Treasure is from Washington D.C. and participated in the 2019 Korean Summer Program in South Korea.

To 황금빛,

Study abroad is a challenge in and of itself. From the language barrier to navigating public transportation, every day comes with a new challenge. However, it’s in interactions with locals that you can find a support system while learning about the country on an intimate level. Studying abroad in Jeonju with NSLI-Y taught me about many principles of Korean society: hard work, perseverance, and unselfish giving. Although I had learned about these principles in idea, I didn’t expect to see them through a person and their actions. You embodied all three.

Treasure poses with her host sister in a restaurant

Every day, you juggled teaching flute at the local music school, studying to become a nail technician, and taking care of your family. I remember seeing you work late into the night, yet always having a smile on your face. In everything you did, you did it with precision and care, be it making black bean noodles for dinner or practicing different nail designs and you never missed an opportunity to help me, whether it be with my homework or communicating with my host parents. Most importantly though, you took the time to not only learn about my culture, like cooking my favorite foods or watching American movies but to get to know me as a person, rather than just a temporary part of your life. You unselfishly gave your time, your home and your love. You didn’t only just show me the best of Korea; you showed me the best of life.

Spending time with you gave me a unique insight into the life of Korean young adults. Unlike the majority of my NSLI peers, you were much older than me, which gave me the distinctive opportunity to understand the perspective of the modern generation, from current issues to pop culture. What elevated my experience even more though, was going to youth church with you, where I would meet even more young Koreans and revel in their fascination with the world around them. I am thankful to you, in the fact that you welcomed me into your life wholeheartedly, in that you had the courage to ask seemingly uncomfortable questions out of curiosity of who I was as a person, in that you helped me speak a beautiful language with ease, in that you gave me priceless gifts in the span of only 6 weeks. Thank you for that.

Sincerely, Treasure

Treasure's host sister poses with a giant teddy bear

황금빛 언니에게,

언니에게 정말 감사합니다 말하고 싶다. 매일, 집에 가는중에 언니에 대한 생각했어요. “언니는 오늘은 뭐했어요?”, “무슨 영화를 우리다같이볼거에요?”가은 질문이 있었어요. 저는 미국에서 언니가 없어서 언니 보았을떼 행복했어요!

우리는 같이 많이 좋은 추억을 만들었어요. 스파이더매느부터 서울까지 언니랑 있었을떼 행복했어요. 언니가 졸업했을떼 너무 행복했어요 왜냐하면 언니가 너무열심히 일했어요! 저랑 영화를 보다에 대해 감사하다, 저랑 짜파게티를 먹다 감사합니다, 제가 몰다 대해 감사합니다, 매니큐어를 바러다 대해 감사합니다...이 세상에 태어나줘서 감사합니다. 보고 싶고 사랑해요~