Students get cultured: International Global Learning Community hosts ‘Life in Korea’

Students converse in Korean with Jihyun Kim, assistant professor of international studies. Photo by Aamir Mitchell
Students converse in Korean with Jihyun Kim, assistant professor of international studies.
Photo by Aamir Mitchell

“Annyeong-ha-se-yo” means “hello” in Korean. Students and faculty gathered in the Heitz Hall Commuter Lounge last Wednesday to learn more about Korean culture.

Titled “Life in Korea,” the event consisted of International Studies Assistant Professor Jihyun Kim teaching the attendees various common greetings in Korean. As a native of South Korea, Kim introduced differences in cultural norms while using a variety of phrases.

Kim said her primary intention for the event was to promote cultural competence in a fun and engaging way.

“We wanted to use this opportunity to introduce Bradley students to Korean culture,” Kim said. “It’s a very easy language to learn. Understanding different cultures of [various] countries, being kind to people who are different … I believe that this is something that can make a change in the way that we relate to each other whether it is to relate to people from other countries or other people in America.”

Students of various backgrounds had the opportunity to try different phrases in Korean, practicing the language and engaging with one another. One student in attendance was Brittany Horton, who described the event as a success.

Students converse in Korean with Jihyun Kim, assistant professor of international studies.
Photo by Aamir Mitchell

“It’s good to be able to meet other people who are interested in Korea as well,” Horton, a graduate student in the curriculum and instruction program, said. “[Its nice to see] when everyone realizes that there is so much more out there to learn. Being able to interact with people from different religious groups, cultural groups, racial, ethnic groups … socioeconomic backgrounds … just being more inclusive and accepting. I feel like this group has brought [it] up all together [this evening] with that interest.”

According to the organizer of the event senior John Roop, the discussion was hosted by the International Global Learning Community, a student organization on campus.

“The International Global Learning Community is comprised of students who have expressed interest in international affairs,” Roop, civil engineering major, said. “We have had other events in the past, one discussing culture and life in Germany. We’ve had the [Study] Abroad Office come to speak on some programs available at Bradley. This is still the pilot year for the club, so we are still trying to figure things out.”

Towards the end of the event, attending students and faculty were served Korean green tea and Kimchi, a popular vegetable dish in Korea, as they learned to wish each other a happy new year in the language.

Students who are interested in International Global Learning Community can contact Roop at jroop@mail.bradley.edu. Those wishing to explore a new culture can register for a study abroad trip by contacting the Study Abroad Office at (309) 677-2562, located in room 246 of Bradley Hall. Applications for May term must be submitted by Jan. 31.

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