Meet the Student of the Month from South Korea!
Above: Beomsu spending time in the great outdoors of Alaska with his host mom
CIEE: What is your favorite part of your typical day in the U.S.?
Beomsu: It’s really hard to pick my BEST, but I can tell you 2 favorite things in my typical life.
First one is that I can organize my own time table. Of course US history, English, and math are required subjects, but another three subjects can be filled with my favorite subjects. There are so many kinds of classes available, so I filled those classes with Photography, Consumer Economics, and Table Tennis. So now, I can enjoy my school life.
And second one is the time at the end of school. In South Korea, high schools generally end at 9 or 10pm. So it’s really boring and I cannot enjoy my after school time. but here, it ends at just 2pm and after school ends, I can do many things such as after school activities at school or socializing with other people. And most of all, I can eat dinner with my family (even though they’re not my natural family.)
CIEE: What is your favorite American food?
Beomsu: I LOVE MEAT. So most of all, I love thick and juicy steak. And if it is with seafood such as shrimp or crab, I’m ready to eat it, breakfast to dinner.
And another one is Subway. In my host family’s home, we call Tuesdays “Crazy Tuesday”, becaus it’s the busiest day of the week. So on Tuesday, we always eat dinner at Subway. And Subway’s Tuna sandwich was the best sandwich that I ever experienced.
CIEE: What has been the most surprising thing about America or your new host city?
Beomsu: Several days before I came here, I asked to my host mom about the current temperature of Alaska. And my host mom replied to tell me it is fall in Alaska. So I prepared “fall” clothes. And when I arrived at New York, It was exactly end of summer. So I simply thought it will be fall in Alaska. But after New York orientation when I arrived in Alaska, it was so COLD and my host dad was wearing yellow slim down jacket. And on the way to their home, I could see the snow on the mountain. My host parents told me that snowing on the mountain means the start of fall. It’s 6~8 degrees C in the morning right now. People wear shorts and T-shirts. Oh my days. Still, I cannot believe it.
CIEE: What have you shared about your own home country/culture since you’ve been in the U.S.?
Beomsu: I shared my home country’s food culture with another exchange student this past weekend at a potluck party. I made bulgogi, which is Korean traditional food. It’s a kind of meat which is marinated with soy sauce and various vegetables. And with that, I prepared Korean rice which is stickier than jasmine rice. And I prepared kimchi too, but I just purchased it because if I make it, it takes too much time and I have to prepare so many ingredients for it. Anyways, it was a really nice experience.
CIEE: What have you learned about yourself so far?
Beomsu: Most of all, I realized that I’m not a child anymore. For example, I can arrange transportation or take an airplane by myself. Or I have to make my own schedule at school or everywhere. This means, I have to make my own choices, and at the same time, I have responsibility for it. Of course, parents or host parents are can be my mentors. But it doesn’t mean they can plan my whole life. So I think, I have to be an adult.
Above: Beomsu enjoying an amusement park ride at the Alaska State Fair