Applying to graduate school requires a lot of work. Beyond your GPA, you prepare the application with three or more essays, recommendation letters, resume, interviews, etc. When you are taking classes, you would feel overwhelmed. However, PSU helped me to organize the application process. For example, I discussed my essays at the Writing Center, I checked my resume at the Career Center, and I also improved my interview skills with a mock interview at the Career Center. I obtained my recommendation letters from my instructors and advisors.
I utilized PSU resources, and everyone was welcoming, friendly, and professional. They inspired me to reach my potential and I would like to thank them. I am going to start a pharmacy program at Oregon State University from this fall term and I will keep in mind all the helping from PSU faculty, advisors, tutors, students, and my friends.
I recently attended a Korean lecture about arranged marriages between Korean women living in Korea and Korean man living in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. It was interesting to see the Korean history in pictures. At that time, Korea was poor, so Korean immigrants working the United States sent money home to their families.
In my grandparents’ period, they lost their siblings due to starvation and disease. Even in my parents’ generation, it was common to report birth registration one or two years later than the actual birth due because the mortality rate was so high.
Korea has had very rapid economic growth since the 1970s. Nowadays, the younger generation has a wealth of resources. When I was a child, my mother told me to eat everything because the farmers worked hard to produce rice and food. But today, people in Korea have so much that they don’t feel like they have to eat everything on their plate.
In May, I miss my family more. In Korea, May is Family Month because there are family related anniversaries in May – Children’s Day, Parents’ Day, Teacher’s Day and so on. Those are similar in America to Mother’s day or Teacher’s Day.
I remember singing a song for each anniversary in school and making cards for family members and teachers. This year, I talked with my family online and sent some gifts. I hiked Forest Park on May, 8th Mother’s Day here. I saw a lot of family at the hike and they were talking, laughing, and taking pictures. I thought that it is a nice way to spend time with mother and make memories.
What did you do on Mother’s Day? If you missed the chance, for Family-Month, let’s express the love to family and teachers just like beautiful sunshine in May!
I was so surprised that my international friends know Korean dramas and songs more than me. Even you can find Korean dramas in on hulu.com. My friends sent me a YouTube Korean drama link and asked about songs in the show. I haven’t watched Korean drama an year, so I searched it though Korean website and let him know. I didn’t pay attention to Korean pop music or drama much, but now I realized that they represent Korean culture. One of my friends said that she tried Kimchi, fermented Korean dish because she saw in a soap opera. Influence through entertainments is interesting. Watching “Friends” was fun, and it helped me learn English and American culture. Fun is one of the motivation triggers.
What was your trigger that made you interested in other cultures?
Last Saturday, I went to Doljanchi for one of my friends in Portland. Doljanchi is a Korean traditional birthday party that celebrates a baby turning a year old. The baby wears Korean traditional clothing, Hanbok . Her baby wore a light blue silk shirt and pants with a cute sky blue hat. She made all Dojanchi decorations on a table for a week. She glued marshmallow, candy, bubble gum and beans on a hard paper cylinder with a rabbit shape or happy birthday letter in Korean. It was so cute. She also made a photo book that shows her baby growing up from a birth. I had homemade Korean food, Kalbee (short ribs), rainbow rice cake, noodle, pot sticker and strawberry and lemon cupcakes!
I was impressed that she presented well multicultural influence on her decorations and food at her home. What are some of the traditions in the United States to celebrate baby birthdays?
I have used a smart phone for more than two years, but I lost it last Christmas Eve. Now I am using a regular phone. I can’t check my email, find directions, read reviews, pay for a cup of coffee or chat online using my phone.
I also found out that people use their smart phones all the time even when they hang out with their family or friends. People don’t talk but chat online or play games. One of friends just bought a smart phone and finds it really convenient. For example, she checked an email from her professor that she can’t register a class, so she searched another class while she was hanging out with me. She said “Excuse me” when she was using her phone. I really appreciated that. Most of my friends check their phone all the time as a habit even when I am talking to them.
I remember when I bought my first smart phone and I was so excited that I can do a lot of things easily. I am planning to buy another smart phone but I want to make better use of it than I did before.
When I come home to Korea, I have reverse cultural shock
during one or two days. It is so interesting that I feel so such cultural differences
in my own country. For instance, I went to a coffee shop and ordered a waffle
“To-Go” “to go,” but a Korean clerk didn’t understand it. In Korea, the term for “to go” is “take out.” Another example: Korean people walk really fast or run. Pedestrian walkways are very narrow, so when you walk slow, people pass you and look at you funny or simply push you out of the way. It is an interesting feeling living in another country and then coming home and really noticing the little things about my culture that stand out.
Have you experience reverse cultural shock?
Valentine’s Day is another example of cultural differences between America and Korea. In America, people show their love by giving presents or cards. In Korea, Valentine’s Day is considered a day that women express their love or friendship by presenting chocolates. For example, I bought chocolates for my father, brother, boyfriend, and friends and I wrote cards.
In Korea, one of annual rituals is called White Day, March 14th, when men present candy or white chocolates to women. April 14th is called Black Day, when people who didn’t receive gifts on Valentine’s Day or White Day eat a Korean black noodle dish called “Ja Jang Myen.”
I wonder what other countries do for Valentine’s Day and similar holidays, so I will be attending an upcoming event presented by the Organization of International Students. The event will discuss dating in different cultures, and will be held Wednesday, February 15th, 6 to7:30pm at Smith Memorial Student Union room 238.
Do you have Valentine‘s Day memory that you would like to share?
Photo by Vu Tran
How long have you lived in Portland? How familiar are you with the city? Recently I talked with several people who came from out of state or different countries. I realized that although they moved to here about the same time, they have different experiences. It reminded me when I came to Portland. I remember that I was hanging out with friends only in downtown for a week. Then we visited the 23rd uptown NW area, Pearl District, Washington Square mall, Lloyd Center and Beaverton Town Center by using public transportation. It took six weeks to explore these sites. The reason that I was so passionate was that I liked to go shopping, and most of items are cheaper than in Korea. Through this experience, I have learned much about Portland, made many friends, and experienced American cultures.
I would like to share several tips for your adventure:
∙ Use resources such as Internet searches, brochures, newspapers and magazine
∙ Go with your classmates or friends who have lived Portland for a while
∙ Make a theme that you are interested in such as coffee, arts, food, beer, or shopping
∙ Carry change when you take a bus because you can’t get change when you are boarding in the bus
∙ Make sure you have directions before you board Trimet. You can get them from Google maps or MapQuest online
Do you have any tips that you want to share about getting around?
How to learn and study English is a major issue for international
students. I have lived in the United States for five years, and I see
an improvement in myself, but I also encounter a new expression or
vocabulary word every day.
I have studied reading, listening, writing, and speaking in class.
I am sure that these classes helped me learn English. However, the
best motivation was having friends who speak English. I remember that
I wanted to talk with my friends, so I looked up a dialogue from a
book. Before I wrote an e-mail, I checked grammar on a website. It
was fun, and I felt achievement. I have met American students who
learn a second language, and I was impressed at the level of their
speaking relative to how long they have studied the language. I
wonder what the secret of learning language is. Do you speak a second
language? What are your tips of studying the language?