New Cohort of NSLI-Y Korea Students Start the School Year
After two weeks in South Korea, the 2012-2013 cohort of 11 NSLI-Y Academic Year students adjust to a new culture, dedicate themselves to their language studies, and experience their first days of Korean school.
The group arrived in Seoul on August 31st and began their language program with an orientation to help them adapt to Korean life, prepare for host family and school challenges, and share their knowledge of Korean culture. Three students in the cohort are previous participants of the NSLI-Y Korea summer program and were able to help the group practice Korean phrases, learn the transportation system, and order their first meal at a Korean restaurant.
Upon arrival, the students expressed their first impressions of Korea as very clean, safe, and friendly. As the group’s resident director shared, “The seemed very, if not overly, excited as much as they were nervous. They definitely knew more than I expected… some of them seemed to be able to understand Korean well.”
Perhaps most of the excited and nervous energy for the students involved meeting their host families. However, once they met, they were at ease and began getting to know each other and bonding right away. The host families were also happy to finally meet their new children for the year. One host mother shared that her new host student has “become a vitamin to my family, we are so grateful to have her.” Some of the host families do not speak English, as students may have expected, but the students thought that this was a great opportunity for them to speak more Korean.
After an intensive language course, the NSLI-Y students began their first day of school on Monday with their Korean peers. They will continue to study Korean, make friends at their new high schools, and learn about Korean culture throughout the academic year.