Photo courtesy of Jeongeon Kim
A zeal for travel and a passion for connecting with people from around the world took Jeongeon Kim all the way from Busan, South Korea, to Northern State University. Kim chose NSU due to its positive reputation among her peers as a good place to study English.
As a political science major, Kim hopes to someday work at the department of trade for a Korean company overseas because it will provide her with the opportunity to meet many people from different countries.
In addition to the opportunity to connect with others, Kim enjoys political science because she finds keeping up with world issues exciting. To further this passion and develop her English speaking skills, she decided to study in the United States.
Since her arrival last January, Kim says that her English has greatly improved. “I think my English speaking skills are much more developed than they were when studying in Korea,” she said.
Before Kim came to the U.S., she thought it would be vastly different from her home country. “I thought it would be totally distinct from our culture and lifestyle,” she explained, “But I noticed things were really not that different. Everyone is busy with working, studying, and chasing after their own goals just like in Korea. This helped me relieve my tension from being in an unfamiliar environment and get used to being here.” However, Kim admits she still feels a little homesick sometimes.
At her university in Busan, Pukyeong National University, Kim is involved in a variety of activities. One of these is the debate club, in which she discusses political and social issues active all over the world, and another is a volunteering club that meets twice a week to help people in need. As an introvert, getting involved and being active has helped her become a more outgoing person. “Some people might think of this as nothing, but for me, it was the biggest accomplishment,” she said.
In her spare time, Kim loves to travel with her friends and family. At home, she frequently takes trips with her family on weekends to enjoy different foods and new environments. However, this previous summer vacation, she decided to travel solo across the U.S. and Canada to take in the various sights and strengthen her independence. “It was difficult at times, but it helped me learn how to deal with those situations much better than before,” she said. “It was, so to speak, awesome.”
Kim is also the current leader of NANTA, a percussive performance group at NSU, as well as a part of the Korean Student Association. She will return to Pukyeong National University in the spring semester.
“I have met and communicated with a lot of nice people here. This will be such a good memory in my life, and I will never forget it,” she said.