When I was a freshman, I was surfing our school website and found an interesting post on the notice section. It was about an English immersion camp abroad program and what I found most important was that all expense would be covered by the school. After searching the information about the program, I thought it would be great if I could participate in one of the camps, so I decided to participate in the English immersion camp during the summer vacation to improve my English. I also thought that it would be a great chance for me to study abroad. So, in order to make my dreams come true, I studied hard to improve my TOEIC score and took the mock-test in school several times. Fortunately, during the summer vacation, I was able to participate in the English immersion camp and improved my English. This winter vacation, I got an opportunity to go to America.
We, the students who participated in the program, were given a choice to choose between America and Australia. Since I had visited the east side of America once, I chose America to experience the west side.
So we went to Irvine, California and home stayed with our own roommates in different houses. I home stayed with my friend in an African-American household, consisting of a father, mother, daughter and a dog. They were all kind and treated us like their own daughters, so I really liked them. My host mom was very friendly and always cared about us. She talked to me a lot and it really helped to improve my speaking skills.
During the weekdays, we went to the UCI (University of California Irvine) and took a class with other internationals who came to America to learn English. It was an institute that belonged to UCI and there were about 12 students in my class. Class usually started before 9am and ended at about 2 pm. We studied grammar, idioms, and vocabulary just like we do in Korea, but there were some activities that we could learn more effectively.
After class, my colleagues and I went to the beach or shopping mall. During the weekend, we went to places such as the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Beverly Hills. Visiting many places and hanging out with friends was awesome, but the best part of all this was that I could learn REAL ENGLISH. Honestly, when we say we study English in Korea, we just look at sheets of papers and memorize grammar and vocabulary. We don't have a chance to use English effectively. However, when I was in LA, I had to use English everywhere to communicate with other people, purchase products, order food, etc; everyone had to speak English whether their English was good or not. I could feel that my English had improved.
After coming back to Korea, I've been strongly recommending these programs to people around me. I experienced many things that I hadn't before and met many good friends through the program. I don’t think I would have ever known the value of this camp if I hadn't applied. I think it was the best thing that I've ever done in my life so far. I want other people to apply to these programs, so they can experience many good things just as I have.
-Joo Hyun Baek, Dept. of Mathematics & Information< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >