When my boss and CEO of KoreaAgain asked if me and my fellow intern wanted to accompany him to a talk at a local Korean Middle School, I immediately said yes! As mentioned in my article “I’m Interning in Seoul As A Foreigner For the Summer! Here’s Why You Should Too”, I discussed that one of the biggest reasons I wanted to intern abroad for the summer was to gain exposure to different cultures across the world. During this visit, I was excited to do this by observing a different school environment and meeting Korean youth.
The Seoul Sahmyook campus includes a high school and a middle school. We arrived during their lunch period, and students were playing sports everywhere. Everywhere you looked, students were playing everything from soccer, to basketball, to badminton. If they weren’t playing sports, they were chatting and laughing in one of the picturesque terraces with their friends.
By the time we came, we were greeted by a beautiful view overlooking the city. This view was only an introduction to how stunning the campus was! For as far as I could see, there were green trees towering over the buildings. There was even a small fish pond and bridge located in the middle of campus!
When we entered the classroom where our boss would be speaking, I couldn’t help but feel shy. Even though I was about five years older than these students, I still felt nervous! We greeted each other “annyeonghaseyo” and I smiled at the young student sitting next to me. In response, she smiled back and bowed her head slightly at me. Later, I found out that young students bow to older students to signify respect to their seniors!
While my boss spoke, I was able to put the skills he taught me earlier that week to the test! I was able to take professional photos of his conversations with the youth.
During the time we were in the classroom, I had so much fun getting to know the students. Alongside my co-intern, we learned about each other’s favorite music, foods, and recreational activities. While we talked about Twice and BTS, we learned they were fans of older groups Green Day and Metallica! As we had more time to share about ourselves beyond culture, we told them we were interning in Korea, and they told us what they want to be when they grow up. Hearing everything from news anchors, to AI specialists, MC, or cardiothoracic surgeons, it was inspiring to think I was in the same room as future leaders of the world.
I would have never expected to visit Seoul Sahmyook Middle School during my first week as a Marketing Intern, but I am so glad I did.