t really pack, and I eventually had some regrets once I got there because the currency was higher than I had expected. If you are planning to go to Hawaii, I recommend you to pack everything you need.
  In Hawaii, I went to IMPAC; the Institute for studying English every weekday. In my spare time, I usually went to the beach, shopping mall, and went sightseeing. That one month was the best vacation I ever had.
  When our university planned this studying program, I heard that many people disagreed about it because they thought that students would just have fun rather than studying. It is true that Hawaii is a typical leisure spot, but that is a benefit of studying English. Everyone in Hawaii was very kind to each other, so I was able to have conversations with the locals.
  I think the best thing about this Hawaii program is that I experienced traveling abroad. I used to be pretty negative about the idea of travel abroad, as it is was too expensive. I tend to consider it useless and rather not special, since almost everybody goes there as well.
  However, I realized it was a stupid idea! Once I arrived, I was floating with ecstasy. Ever since I got back from Hawaii, I have been charmed about overseas travel. Through overseas travel, I got a chance to think about Korea’s future and mine as well. I like to think now I have a global mindset. I want to go to other countries and learn even more. I will someday visit many countries. I hope you too get the chance to go to Hawaii through our university’s English studying program.
   

-Lim Hye-jin
Dept. of Health Care Management

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