April Collare came back to Tussey to visit Casey Flaherty’s history classes Jan. 22. Collare, a Tussey Mountain alum, traveled from South Korea to educate the 10th graders about her life in South Korea.
Collare is studying at Hankuk University of foreign studies. “I major in linguistics and translation at a prestigious university in South Korea,” says Collare. She chose to come back to Tussey to show students what life is like in another country.
Collare moved to South Korea after she graduated from high school. She went to a school for two years to learn Korean, then she went to Hankuk University where everything is spoken in Korean. Collare has been at the university for three years. “I love my life in South Korea. I have created my own life there and have made many friends,” she says. Collare decided to go to South Korea while she was in high school because college tuition in South Korea is much more manageable.
Collare introduced the students to traditional houses and castles in South Korea. She mentioned when one goes to a castle, they wear traditional clothes.
Collare described and showed pictures of South Korean food like kimchi and bibimbap. Collare also showed videos of Americans trying Korean McDonalds, and Koreans trying American McDonald’s. Collare talked about their theme cafés. They have cat, sheep, dog and raccoon cafes. The animals are in the café so customers can pet them. A lot of the cafés can decorate drinks with artwork. Collare shared a cookie called Yakgwa (Korean honey cookie), at the beginning of every class.
Collare shared Korean music and showed music videos by artists like Black Pink and K Pop. Collare talked about Korean festivals like mud festivals, cherry blossom festivals and green tea festivals. She gave a hand out of the Korean alphabet so students could learn how to write their name in Korean. She explained how to pronounce different letters.
Tiffany Black, a tenth grader who heard Collare’s presentation, has had an interest in South Korea for many years. “I learned more about Korean culture, education system and different facts about different cities. Most of the stuff was not [completely] new to me,” said Black. She learned more about the Korean culture from Collare’s presentation.
Black knew the alphabet and how to write it in Korean. “I knew the fashion and how modern it was, like how it is in the U.S.” Black’s interest in South Korea is their style and how much the young ones respect their elders.
Collare said “When a student studies abroad, they are forced out of their comfort zone and that’s when they learn about themselves and get to do and meet people they never would have if they didn’t go. Studying abroad is the best decision I have ever made.”