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Why Don’t You Make Foreign Friends and Improve Your English?

작성자HANBAT HERALD  조회수1,681 등록일2022-01-14

Why Don’t You Make Foreign Friends and Improve Your English?

By Kim Do-eun Cub Reporter, Sophomore of Public Policy

The best way to improve English conversation skills is to be exposed to an environment where you have no choice but to speak English. Making foreign friends is very suitable for this. However, it is difficult to make friends abroad, due to the prolonged COVID-19. Despite this situation, more foreigners are staying in Korea than expected, and HBNU also has foreign students. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) operates a program that allows Korean students to interact with foreign students. It is an English Conversation Leaders Club (E.C.L.C.) program.

This program is a student club activity, aimed at strengthening language skills and sharing culture between foreign and Korean students. One exchange student and 2-3 Korean students team up to engage in language and cultural exchange activities. Each semester, participants are selected by summing both their official language scores (30 percent), and their previous semester grades (70 percent). They receive activity subsidies and do club activities for at least two hours a week. In addition, if their attendance rate is more than 70 percent, they can receive 5 Units. These interviews are with the students who have already participated in the program.

Lee Jae-in, HBNU Junior of Electronics Control Engineering

Q1. What made you participate in this program?

A: I had a hard time talking in English. Just in time, I saw a notice at OIA that there was an opportunity to talk to foreign exchange students, and I decided to take the challenge.

Q2. Has the program helped improve your English-speaking skills and eliminate your fears of conversation with foreigners?

A: Yes, it has helped a lot. I became less afraid of speaking English, because I spent a lot of time with my foreign friends and formed a consensus.

Q3. Did the program help you have cultural exchanges with foreign students?

A: Yes, it did. While spending time with them, I was able to get to know their culture naturally. For example, when choosing a meal menu, we had to avoid food containing pork. This is because my friend could not eat pork for religious reasons. She explained this to us in detail. Through this, I was able to gain a clear understanding of her religion and thoughts.

Q4. What would you say to students considering participating in this program?

A: I really want to recommend it. Now that it is difficult to make foreign friends abroad, due to COVID-19, it is a good opportunity to improve English conversation skills just by having fun with exchange students in Korea.

Meerim Kudaiberdieva (Osh state university, faculty of international relations)

Q1. What made you want to participate in this program?

A: I wanted to learn languages, meet other international students and Korean students.

Q2. Did the program help you improve your English and Korean speaking skills and eliminate fear of conversations with foreigners?

A: Yes, it was helpful. At first, I was a little scared and embarrassed to speak English and Korean. But later, I got used to it. Whenever I had a hard time speaking English or Korean, the students helped me. I also learned new expressions by talking to them.

Q3. Did the program help you have cultural exchanges with Korean students?

A: Yes, it did. We talked a lot about each other’s culture. By talking about the traditions and holidays of each country, I was able to understand Korean culture more. Also, I was happy that they became interested in our country through that time.

Q4. What would you say to students considering participating in this program?

A: I want to recommend this program to everyone. Not only is this an opportunity that you can not easily find, but also you can improve your English skills and learn about other countries.

All members of the interviewee’s team recommended this program. If you are afraid of conversations with foreigners, this program will definitely help you overcome those fears. Besides, if you do not know how to improve your English conversation skills, why do not you participate in this program?