As a Chinese immigrant and Marketing major and Korean minor, I naturally became interested in working in the market involving Asian-American populations. In particular, South Korea attracted my attention as the perfect place in which I would like to work in the future because its market has something that was unknown to me but made me curious to learn what that is. Besides my career goal as a marketing professional in South Korea, I personally love the Korean culture.
My interest in studying abroad in South Korea, however, collided with my plan on finishing my undergraduate study a year earlier. If I were to study abroad for a full semester, then I thought I would not be able to squeeze in all my Korean language and culture classes which I had to take to fulfill the Korea minor requirements. In the midst of figuring out how to fit study abroad in my busy academic schedule, I found this awesome Binghamton summer international program in Hanyang University in Seoul, which would allow me take the required classes for my minor over four weeks during the summer! In so doing, I enrolled in the Hanyang international summer program and not only learned Korean language in depth but also experienced all different aspects of the Korean culture.
I remember the first week in Seoul, I had difficulty communicating with Korean people I met due to my lack of Korean speaking skills. There were times when I even felt embarrassed, but over time, I learned how to communicate via body language. Gradually, I realized that as long as I don’t give up, I would eventually adapt to whatever environment in which I am thrown. During the time I stayed in South Korea, I made a lot of Korean and non-Korean friends who helped me understand the rich Korean culture in depth. Though it took me some time to adjust myself to the new environment, I no doubt had the most amazing time in Seoul and am still totally in love with the country and its culture! I was also surprised at how I could relate my Chinese American culture to the Korean culture and my experience as a youth immigrant in the United States to the study abroad experience in South Korea.
I badly wanted to stay there longer and now, I wish to go back and possibly start my career there. I could not be more thankful that I received the Myers Family Scholarship, which ultimately enabled me to have this wonderful opportunity to study abroad in South Korea. With the scholarship funds, I was able to further pursue my study in Korean language and business in South Korea. After I returned to Binghamton, my career goal has been reaffirmed; I will visit the country again next summer and find an internship opportunity which will eventually help me land on a job in South Korea.
Fei Huang, Undergraduate Student in the School of Management, Binghamton University