What is life like for a South Korean in Cork?
Time to meet one of our students from South Korea. Younni!
Brendan: First of all, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? What are you studying?
Sure~ I’m Yoonsik-Kim from South Korea and studying International studies especially in International trade and Chinese studies.
Brendan: Why did you choose to come to take an English language course at UCC Language Centre? How did you hear about our Language Centre?
I was supposed to study in Dublin at first because I didn’t know many things of Ireland at that moment. However I changed my mind, as soon as I saw several fabulous pictures of the UCC campus. I Felt like UCC campus would make me keep studying hard even if I didn’t like it.
Brendan: Before coming to Ireland, what did you know about our country?
As you know, country of the Guinness, Jameson and St.Patrick’s day! yaaas!
Brendan: When you arrived what was the biggest surprise for you?
Blue sky and tons of stars, the sun sets over 10 in Summer
Also everything closes at 6.
Brendan: Well, the main stores in the city centre close at 6 most days, but you will find a lot of convenience stores open late.
Brendan: Is Irish weather as bad as people say it is?
Actually, I liked Irish weather ,since it doesn’t have extreme changes. I know You might think I’m a bit crazy while reading this.
Brendan: Did you stay with an Irish family or in student accommodation?
I got my own single room just beside the Lough. My landlord was an American and he used to teach at UCC. He was such a well educated person. I always admired his deep knowledge. There were 6 more International people besides two of us in our house. All of them were so kind, easy going and talkative. I never got any troubles with my house mates while I lived there. I miss all of them. They are the best flat-mates ever of my life.
Brendan: Is Cork a safe place for Korean students?
Yes it is.. But one shouldn’t expect it is as safe as Korea. Ireland is a safe country, however if one comes here with having a Korean safety standards, perhaps one may get into trouble. I Wouldn’t suggest going out too late since you are a foreigner in this country.
Brendan: It is not all about study. How did you enjoy the nightlife in Cork?
Haha as I was a diligent student of the UCC. I rarely know many things about nightlife in Cork. Brendan, I guess you’ve got a wrong person lololol But as long as I know, there are a few great night-clubs and bars in Cork to enjoy night out. I’ve been to Secret garden and Voodooroom a few times. These two are the biggest clubs in Cork. Bar and club are the best place to make Irish friends definitely but Ed Sheeran prefers a bar.
Brendan: Are Cork people friendly?
Of course, they are super friendly particularly when they were drunk.
Brendan: People say Irish people and Koreans are alike; would you agree?
I think they are absolutely different. The only thing we are similar is drinking a lot and having a similar colonial history. However, if you lads think these two things are fair enough to define we are alike, then we are similar. But I don’t really think we are alike haha.
Brendan: What were your classes and teachers like?
I’d studied at ucc for 10 months including 2 months holidays. I was in B2 class at first. After finishing the B2 course, I applied for 2 months holidays to travel around other European countries. When I came back to Cork, I was in IELTS preparation course to know what the IELTS is roughly. Next term, I got lifted to C1 class finally.
All teachers I met at UCC were so lovely!!! They are enthusiastic to teach their students and enjoy spending their time with them. They are always so professional and devoted.
Brendan: Tell us about your daily routine for you?
I can’t remember all of my life in Ireland as I left Ireland more than two months ago, but on Monday to Friday from 9 to 1, I was in class (no dodging), after that I went to the gym as much as I can idealistically more than 4 times a week. I also used to learn Salsa every Thursday. On every Tuesday I was in UCC Korean Society to introduce Korean culture to other students, but to be honest I rather learn my culture such as K-pop, or K-Drama from K-soc students. It was a bit embarrassing. Every Monday I was in UCC trad music Society to play Irish tune with my fiddle. Friday went night out for “studying purpose” Every Saturday I did some volunteering work to make our Cork better than before with Reimagine Cork. by the way They changed their name to “mad about Cork”.
Brendan: Where did your classmates come from?
From France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, China and Japan. I never expected I could meet such various people having different nationality and cultural background at the same time. I’ve got not only language, but also culture.
Brendan: Did you make friends with your classmates?
Yes I did, I still remember everything clearly that I did with Hams, Vincent, Adriana in Ireland. And I really appreciate to Hams for introducing Jesse to me. I can’t imagine my life in Ireland without these lads.
Brendan: Ya, they are great people!
Brendan: Do you feel more confident in using English now?
Of course, I already have several Foreigner friends in Korea!! Most of them are exchange students or English teachers. I definitely have much more confidence in speaking English than before. But I’m still bad at grammar or natural expression, hope they not to feel any awkwardness to my language.
Brendan: While you were in Ireland, did you get to visit different parts of Ireland?
I’ve been to Dublin, Dingle, Killarney and Kilkenny. I haven’t been to cliffs of moher and Galway yet. I’ll be back to see them and meet a galway girl later.
Brendan: What was the best place for you?
The Alchemy, Lough park, UCC, Mardyke, Internet cafe
Brendan: You also travelled to different parts of Europe; what was the best place for you and why?
Barcelona! The weather was really nice when I was in there. And even if I spent 4 days just only in Barcelona, it wasn’t enough to feel the atmosphere of the city fully. Lovely weather, nice beach, fancy building, cheap drinks, tanned women.
Brendan: If one of your Korean friends was coming to UCC Language Centre, what advice would you give them?
Study grammar in use before studying in Ireland. it helps you a lot. And I didn’t watch NAVER, and Kakao haha.
Brendan: What did you miss about Korea when you were in Cork?
Nothing. Haha I’m missing Ireland now.
Brendan: What do you miss about Cork, now that you are back in Korea?
Friends , Easy going life in Ireland.
Brendan: What about the cost of the course? Was it reasonable?
Compared to other language school in Ireland, it’s slightly expensive but I think it deserves to pay more as it has amazing facilities, like the free leisure centre and all the things in the university.
Brendan: I hope you will come back to Cork. Will you?
Ohhh I will definitely, it’s become a my second hometown.
Brendan: Finish this sentence: The best thing about UCC Language Centre is…
Atmosphere!!! As you know UCC Language Centre is in the UCC main campus. Concerning facility, socialising and scholar stuffs UCC Language Centre gives you more than just language skill. It’s up to you how you can take an advantages of being a UCC Language Centre student.
Brendan: Thank you, Yuonni. It was great having you in the Language Centre. We hope you come back.
If you wish to come and study English at our Language Centre, you can find all details here.