Seite 52 - TheWave 4

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Let It
Express
Korean and German culture. As time went
by, however, I became accustomed to this
“expressive” culture. They hug whenever
they want to; they kiss whenever they
feel like it.
The way of delivering the lecture was
pretty different and fresh. There was not
a single lecturer; rather, all the partici-
pants in class discussed topics and shared
understandings. A professor was not in
charge of repeating theories, but guiding
students to apply the background knowl-
edge to various issues. At frst, it seemed
like I was not learning anything because
the professor did not make a clear-cut
conclusion from many opinions of stu-
dents. Besides, I was too shy to say my
thoughts out loud because I did not want
to make any mistakes and turn red with
embarrassment. I needed some time to
get myself tuned into this style, and I suc-
ceeded at last. I became brave enough to
ask a question, lead a group work, and
state an opinion among fellow students.
During the stay in Germany, the biggest
distinction between Germans and Kore-
ans that I have noticed was this: To tell or
not to tell, that is the question! Germans
openly speak out and act without hesi-
tation; Koreans leave a room for reading
between the lines. This is not a matter of
right or wrong, for sure. It is more impor-
tant that I have acknowledged the differ-
ent degrees of expressing thoughts and
opinions. This fve month experience will
have a long-lasting impact on me and will
serve as a run-up for further international
communication which will be essential
for my career.
S O H Y U N G
H Y U N
O C E A N S N E T W O R K ,
S O U T H K O R E A
E X C H A N G E P R O G R A M M E
S O U T H K O R E A - E U
CULTURAL SPECTRUM
“One, two, three!”“Click”
A
fter taking a photo with my
family in front of the entrance
which leads to airport security
checks, I walked through the
gate very bravely without a
single teardrop; instead, I was
floating on air and full of excitement,
waiting for my fight to Germany. At this
point, I could not have imagined how
much the following five months would
change me. The start of my frst journey
abroad by myself was fairly smooth. I was
lucky that on the way to a city called Hei-
lbronn where I would stay, I met a nice
German family who drove me and my
huge packs of luggage to a student resi-
dence. Even though they were not fuent
in English and I could not speak any Ger-
man except “Guten Tag” and “Danke”, we
continued talking for about an hour and
a half on the train. It was the frst step of
communication with a world I had never
encountered before.
Shortly after I began a new life as a for-
eigner, it was easy for me to fnd some-
thing unusual and different from what I
was used to seeing. The most impressive
thing happened during a lecture named
“Strategic Management”. I was sitting
near the front of a classroom. The profes-
sor asked, “You have a television in your
living room, and you want to buy a sec-
ond one. Where will you put your new
television?” Then most of the students
answered, “In the bedroom.” After that,
the professor asked again, “What is the
advantage of putting your second TV in
your bedroom?” Suddenly, one of the stu-
dents who was sitting on the back of the
classroom shouted, “You can enjoy watch-
ing TV while having sex with your wife.”
I was quite shocked by what he re-
plied to the question in class. I
turned back to see how the stu-
dents reacted to his answer. Their
responses were totally different
from those of what I expected - ev-
eryone including the professor was
laughing! I imagined what it would
be like if he had shouted out his an-
swer in a class where I used to be.
Actually, it was unimaginable. In Ko-
rea, no one would say anything like
that, because nobody would dare to
mention anything sexual in front of a
professor. It was this day I really saw
the complete difference between the
the
wαve
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