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The Gachon Herald
My experience in the University of California
kweagle  |  k.eagle1984@gmail.com
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Updated : 2012.02.03  16:44:00
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  Hi, I am a senior who is currently majoring in Business Management in Kyungwon University. I would like to share my experience I had studying as a foreign exchange student for 9months at the University of California. To me, it was the best time I had throughout my university years. There were a lot of foreign exchange students from all around the world. At first, it was hard to be friends with them, but as time passed by we all became good friends regardless of cultural differences. I learned not only English, but also different cultures and manners. All the classes were taught in English, and it was hard to keep up in the beginning, but after a while, I noticed that my English had improved and I started to understand. In the American education system, I noticed that participation is very important. So, I always tried my best to participate actively in each course. All the conversations with teachers and classmates helped me improve my academic English. During my stay, I joined two clubs; UNICEF and Film-Maker’s Society. To make a long story short, I enjoyed my time with them. Everyone had a strong passion for what they wanted to accomplish, and therefore they voluntarily planned all the activities and participated in order to learn from each other. From a foreign exchange student’s perspective, I admired their passion and intuition, which is something that I aspire too. By spending time with them, I feel that I have matured a bit more than when I was in Korea. I had a chance to travel around major cities, such as, New York, LA, and San Francisco. I have broadened my view through these experiences and I want to encourage others to try out our school’s program.
  There are three tips I would like to offer, to those who are hesitant to try out our exchange program. First, study and take the TOEFL test. In order for you to qualify for this program you need take this test. It will also be very helpful to you before you go abroad. In my case, I took a class offered by our school’s language department, and I must say that it was very beneficial! Second, take the mock TOEFL exam in our school. I highly recommend that you take this because it is a time-efficient way to learn how to receive a high score. The TOEFL takes about 4 hours to finish, so knowing how to manage your time is very important. Finally, be enthusiastic. I have seen many of my friends and peers who always say they want to apply for the exchange program, but not many of them actually went through with it. Do not be scared, and find the courage to try it out. It will only benefit you, so listen to your inner voice and follow your gut instinct. From my personal experience, I know it’s a beneficial challenge. I hope my advice has helped you to achieve your goals.

-Dep. Business Management/ Senior/ Haelim Seoung

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