Korean Language Test

After a full night of much-needed sleep, we started Day 2 with the infamous language placement test. Professors from Korea University’s summer language program greeted us in the English Center (known among students as the “Fish Bowl”) and administered the test, which contained a written exam and an oral interview. The prompt for the exam was to write a self-introduction in Korean. More than half of the ETAs, who did not know any Korean, wrote their names at the top of the test and handed in a blank page, at which point they were allowed to leave without taking the oral portion of the test.

I knew a few phrases and sentences from the last few weeks, so I wrote “Hello! I am Janine” in Korean and stood on the line to hand in my test, expecting to be excused. When one of the instructors saw that I had written something, he whisked me away for an oral interview. Wait, what?!

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From JFK to Incheon

So today was the big day! Until now, Korea seemed like a point way off in the future and a place far away on a map. But as I packed my (waaaaaay) overweight suitcases into the car and said goodbye to all my neighbors, my trip suddenly became much more real.

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How the Journey Began

November 2014

“So, what are your plans after graduation?”

My uncle looked at me over the Thanksgiving table as he began carving the turkey. I cringed as he asked the one question every college senior dreads. While several of my friends knew exactly what they would be doing after May 15, I was still unsure. I knew only two things. The first was that I applied for a Fulbright ETA.

The second was that I hadn’t told my parents yet.

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