The Chung-Ang Herald interview Kin Yun-jung, who went to Klagenfurt university as an exchange student. It was not long since she came back, so CAH was able to get an interview from her fresh memories.
CAH Why did you choose this school?
KIM When I picked the school I wanted, you could say that I picked the country actually. I focused on experiencing the country’s culture more than learning the language. That’s why when I was picking which European country would suit me the best, I chose Austria. I really liked classical music and art, the fact that Austria is geographically in the middle of Europe and because Austria is a wealthy country. Also I thought that it’d be easy to travel around.
CAH Was there any difficulty in adjusting to foreign culture?
KIM The first time I went there, I noticed that people had lots of physical contact when saying hello. When they met a friend, they usually hugged each other or gave a small kiss on the cheek. I had, of course, seen this a lot on television, so I was rather unfamiliar with it at first, however now because it makes it easier to approach friends, I think it’s rather a nice and warm way to express that you’re happy to see your friend.
CAU Since you went to a foreign country, I suppose you travelled a lot. Could you please recommend some places that are enjoyable to visit?
KIM Yes I did a lot of travelling. But if I was to pick my favorite places, it would be Wien and Salzkammergut. In Salzkammergut, I could find the Europe of my dreams. It looked very refined and clean especially because it is part of the Alps. Also there are many beautiful lakes, so overall, the views you can find there are spectacular. In Wien there were many museums and things related to music, like classical music performances. The palace was also very large and impressive. The power of the throne had a lot of influence on Wien so I could see the history of the royal family.
CAH Now about your class atmosphere, at your stay in Klagenfurt, what difference did you feel compared to CAU?
KIM I don’t really think that there is a big difference between the two, but something that I noticed was that the professors asked for the student’s opinion more frequently and the students answered back immediately. This showed that Austrian students always had their own opinion. On the other hand, when Korean students are asked for their opinion usually they just sit quietly.
CAH Of the things that Korea differs from Austria, what do you wish Korea would learn from Austria?
KIM Probably because Austria is a wealthier country, the people keep their own composure and are considerate to one another. I think that’s where all the manners come from. There was an incident that was rather memorable to me. One day when I was about to cross at a crosswalk when there seemed to be no cars, I spotted a car driving very quickly towards me. So I obviously waited for the car to pass, but the car jammed its breaks and stopped in front of the crosswalk, obviously waiting for me to cross. I was moved by that experience. I hope Koreans could be as well-mannered.
CAH Are there any advice or tips you could give to future exchange students?
KIM The more English you can speak, the better your stay will be. But what I want to emphasize is 'carpe diem'. Korean students usually take studying more seriously than having a good time, but when I was at my late stages of being an exchange student, I regretted that I didn’t party with my friends more often and that I didn’t participate in other activities.
If you’re thinking about traveling to foreign countries, why not go as an exchange student to places like Klagenfurt University? The views are stunning, people are friendly and nice. And best of all, you can enjoy the Austrian culture. Carpe diem!< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >