Her Story of Forming Multinational Friendships
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Her Story of Forming Multinational Friendships
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  • 승인 2007.03.02 00:00
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             Making a meaningful vacation is what every student likely dreams of. Some might plan to develop their career or some might take a break and travel abroad. Lee Do-kyung (Political Science & Diplomacy, 4) has combined the two, and in the process has gained a very important thing: multinational friendships.

             Every year since entering university, Lee has visited a foreign country during her vacation period to meet her foreign friends. They are not old friends, but have all recently met during their mutual participation in various volunteer programs. As there are no boundaries to volunteer work, the nationality of her friends are diverse; they come from places like Chile, France, Japan and Thailand.

             According to Lee, her broad friendships sprouted after she participated in the 40th International Youth Camp (IYC) hosted by UNESCO in summer 2005. 120 youth from thirty different countries gathered and shared their thoughts on cultural diversity and discussed subtopics such as human rights, culture, environment, social welfare and science technology. Lee notes that as the volunteers nationality is diverse, she can make friends from a small island country like Samoa or a massive nation such as Russia.

             Lee met most of her foreign friends during the IYC, but she has also made friends while participating in other volunteer programs. In winter 2005, she went to Chile to join the Korea-Chile Intergovernmental Youth Exchange and met South American friends. In summer 2006, she went to Milan, Italy and worked for an environmental NGO and met many Italian, French, Dutch and Bohemian friends. In winter 2007, she joined a work-camp in Laos, which was her second time volunteering for the same program in three years. Here she encountered her Japanese friend Kyoko, who had previously participated in IYC with her. 

             Lee says that e-mail and MSN chatting are the main means of maintaining relationships with her foreign friends. I send cards and gifts to my friends on special anniversaries like Christmas, New Year or birthdays.  Whenever she or her friends plan to visit a place near their home country, they make travel plans together or share tips on traveling. Thanks to her world-wide network, Lee already has plans for next year; a French friend she met at Milan NGO suggested working together for Greenpeace U.K. next summer, and she readily agreed.

             For Lee, foreign friends are special not because they are foreigners but they are simply friends. She adds, The benefit of having a foreign friend is that I could accept other cultures without a biased view and show a little more interest to my friends country.


Lees Schedule During Vacations

February 2004

-Volunteered at an environmental and educational work-camp in Laos

Summer 2005

-Participated in the 40th International Youth Camp by UNESCO held inKorea

Fall 2005

-Joined Korea-Chile Intergovernmental Youth Exchange program held in Chile

Winter 2005

-Japanese, American and Saudi Arabian friends from IYC visited Korea

From June to early July 2006

-Took summer classes at Ewha

From July to early August 2006

-Worked at an environmental NGO in Milan, Italy

August 2006

-Traveled Italy with other NGO volunteers

-Visited Spain and met Carlos, a friend from IYC, and traveled to Morocco together

-Visited U.K. and met Jin-ho from the 2004 work-camp in Laos

From December to early January 2007

-Took winter classes at Ewha

Mid-January 2007

-Traveled Thailand with four Political Science & Diplomacy major friends

Late January 2007

-Volunteered in a work-camp in Laos and met Kyoko from IYC

February 2007

-Came back to Thailand and had a reunion with Art and Jib from IYC

-Transferred to Taiwan on the way back to Korea and met Sherman from IYC

Late February 2007

-Kyoko and another Japanese friend from IYC visited Korea


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