At the moment three exchange students are taking the Sustainability and Environmental Challenges in the 21st century course. It is a general education class held on Mondays and Thursdays. The Post was fortunate enough to meet with them as they were talking with each other after class. The three came to Dongguk on the first week of September, so are freshmen here. Dorothy is a 21 year old from Botswana, located in South Africa. Nuunuu is the same age and is from Indonesia. Pimsiri is the oldest of the three. She is 23 years old from Thailand. Let’s find out what they think about Korea and how they compare it with their home countries?
1. What is your major in your hometown?
Dorothy (Botswana): I'm majoring in Environmental Science & Sociology at the University of Botswana.
Pimsiri (Thailand): My major is Plant Science & Drugs.
Nuunuu (Indonesia): I'm majoring in Computer Science, but I'm taking a variety of other classes because I'd like to experience and study many fields.
2. Why did you decide to enter Dongguk?
Dorothy (B): Dongguk provides merit based scholarships for exchange students so I applied to this university.
Pimsiri (T): In Thailand, Dongguk is well-known to students. As it is a famous school I wanted to come here.
Nuunuu (I): The Korean Wave (The phenomenon that Korean culture is spread and popularized in other countries-particularly in Asia and the Middle East countries) has reached Indonesia as well. I love Big-bang and watch Korean TV dramas.
3. What are your dreams?
Dorothy (B): I want to be an Environmental planner. I'm also interested in writing novels or poems. I hope my novel can be finished and published by the time I’m 30.
Pimsiri (T): I want to be a Scientist.
Nuunuu (I): My dream is to be a CIO (Chief Information Officer), and a traveler. Ultimately I want to travel all over the world. I love to travel!
4. What are your hobbies?
Dorothy (B): I frequently visit Facebook (The social-networking site). I also like to meet new people, especially writers from other countries, so I try to meet them when I travel. I haven't met any Korean writers yet but would like to. Playing the guitar is another hobby of mine. These days though, I'm forgetting how to play well because I only learned how in Botswana.
Pimsiri (T): Similarly to Dorothy, I enjoy exploring jungles.
Nuunuu (I): Outdoor activities are my favorite things to do especially diving and hiking.
5. What kinds of Korean food do you like?
Dorothy (B): I like many Korean foods; kimbap, crab and fish (seafood), sikhye (sweet rice drink). I drank sikhye in my guesthouse during the Thanksgiving holiday, and it was so great! I love it! And I love Bulgogi (Barbequed beef or pork), too.
Pimsiri (T): Kimchi and Pickled radish are my favorite Korean foods. When I ate them for the first time in Sanglokwon, a food court at Dongguk, I was fascinated with them. But I don’t really like Naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles) yet, but perhaps in time I’ll acquire a taste for it.
Nuunuu (I): I don't like any meat, so I usually eat vegetables. Please recommend me some delicious Korean foods that include only vegetables (Laughing). What I like most among Korean foods are Tteokbokki (Rice cakes in hot sauce) and Naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles). Sometimes I eat fast food like potato chips in Myeong-dong, and that is very delicious also!
6. In your countries, what is the standard of beauty?
Dorothy (B): Traditionally, people have liked women who have average figures and dark skin in Botswana. Inner beauty was equal to outer beauty. These points of view have changed with the influence of western cultures however.
Pimsiri (T): In Thailand, the standard of beauty is similar to that of Koreans'. They prefer thin women with big eyes, high noses, and white skin. Sometimes I see Thailand women who carry diet supplements.
Nuunuu (I): I think the standard of beauty varies as there are many different kinds of pretty women. In general, however, people in Indonesia like women who look exotic and have bright skin. In addition, they like women who are slim, but not too thin.
7. To show off their riches, what do men do for woman whom they want to marry?
Dorothy (B): He gives cows to the woman's family. The maximum ‘Lobola’, the number of cows, is twelve. The higher level of education the woman has, the more ‘Lobola’ she can receive. This means that a woman can marry a rich man if she matches up well with her education.
Pimsiri (T): This includes jewelry like gold and diamonds. A Thai man gives about 600 million won (600,000,000 won) to his future bride.
Nuunuu (I): 'Mahara' are gift boxes, and there are money or expensive things like shoes, bags, clothes, or jewelry in each box. Men usually bring these things for their women, and some men give a ring to them. In my opinion, the ways to propose are also different for different people.
8. What do you think about the character of Korean students?
Dorothy (B): I think they are kind, but shy. Because Koreans don't use English as their official language, they seem to be timid about speaking English so they hesitate to strike up a conversation with exchange students or other foreigners. But once they start speaking, their attitude changes and I see them as kind and wanting to take care of us.
Pimsiri (T): I can understand Korean students. Thai is spoken in Thailand, so people don't usually use English in their everyday lives. Meanwhile, I often meet some Korean students who are very good at English.
Nuunuu (I): 'Fashionable', this is the word that comes to mind when I see Korean students. Their dresses are neat and tidy. These kinds of dresses are not worn as much in my own country. Indonesian people wear clothes like that only when they go to a shopping mall. Also, what I was impressed with is that they study hard in the library. Even though it is not a testing period, the library is full of students struggling to find seats.
<Facebook ID & E-mail address>
Feel free to contact the beautiful three if you have more questions for them or would like to get to know them better!
They are waiting to meet Korean friends and will be happy to meet you.
Dorothy (B): pho-phophonchi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pimsiri (T): email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nuunuu (I): Nuunuu Djula, email@example.com
Yun Seon-ju firstname.lastname@example.org
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