EDITING : 2018.4.9 월 14:53
The Gachon Herald
Planting Seeds
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Updated : 2017.12.16  00:33:47
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 During this season of harvest, we naturally start thinking about seeds we have planted and sown in our own lives. Our thoughts also turn to seeds we have yet to plant. By now, most university students have been studying English for more than a decade. So, you have prepared for this, you have the language skills and you have the knowledge. Now it is time to think about experience. Interesting experiences that will allow you to use the skills and knowledge acquired thus far to learn about other cultures and to do something new.
 
Source of the all photographs: Google
 How can one practice their language skills while learning first-hand about another culture? Probably, the first thing that comes to mind is studying abroad. Whether you choose a short-term or a long-term program, it is a chance to combine learning language and cultural understanding. A chance to look at life in a different way while enhancing personal, academic and (looking forward) professional development. Yes, traveling abroad can disrupt one’s comfort zone. In fact, the first day in a new country may be much like looking through a kaleidoscope. However, it is also a confidence builder using one’s language skills and knowledge to forge a way in a new environment, to broaden perspectives, to absorb new sights and to make lifelong international connections.

 For those students who lack the time or who simply do not wish to go overseas, there are alternatives closer to home. Consider taking an arts and crafts class, a dance class or even a cooking class in English. Many students even choose to do something new or to start a new hobby by taking a class taught in English.

 Certainly, we can agree that language skills progress the most while learning something that we enjoy. Maybe it is because of the interest in learning a new skill, accompanying new vocabulary and phrases. Maybe it is because there simply is no time for feeling self-conscious or shy about expressing oneself because you must do something. Most likely it is because without fail, the instructors are patient and encouraging. However, the most surprising and ultimately the most welcoming part may be what is to be learned from other students, both Korean and foreign. It is a special opportunity to learn from the instructor and fellow students alike. Think about exploring a subject of interest or taking up a new hobby in a class taught in English.

 Plant your own seeds of experience by gaining cultural insight or learning to do something new. Give it a try, you may even surprise yourself!

Professor

Portia Fay Gray

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