Karim is from Tampa, FL and an alumnus of the Korean 2020 Virtual Summer Intensive program.
Throughout the months of July and August, I took on the adventure of learning Korean virtually with the NSLI-Y Program. Although I was very excited for the experience, I only knew the basics of the Korean language, such as the alphabet; other than that, I had very few experiences with the language, so I was a bit worried. However, it was great (그것은 훌륭했해요)!
During the first week, I became attracted to the language. I knew it was a big challenge, but I was having a lot of fun learning the language and improving each day. My teacher Joanna helped me love the language. Despite the remote learning, the teacher made it seem like we were in class. (선생님 조안나 제가 언어를 좋아하도록 도와 주셨해요. 원격 교육에도 불구하고 선생님은 우리가 수업에있는 것처럼 보이게했습니다.) The class was vibrant and our teacher (선생님) was always available to help us. During the 5 weeks of class, I felt that I learned a year's worth of content. Our teacher (선생님) kept us involved and made sure that alongside learning the language effectively, we were having fun learning it and connecting as a class. Our teacher integrated the language into culture (선생님은 문화에 언어를 넣어), and the cultural activities that our teacher (선생님) integrated with the language helped me see just how unique the Korean culture is.
The NSLI-Y VSI program helped me see how attracted I am towards learning foreign languages. I am bilingual and have been learning French for about five years, but learning Korean with the VSI program helped me notice how much I enjoy new language experiences, especially those that involve culture. The program helped enrich my knowledge of Korean culture and diplomacy, though activities such as cooking pajeon (파전), learning about taekwondo (태권도), and many more. These activities helped show me the uniqueness of the culture, and helped me see how attracted I am to learning about foreign cultures.
Post-program, I have continued, and will definitely continue to learn Korean (한국어). I have stayed in contact with my classmates, and we have had study sessions to continue studying Korean (한국어). I'm looking forward to continuing my studies of the language and the culture! NSLI-Y introduced me to a great language and culture (NSLI-Y 는 저에게 훌륭한 언어와 문화를 소개하는 데 도움을주었습니다). The skills I learned for remote learning and language learning will definitely help me in the future, and I won't forget the fun I had in the class and how much I learned in those five weeks. NSLI-Y and my Korean teacher (선생님) taught me the universal importance of languages and learning about foreign culture. I couldn't have asked for a better language experience.