Exchanging at Ewha: Twins from Illinois
Exchanging at Ewha: Twins from Illinois
  • Son Young-chai
  • 승인 2015.04.09 22:33
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Emelie(left) and Melanie(right) are twins from Western Illinois University, who are both currently exchange students at Ewha. Photo provided by Herrera-Ortiz.
Melanie Abetzi Herrera-Ortiz (Melanie) and Emelie Mitzi Herrera-Ortiz (Emelie) are twins, both 20, from Western Illinois University. Melanie majors in Business and came to Ewha last fall. Following her lead, Emelie, a Marketing major, came to Ewha at the beginning of this semester.
Ewha Voice (EV): What made you decide to study abroad as an exchange student?
Emelie: Being an exchange student in a new country gives you more experience in school. Also, you can communicate with foreigners and surpass the language barrier to experience a new culture, which is definitely something that helps a person to grow further.
Melanie: It also helps our career.  Since we are both business majors, we develop our communication skills with not only one specific culture but many other cultures as well.
EV: Why did you choose to come to Korea?
Melanie: Three years ago, I began watching K-pop music videos. At first I didn’t like it. However, as time went by, I came to like the music and I started watching Korean dramas too. By watching the dramas, I developed an interest in Korean language and culture. The dramas taught me a lot about the Joseon Dynasty, Korean foods, chopsticks and even about the current generation of Korea. As I did my own research on the Korean language and culture, it became my dream to study abroad in Korea.
EV: Was there a specific reason for choosing Ewha?
Melanie: I had originally chosen Ewha because I personally have never been to a women’s university before. Throughout my whole life, I went to co-ed schools, so when I heard about Ewha, I wanted to see what a women’s university would be like. Then Emelie followed my footsteps.
EV: It is uncommon for sisters to come as exchange students at the same foreign school, at the same semester. We want to know what you felt to be an advantage or disadvantage of having this experience together.
Emelie: I think that an advantage would be when I go out with friends, I have my sister here who can help me. Also in terms of language, since she has already taken a semester of Korean, she helps me communicate with people who may not understand English.
Melanie: Because we are sisters, we obviously have occasional conflicts over little things. But we can resolve those conflicts pretty easily. Honestly, there are more advantages than disadvantages. Having someone who shares many likes and dislikes with me, it is a lot easier to go places. It is nice two have someone who can always be with you.

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