Korean Exchange Students Visit WHS

By Amsha Mito
The Watchdog
February 16, 2017

The Korean Exchange Students learned a lot in America.They were amazed by the differences between the two countries. They now know a lot about our culture and how our school provides everything for the students, which is very different from Korean schools.

“We applied a couple weeks ago [to be in the program]. Korean exchange students came to stay in our homes.I got two girls, their names were Chimen and Heyong. On the next day, we were suppose to take them on a tour in D.C. and then on Monday they came to school with us to learn about education and the culture here. So after the whole five days of staying in America with us, they said the weirdest thing we had here was the amount of freedom that was given to each student and how we were friends with all of our teachers. They really enjoyed the food that we have here. They were also really surprised with our short lunch period because they get an hour to eat lunch, and also we spend less time in school. They spend about twelve hours in school, we only spend about seven hours,” Ponni Velmurugan,10, said.

The Korean exchange students were most excited to go shopping, eat at American restaurants, and experience typical activities for American teenagers.

“The Korean Exchange Program was twenty kids from Korea. There was ten of us [Westfield students] and each of us got two students. I had Soohyun and Seonhwa. We went to D.C., we went to the mall, shopping, American restaurants, and laser tagging. They don’t have laser tagging in Korea. It was cool for them experience the different culture. Also, we got to learn of Korean culture. They explained how the schools are in Korea and how much longer they stay in school compared to us. Unlike us, they do not have a lot of after school activities. It was cool to see the difference and be able to combine the two cultures. My family is Korean American. We know how to speak Korean and English, obviously we are American influenced. It helped with the language barrier; I could communicate with them so I did not have to use a lot of signs or hand gestures to see what they are trying to say. They were really surprised with how many classes we have. In Korea the teacher comes to your classroom. You stay in the class. They take diagnostic tests to see which classes they are supposed to be in. For example, your English teacher will come to your class and then next period your math teacher would come to your class. They were really confused with why we move around to so many different classrooms,” Emily Heo, 11, said.

The Korean Exchange students will discuss the American schools, places, freedom, and culture with their friends and classmates. The Westfield students who hosted the Korean students will travel to Korea to experience their culture and school life in the Spring.

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