Korean students call EMCC home

Feb 7, 2012

Eastern Maine Community College is proud to enroll many students from all over the country — and even the world. We have students who were born and raised in Maine and those who travel from far distances to learn a new skill in one of the many educational programs at the college. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with two EMCC students who made the move from Korea to Bangor, ME.

Hyundong “David” Kim and Hae Kyung “Claire” Park moved to Maine to attend EMCC for the same basic reason: to learn the English language. Claire was a sophomore business major before deciding that she wanted to move to the states to learn English first hand. She had been learning the language since she was 13, but Claire felt that most students “studied to get a high score for the test.” To Claire, it was much more important to learn the culture of the English language to better “explain her emotions and thinking.” She had heard about the program at EMCC from a friend and put her education in Korea on hold to move to Maine. At EMCC, Claire tutors students in math and the Korean Language. Now in her second semester Claire says she is “struggling with English and the different culture, but is enjoying this life”. Once she completes her English training here, she plans to return to her schooling in Korea.

David has only been at EMCC and in the states for two weeks, but he has plans to stay much longer. He traveled from Korea to learn about a vastly different culture, as well as to learn more about the United States political and educational systems. David has found that “people are so open and friendly here…” in contrast to Korea where “you need to be overly polite and respectful.” While each culture has its merits, he is enjoying learning the differences between the two cultures. David, like Claire, was a business major before moving to the states; however, he would like to take more general education courses before he declares a major. David has enjoyed his time in Maine these past two weeks, and would like to transfer to a four-year university when he completes his education at EMCC.


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