EDITING : 2017.3.20 월 16:45
The Gachon Herald
A Journey in Canada
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Updated : 2017.03.16  20:11:26
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  A month of summer in Canada was a journey of making friends from the start to the end. My dear roommate, host mom, lovely teachers, and friends from my class or group, all helped me a lot to get into Canadian life. If they had not helped me through, I would have definitely called my mom in Korea to cry, ‘I want to go back home right now!’. So, I want to tell you about the lovely friends I met in Canada and what this journey meant to me.

  After about 10 hours on a flight, 4 hours stopping over in Japan and 4 hours in a car, I got to Kamloops in Canada for real. It really felt like I would just keep flying forever. Fortunately, the long travel was not just a boring experience but brought me some good memories because I was on the same flight with some friends in my group (randomly decided group by school and I had already become friends with them before departing Korea). So, at this point, this short but long travel proved to me that making friends is good at any time and in any place.

  When I finally got to Thompson River University (TRU), there was someone waiting for both me, and my roommate. It was my homestay mother who made the decision to take us to her house in advance. She had a calm and relaxed personality that made us feel comfortable. It was like we almost got energetic feelings from her dogs because her children had all grown up and live separately. So, we had good memories by visiting a zoo, riverside park, and driving together. Thanks to the homestay mother’s really good skills of making dishes and talking, most of our good memories could have been made in and around the house. I really appreciate not only those fantastic homemade meals from her, but also her vivid love stories.

  As for homestay, I want to say that it is really important to write specifically and exactly about yourself on the letter of self-introduction because a homestay family is going to choose their guest through that information. So, I wish students who are going to go Canada for the short-term language study, to think deeply about their ideal homestay family for both you and them before you hand it in to the school. Maybe you should contemplate about your characteristics, tastes, and lifestyle.

  In TRU, I met international students from Spain, Japan, Taiwan, and other students from Korea (from Busan). It was too bad that there were only a few Canadian students because most of them had already gone to their hometowns for their vacation. But, a loving assistant teacher, Cindy, who likes to give penguin hugs and take photos, became my best friend and I got so much help from her. Although we were not all the same age and we were from different countries, it did not matter when we became friends. There were many programs in our schedule like horseback riding, kayaking, indoor rock climbing, potluck party, swimming, and outdoor activities, and we were always busy taking pictures and making good memories. I felt like I was back in my high school days and going on a school trip. ‘Don’t worry, and just enjoy.’ This was what I literally kept in my mind and did for a month in Canada.

  TRUs teachers were great leaders who tried to make us speak in English every time in communication and that was why I even enjoyed speaking in English without getting stressed like I get in Korea on tests. For one thing, they were always welcoming when we talked to them about any matter it was an individual or serious subject. For another, their own skill and experience at encouraging students to speak in English were enough to get our mouths open for making conversation with each other. So, I think the teachers and staff who prepared all of these programs deserve to take all the credit for the confidence that the students, including me, got when we spoke in English on this short term language study.

  Staying in Canada for a month taught me what respect really means and how to communicate with people. Going abroad through this program may be a turning point of life as well as a source of good memories to someone. Or someone may just go find the level of their English speaking there and come back. To me, the last summer vacation in Canada was a friend like a fox, a character in ‘The Little Prince’ by Saint Exupery. In the book, the little prince learns what ‘tame’ means in the meaning of being a friend with a fox. Like that, all the friends and memories I made there came to be the dots composing my life and I will never forget them. It’s like they told me; It’s what is important to you, and that you should know what the meaning of learning English is to you. To have more stars that keep flowers, I need to understand about people including me, and for that, I have to learn language. You know, it is true that I was tamed more by English for a month. So, three or four weeks would not be too short for you to find a significant dot of your life through your journey. But I’m sure you will definitely get the meaning of it through this program.

 

 

Lee Eun Ji             

Dept. of English Literature

 

 

 

                                                                             

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