Start here. Go to South Korea.
This summer, Karen Zgeb and Amber-Rain Hyshka are going from a place where the sun never sets, to a land that never sleeps. The two Yukon College grads are heading to South Korea.
Beginning July 1, they will take part in a summer school at the Korea University of Technology and Education (KOREATECH) in the city of Cheonan, 80 kilometers south of Seoul.
Zgeb and Hyshka will spend three weeks learning about and experiencing Korean language, Confucian values and Korean culture. The two women also have opportunities to take classes in Taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial art, and Samulnori, a traditional musical instrument.
“I have Korean students at the multicultural centre in Whitehorse and have picked up a little of the language,” said Zgeb, an English as a Second-Language (ESL) instructor. “I’d really like to learn more and know more about the Korean culture.”
However, the field trips have Zgeb the most excited.
“I am really looking forward to taking part in the Boryeong mud festival,” said the 22-year-old graduate of the Bachelor of Education program. “It’s like the tomato festival in Italy, but with mud.”
For 33-year-old Hyshka, a trip to Nami Island is top of her list. “It looks so beautiful,” said the Business Administration diploma graduate. “I am very interested in learning about the different trees and plants they have in their botanical gardens.”
Yukon College has hosted 35 South Korean students since 2009 under a contract to provide ESL training for KOREATECH. Last year, Mr. Hanjo Kim, International Program Officer at KOREATECH, visited Yukon College and offered free tuition and board to two Yukon College students with the goal of better facilitating cultural exchange between the two post-secondary institutions.
“Yukon College has a small campus, just like our university but the work they have done in the Yukon area is very impressive,” said Kim. “We felt that we both share a common vision and educational values. We believe these shared values would be beneficial to both universities if we could develop a close and mutual relationship.”
To win their trip to South Korea, Zgeb and Hyshka had to write a 300-word essay, provide references, and have successfully completed one full semester at Yukon College. The two must also cover their return air fare.
KOREATECH was ranked number one in after-graduation employment and was the number one education-centered university in a recent South Korean nation-wide university evaluation.