There is never a bad time to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Weather-wise, there’s endless sunshine, refreshing showers, many rainbows, and breezy wind. Scenery-wise, there’s the Diamond Head, where you will be rewarded with postcard views of Oahu, the Hanauma Bay, where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of clear, turquoise water, and the North Shore, where avid surfers come to challenge the big waves. Many people fall in love with Hawaii at first sight and I have to admit, I am one of them. I had visited Hawaii once before in 2011 with my family and had fallen in love with the islands. I was excited to be able to visit Hawaii for a second time, now as a part of the Gachon community, in January of 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic. This second visit to Hawaii included a stay at the Gachon Global Center (GGC) where I had the chance to experience Gachon outside Korea.
As many of you are aware, Gachon University offers students English-learning programs in Hawaii through the Hawaii Gachon Premium and Elite Courses. These programs offer 4 to 15 week English-learning opportunities in which students can stay at the GGC to live and experience the US. When I had the chance to visit the center, I thought it would be a great opportunity to see for myself, what students could get from participating in such programs.
With the Gachon Premium and Elite Courses, much of the expenses for schooling and airplane tickets are covered by the school and the center has a dormitory where students can stay free of charge. The English-learning programs and the experiences that students can get by being able to use English in everyday situations have immense benefits, but I think students should also take into account the fact that the center is in a prime location in Honolulu. The center is only about a 5-minute walk from Waikiki Beach and close to many restaurants and shopping attractions. Also, you can just walk outside the center to take buses to go to the Sea Life Park Hawaii or the Pearl Harbor for a fun day trip. Also, for those of you who want to experience more of what Hawaii has to offer, students can venture out to explore the other 7 main islands of Hawaii during your stay. The great location of the center makes all the cultural immersion possible.
My favorite part of the trip was not the beautiful scenery and the delicious food, but rather just being able to stay at the dormitory in the Gachon Global Center and walk to the beach. Before I arrived in Hawaii, I had made big plans to visit as many tourist sites as I could. However, once I got there and walked around the center to see the neighborhood, the fact that I could take a short stroll to the beach and sit there to watch the waves was the most attractive activity for me. So, for a couple of days during my visit, I simply walked out to the beach and just sat on a beach chair for hours and watched the waves (aka “물멍”). The fact that I could get away from the busy work life to spend time near the ocean invoked a calm, positive mental state. I think I just sat there, doing nothing for about 4 hours and couldn’t believe that time had gone by so quickly.
I hope that Gachon students can take advantage of this fun and educational opportunity which is such a unique one and available only to the Gachon community. The programs at the Hawaii Gachon Global Center will allow you to learn English, visit and experience Hawaii, and challenge yourself to explore further.
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|▲ Dept. of English Language and Literature