Photo by Yoo Jee-sun.
When I applied for the exchange program, I said I would like to improve my English and make many friends from diverse countries. Now, after studying at Temple for one semester, I realized that I have seen, heard, learned, and felt much more than that. Being an exchange student at Temple was a great chance for me to meet many different people from various countries and learn their culture. However, it was also a great chance for me to realize what kind of person I am, and think about my strengths, flaws, and values.
In fact, Temple is the best place for students to experience diversity. More than 50 percent of students are African-Americans and about 30 percent consists of international students mostly from Brazil, India, China, and Korea.
Because of this, I was able to cope with students from many different countries and learn their culture through classes, club activities, and trips.
There are also several international student associations. They helped exchange students settle their luggage, find their dorms, look around the campus, and get used to life at Temple. Especially ISA, which consists of international students hold many different activities for exchange students. I also took part in this club and participated in skating night, bowling night, Valentines day speed date, ISA ball, and so on.
I was able to make many Chinese, Brazilian, and Indian friends at ISA with whom I still keep in contact. I did not expect to make such good friends with people from totally different places who use totally different languages, but it was possible at Temple.
Moreover, I was able to realize what kind of person I am during the whole semester. In fact, this was the first time I ever stayed apart from my parents and lived with people I never knew before. I realized my flaws and strengths compared to my friends.
Furthermore, Philadelphia is only two hours away from New York and New Jersey, three hours away from Washington D.C., and eight hours away from Boston by bus. My friends and I traveled to many different places the semester and also visited Orlando and Miami during spring break and California during summer vacation.
Because of this opportunity, I was able to see places I only knew through books and TV shows, see how Americans live, see how U.S. is different from Korea and how each state is different from another, and much more. This helped me realize how small and narrow my worries were and broaden my values.
In addition, I took four courses at Temple, two of which were English Language and Literature courses and the other two were general education courses. In Shakespeare in the Movies, which was my major course, I watched movies based on Shakespeare’s masterpieces, analyzed and compared the movies.
In Introduction to Novels, which is also my major course, I read English novels, analyzed and discussed important points, and wrote essays based on the discussions. I had a hard time reading two to three books every week and debating with native students in this class, but it was a great chance to improve my English.
I only stayed at Temple University for one semester. However, what I saw, heard, learned, and felt is much more than that. I could not write down all of it on this report, but I would like to say being an exchange student at Temple was a right choice.
*Yoo Jee-sun (English, 3) studied at Temple University in the United States.