Why in the world am I interested in Korea?

People always ask me why I’m learning Korean and how I got into it. Well, I was pretty much born into a Korean church, so I was raised around the food, the culture, you know, the works. It was just natural to start learning. Later on in my life, I started to become curious about North Korea. My grandfather was in the Korean War and the founder of our church was born in what is now North Korea (before the country was split into two).

I took a Korean Literature class Winter Quarter 2011, which pretty much ended up being a Korean history class, which was great, because that’s more of what I’m interested in. We scratched the surface of Japanese colonialism and all of the inhumane things that Koreans had to go through before the Korean peninsula split up. This was very informative and helpful, but I found myself wanting to know what happened afterwards.
I started doing my own “research” (aka) Google, and reading up on how horrible North Korea’s situation actually is right now. In the words of the World Press Freedom Index, it is in a “Very serious situation”, which is as bad as it gets. This isn’t surprising seeing as North Korea is #177 out of 178 countries on the World Press Freedom Index, second to last only to Eritrea. It goes without saying that that’s just awful, especially when the only thing that separates it from being a country of a “Satisfactory situation” (South Korea), is a made up border at the 38th parallel line. Simply unacceptable. Unification is possible and I want to make sure it happens. I can only ensure that by becoming fluent in Korean. It’s my daily fuel when I’m running low. We can do this, Korea.
Story time! Our Korean culture teacher back when I was in Jeonju  asked our class what we wanted to learn about. We expressed that we had interest in North Korea. So, one day, he was talking to us about how North Korea feels about the United States. Of course, this was all being taught in Korean, and he used a word that we didn’t know to describe North Korea’s attitude towards America. Using his cellphone Korean-English dictionary, he looked up the word and struggled greatly through the pronunciation of the words ‘hatred’, ‘detest’, and ‘abhorrence’. Oh my. Wish me luck.

3 thoughts on “Why in the world am I interested in Korea?

  1. Very interesting blog you have here. Also, it is great you wish to help the poor people of North Korea. I have great simpathy for them. I am curious, what do you think about the opinion that unification would in a way “drag down” on the progress that South Korea has made?

  2. Hi
    Im graduating high school in about 3 weeks and I’m just simply fascinated about South Korea. I’m African American and your blog is just so interesting. I love reading it.
    I just want to know if you went to South Korea on a scholarship and if you did can you tell me how?
    I’m thinking of going to college in Korea next fall. Any advice , words of wisdom…all that jazz? ^_^

    1. Hey Lyshun!!

      Thanks for reading and enjoying my blog!! I wish I had written more while I was there. So, I went to school in Korea as an exchange student from my University for one academic year. What that means is, you pay tuition to your home university (in my case, The Ohio State University) while you’re in Korea and also have to cover all of your expenses (room and board, travel, etc.) while in Korea. I’m lucky because my freshman year in college, I received a full tuition scholarship for 4 years to my university so I didn’t have to pay any tuition while I attended school in Korea. I wouldn’t be able to afford the rest of the costs on my own, either, so I got a few scholarships from my college in my university (The College of Arts and Sciences), the study abroad office, and I got a scholarship called the Gilman Scholarship. I highly recommend applying for the Gilman, which can give you up to $9,000 for studying abroad. Another scholarship is called the Boren Scholarship and that will give you up to $20,000 to study abroad.

      Hope this helps and feel free to email me any time with more questions at flores.133@osu.edu 🙂

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