When I accessed my gmail after an all-nighter for my finals, I was so exhausted to the extent that I typed my gmail password, which I’ve been using for 10 years of my internet life, wrong. Not even once, twice. However, as soon as I opened my inbox (with considerable effort), my half-closed eyes got huge and my mouth opened agape, not believing what I was looking at. It was an email from GWU, saying that I was chosen as a recipient of Blogging Scholarship for exchange students! YEAY.
So here I am at George Washington University – more specifically at the second floor of Gelman Library, on the first day of class, ready to write about myself and my upcoming GWU life. I would like to start out my blog post with an appreciation towards OSA staffs who have bestowed me such a great opportunity.
“What is your hometown?” This question is the hardest question for a Third Culture Kid, which is the simplest way to define my identity, to answer. I am a Korean by blood, but I spent most of my lifetime in Japan because of my father’s job. In addition to that, I have a high school diploma neither from Korean nor Japanese school, but from an American educational institution. Never have I ever appreciated the odd situation I was placed in. It made myself look like a miserable bubble who couldn’t belong in any particular community. I strived to escape out of this bubble, and the final destination I chose was Korea.
I am currently an undergraduate student majoring in Political Science and International Studies in Yonsei University, the best private university in Korea. Yonsei University has a reputation as the most westernized college in Korea, as the founder of Yonsei is a British-American pastor Horace G. Underwood. It also has the highest percentage of international students and is definitely the most popular Korean university amongst foreign exchange students.
Yonsei University helped me rediscover my passion for international relations, and I realized my unique background would help me achieve my dream in that my environment provided me with an objective way to view world issues. My enthusiasm lies on resolving conflicts amongst East Asia. Japan was major axis power during the World War II along with Germany. However, from what I observed, Japan doesn’t take as much effort as Germany in engaging with the victimized countries, especially Korea. As a Korean living in Japan, I’ve always felt terrible to see the tensions that never relieved between these two countries.
I believe my education in GWU would provide me with capability to deliberate on this problem. I am convinced that GWU’s International Affairs program would further broaden my perspective because it takes a multi-disciplinary method to analyze international event. Not only did GWU’s location in world’s political hub captivate me, the excellent professors who are actually are active participants of the international stage also made me apply to GWU as my first and only choice. I was so amazed to know that I could learn from professors that I could only get in touch with through theses and articles.
After my experience in GWU, I hope I would be able to come up with a practical solution for both Japan and Korea, for Japan not just to give an official apology, but to demonstrate its humane aspect that actually shows that Japan “cares” for the victimized country, and for Korea to have an accepting attitude similar to that of France and Poland to move on with the past.
Also, I would like to travel the city and get to know it. I’ve always been captivated by Washington D.C., the city that is in charge of operating and changing the world. My first time visit here was during summer 2014, but my family and I were only able to take a brief look at the city during that trip. During this semester however, I plan on visiting every single landmarks of D.C., taking time to observe it carefully and enjoying it as much as I can. From Washington, Baltimore and Pennsylvania are easy to access, and Florida and New York are not that far away. My day off on Friday would help me travel around different places as well.