Jennifer is an alumna of the Korean Virtual NSLI-Y Winter Cohort from January-March 2020.
"Is it possible to become immersed in a language and culture online just like you can when studying abroad?" After my Virtual NSLI-Y experience, I can confidently say yes. It is an opportunity that has greatly impacted me and I am excited to continue my Korean language journey.
During my VNSLI-Y experience, not only did I learn Korean language and culture, but I also made lifelong friendships and got to have a glance at the study abroad immersion experience at home. It has given me a jump start in learning Korean and I have learned so much about myself, others, and Korea.
Just like there may be a language and cultural barrier when studying abroad, there existed a screen barrier between us. Despite this, I was able to get to know about my classmates and teacher throughout the program. As the weeks went by and we became more comfortable with each other, we began to talk as if we were talking to each other in person. We even began to use the Korean we learned to talk with each other! This was the beginning of our immersion.
My favorite part of VNSLI-Y would be the cultural learning aspect of the class. After our language lessons, we would learn about Korean culture and talk about how it differed or compared to our lives and culture. It was so interesting to learn about how things differed in other states and countries! I even experienced some culture shock when I learned about the transportation system and housing in South Korea. My favorite cultural lesson was about house-warming parties and how there are certain gifts you can give to represent something. The meaning behind the gifts, such as detergent signifying wealth because of the bubbles, is something I am prepared for if I ever were to attend a house-warming party in South Korea! After class, I would use the language and cultural skills to experience Korean culture at a glance at my own home.
Although my experience has ended, I continue to find ways to immerse myself and learn more. Whether it be through movies, music, books, or even talking to my VNSLI-Y family, I continue to find ways to improve. I urge everyone to apply or take the chance of virtual learning when given to you.
Thanks to VNSLI-Y, I hope to use the language and cultural skills I learned as I continue my Korean learning journey in University! I will be taking Korean classes and will be studying abroad in Korea soon!
As my Korean teacher said: "다음에 또 만나요." (See you again). I know that we will all meet again (and maybe have full Korean conversations).
NSLI-Y, classmates, and 선생님, Thank you, 감사합니다!