Finding a Future in South Korea
A summer internship with Dankook International Summer School near Seoul, South Korea, left Emporia State University junior Miguel Bojorquez wanting to return, next time as a graduate student instead of primarily as a teacher.
Bojorquez of Kansas City, Kansas, taught at Dankook University, where he also was an advanced Korean language student.
“I would love to teach English again at a school and do my master’s degree over there as well,” Bojorquez said. “I definitely see myself there after graduating from ESU.”
At Dankook, Bojorquez prepared lessons and taught two sessions of English to university students at beginning and advanced levels.
Bojorquez’s interest in Korea evolved from contact with Emporia State’s many international students.
“So I became interested in Korea. I would study Korean by myself for hours, so before going I already knew most things about Korean culture and language,” he said.
South Korea’s classrooms were clean and pleasant, with ample modern technology available. A bus system also runs on campus, Bojorquez said.
He found Seoul to be “just incredible,” with its palaces lit at night, amazing food and performances to attend, where people dressed in traditional Korean clothes. He managed to incorporate that fascination into writing assignments for his Korean language class.
“So instead of using my book to learn, I went out to stores and restaurants. I had fun learning the language and meeting people,” he said.
Korean is the fifth language that Bojorquez has learned.
“My family is Mexican so I speak Spanish. That’s actually my first language,” he said. “I learned French in high school. I know Italian pretty well, and now Korean. Korean is my favorite.”
Bojorquez, who was raised by his single mother in what he calls “a very poor area,” strongly encourages other students to find internships, even if finances are scarce.
“There’s so many opportunities to study and work abroad,” he said. “It’s an experience that changes your life. The challenges help you become a better version of yourself.”