Hi there! My name is Tai. I am currently an exchange student in the Department of International Studies at Hanyang University(HYU). I have been living in South Korea for about a year, and will be here until the end of 2015. After I return home, I plan to graduate in Spring of 2016 and hopefully find a job in South Korea. Originally I was born in Maryland, United States, but I moved to Oregon at a young age until I decided to move to South Korea for a study exchange. My parents are actually immigrants from Vietnam. They immigrated in 1991, and I was born in 1992. At my home university, Portland State University, I am also majoring in International Studies. Along with taking university courses, I am also a student at the Korean Language School offered at HYU currently in the fourth level. Hopefully I can use the Korean language as an asset in my future endeavors.
In the future I definitely would like to return South Korea, find a job and live here. My motto in life is to strive for many goals, create back-up plans, and side dreams. One of my goals that I am currently striving towards is to work in an embassy. I wish to work for a department helping immigrants in South Korea at the interpreting and translating department. As mentioned earlier, my parents are immigrants from Vietnam; they raised my brothers and I speaking Vietnamese, therefore I am equipped with English and Vietnamese as fluent languages. I want to use these two language skills combined with Korean to help many immigrants in South Korea in the future. I want to be able to help immigrants adjust to life in South Korea well. I want to help immigrants know where they can get specific benefits, and not feel lost in a foreign country as I knew exactly what I feel coming to a foreign country.
Aside from wanting to work at an embassy, one of my other dream goals is to work in the music industry in South Korea. Both dream jobs stated are of different paths that they hardly intersect, but it never hurts to strive for your dreams. Music has been a part of my life ever since I was little. I have always been involved with playing instruments and singing since I was a toddler. My earliest memories were singing to my family. It has been a huge dream of mine to work in the music industry in South Korea for a very long time. I honestly just want to be part of an industry where I can just happily present my voice, rather than earn fame. I get this remarkable feeling when I stand on a stage, and show an audience my voice. I am now in Showdown club at HYU that consists of: DJ, MC, B-boy, Producing, Vocal and Girls’ Hip Hop. I have been part of the vocal department since Fall 2014, and I have met so many wonderful friends with the chance of performing in Hongdae in Winter of 2015.
As the end of 2015 is quickly coming to a close, I cannot help but reminisce the many wonderful friends that I have met in South Korea. I think without these many people, I would not be able to transition as well into Korean culture and the society as I did. When I first arrived, I was greeted with a program HYU that paired me up with a couple Korean students, and they helped other exchange students. Newfound friends pushed us right into what college students often do on weekends. The Korean culture is such a warm culture that celebrates aspects of life together for God’s sakes, Fridays in Korea are referred to as Bulgeum, a specific day to go out. This is really what I appreciate about the culture.
The camaraderie feeling makes me love Korea, but there is something about Korea that I cannot seem to pinpoint that keeps drawing me back here. As I return back to the United States, I will not be there for long because I will be back in South Korea in the near future. I consider my soon leave from South Korea as a long vacation, nothing more. I am thankful for the culture and the experiences that I have gained here, for I feel like I truly have changed for the better. I know what dreams I want to accomplish.