G.O.A.’L offers Korean language scholarships to a variety of universities located in Seoul. Today I am happy to bring you an interview with an advanced level Korean language student and recipient of G.O.A.’L’s Korean language scholarship. All words and thoughts are the interviewee’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of G.O.A.’L, its staff, or any university.
Can you give a brief introduction of yourself and how long you have been in Korea?
I’m a 34-year-old French adoptee currently working as a language teacher in Korea. I have lived in Korea for over 8 years.
How long have you studied Korean and where have you studied?
I have been studying for one year and two months at Kyunghee university, including a break for one semester.
How has being an adoptee affected your experience throughout Korean language school?
An ardent desire to learn the language to make a connection with Koreans and at the same time desperation because learning is so tough.
What unique perspective does being an adoptee add to being an advanced level Korean language student?
Unfortunately, reaching the advanced level doesn't mean fluency (yet). In my definition, a Korean adoptee in Korea is also a foreigner and an expat, who has to deal with the language and the cultural barriers. Climbing up the levels and becoming advanced helps to make those barriers less stressful and the experience of living in Korea smoother.
What can adoptees look forward to at language school?
An opportunity to learn the Korean language and culture, which are priceless.
How have you managed your time while being in language school?
I had to work to pay for everything and study at the same time. Often I could not rest and had very long days. It was challenging at times.
What motivates you to learn Korean? Has your motivation changed during your time in language school?
Not speaking the language was, for me, like being socially handicapped, especially since my expatriation is a long term one. I had many stressful events at work or in my social life. I still believe learning Korean is a necessity.
What challenges have you dealt with while studying Korean?
Teachers in my school were well educated and aware about different races and cultures of students. However, there were some students that had stereotypical views of others, especially those that were from environments that are not very racially or culturally diverse.
Also, for me, it was hard to mingle with my classmates due to the age gap and that adoption is not common in some of my classmates’ home countries.
Any advice for future adoptees that will study Korean language at a university program?
Keep going the more you can. Enjoy learning the language with other students. Consider yourself a foreigner to the language and culture (because you are at the time you come back to Korea).
I would like to thank our scholarship recipient for participating in this interview and sharing her thoughts about studying Korean. To learn more about the G.O.A.’L language scholarship, click here! The winter scholarship period is open as of today!