ISEE 체험수기 게시판   
total글수 10
Go
 
TFG 15기 - 이명진 조회수 : 2,163, 2008-05-21 15:34:15
운영자
Hi :)
I'm Myung jin, Lee. I started this volunteer work in September last year. I'm really enjoying this work. I hope you will get a nice chance to volunteer as well.

Prologue
I've been working as a youth worker since September. The placement where I live is called SPEC. The SPEC stands for Spiritual Personal Educational Community. As you can guess this is a kind of retreat center. There are around 20 people who are working with me (50% of English and 50% of different nationalities). We call this place an International Community. There are Germans, Korean (which is me^^), Polish, Swedish, Dutch, Irish, Czech, Italian, Ugandan, American to name a few. We live and work together. It has some advantages but there are also disadvantages. I'll tell you now.

1. Language
-As you can see, my English is still not that good.
I was crying for 3 days in the beginning of this year. I felt completely isolated. Before I left Korea, I had thought 'I'm not gonna cry, I'll be fine....etc...' But I understood what people said less than I expected. There were no Asians around me. And I thought people don't understand me at all. But it wasn't true, I just needed to speak a bit louder. We are not native. It means we've got funny accents. But we need to be brave and confident about ourselves. At least we can speak English whether it's right or wrong. English people don't even know how to say 'hello' in Korean. We are in much better position than they are. Fortunately, there were couple of Koreans at SPEC in the past 3 years, so team leaders and my supervisor already knew how hard it is for me to settle in here. They tried to help me a lot. For example, I cried during the mass which is Catholic service. The reason? Of course, I didn't understand the mass at all. I felt I'm so stupid. And then people came and cheered me up by saying 'You are doing really well...etc' It was really helpful. After that time, I tried to be more open to others, and I felt much calmer and more stable. It might not be the same if you go to an extremely different placement. In my opinion, this placement is a bit unique. People who are living here think that we are family in Jesus. So we really take care of every single person. And even though the other foreigners are western, It doesn't mean they don't have the language problem as we do. So we understand each other which is good. You might wonder how do I study English. In fact, I don't study at all. There are always people, I say friends who want to play games, watch DVDs, and go to the Pub...etc. As you can imagine it's quite impossible to study. I'd rather spend time with them. I could study Toefl, Toeic in Korea. But in here I've got lots of friends who won't be in Korea with me :)

2. Food and Culture
Everything was new and different, even using fork and knife. It doesn't matter how many times you've been to a western restaurant in Korea. I had to be aware of situations around me, and I really didn't want to make any mistakes. But it's impossible. I'm not English, So I just asked about everything I don't know well. Most people are really kind. And they tend to think Asians are cute. It's kind of an advantage. They really like it when I explain differences between my culture and theirs. Every day, I have English food. I've had Korean food once in London. But I'm not that addicted to Korean food. So I'm fine with just the English food. I'd love to eat hot and spicy food. But there is none. So I just decided to experience English food. There is a catering team who cook for us. I don't buy any food. They provide us fruits, chocolates, snacks..all stuff. I don't pay for food at all. I have chips which is potato, mash potato, Sunday roast with beef and vegetables, and fish, salmon, pasta, pizza, etc. All of this food helps me to put on weight. I tried to resist the temptation of puddings. But I gave up and started to enjoy it. I think food is also a big part of culture.
  
3. Work
I already mentioned I'm a youth worker. I work on weekdays which are from Monday to Friday. And I have weekends off. My off time is regular. So I could make plans for traveling. Anyway, there are two different jobs. One of them is working with years 10 to 13. And another one is working with years 3 to 9. Most of the foreign volunteers work with little kids including me. Basically, there are lots of indoor and outdoor activities. We learned these sessions at the beginning of this year. And we lead the sessions with the group. The groups who come to our centre are from local schools and from London. (You might know that the population of Christians is decreasing in this country. That's the reason why this placement was established.) They teach how to follow Jesus, being as a Christian, God's love..etc You could think it's boring, but all activities are related with fun stuff, and playing. So it’s really cool. And leading sessions in English is always challenging for me. Before December I usually had to spend the whole night to prepare my session. But I've got better at it nowadays. So I don't have to do it anymore.

4. Hardness or Difficulties
I don't suffer from homesickness. It also depends on your placement, it could be really different. Seriously, I don't have time to miss home. I work more time than other TFG volunteers. Because I don't want to feel lonely, I try to be busy especially when I'm on holidays.
Being with diverse people is both interesting and challenging. Even though you speak the same language, you can have some troubles with your friends. Because English is not our mother language, we don't realize that the word can be understood in different way. People can misunderstand each other and they get hurt.
We all grew up in different cultures, it causes some problems as well. For example, the customs like how you greet people. It wasn't that easy to be flexible and understand the other culture. So I would say that was the most difficult for me.

5. Some things that could be useful to get in England
-mobile
-young person rail card for discounted train tickets
-oyster card for traveling in London
If I think of anything else, I'll let you know later.

Epilogue
Watch as many British movies as you can. If you get used to the expressions which they use in daily life, it could be easy to talk with them. And also it would be nice, if you listen to the BBC radio before you leave Korea. It would also be helpful to get to know this culture and be familiar with the English accent. I think if you bring some pictures of Korea, you can tell them about our country. Because they really don't know about Korea. They like Korean costume which is 'Han-bok'. You might be invited to some party. You can just wear it and show our culture.
댓글댓글 : 0 인쇄 추천 목록


번호 제목 글쓴이 조회수 날짜
10 TFG  TFG 20기 - 최영은 운영자 1140 3/04, 10:58 am
9 TFG  TFG22기 - 조 하림 운영자 1046 3/04, 10:46 am
8 TFG  TFG 14기- 최소영 운영자 1382 2/25, 1:43 pm
7 TFG  TFG 15기-정수영 운영자 1554 10/27, 8:01 pm
6 TFG  TFG 7기- 서원태 운영자 1637 5/21, 3:48 pm
5 TFG  TFG 6기 - 황기원 운영자 1318 5/21, 3:41 pm
4 TFG  TFG 7기 - 장혜민 운영자 1516 5/21, 3:39 pm
TFG  TFG 15기 - 이명진 운영자 2163 5/21, 3:34 pm
2 TFG  TFG 15기 - 이아람 운영자 1496 5/21, 3:31 pm
1 TFG  TFG 15기 - 이의주 운영자 1688 5/21, 3:19 pm
Copyright 1999-2019 Zeroboard
한국 ISEE 사무실 : 서울특별시 중구 퇴계로36가길 21 근아빌딩 502호ISEE / Tel : 02-2267-6286 / e-mail : iseekorea@naver.com
영국 TFG Office : Community House 46-50 East Parade, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG1 5PR / Tel : +44(0) 423 586248
Copyright 2004 ISEE All Right Reserved. / 개인정보보호정책☞보기