A Graduate Student Perspective: Mayako Liu, G1, RSEA Program, KI Remote Graduate Summer Language Grant, Summer 2021

September 14, 2021
Mayako Liu

Thanks to the generous support of the Korea Institute, I was able to participate in the 3-week short term online program at Korea University from June to July this summer. It was an intensive program conducted solely online, dedicated to the improvement of Korean speaking, reading and writing in a short period of time. The course focused on mastering vocabulary on complicated topics about society such as volunteer work, environmental issues, and health concerns, while practicing how to clearly communicate my own opinion about such topics in Korean through active speaking sessions and group discussions in class.

The opportunity to take part in this program was particularly valuable to me because of the difficulty I had taking Korean language coursework the past academic year due to remote learning from Japan. The program allowed me to completely re-immerse myself in Korean language for two months during the summer and fill in the gap for the time I spent away from my Korean language studies. The focus on learning vocabularies and their usages related to social, political and economic issues was particularly helpful as I was simultaneously working on my thesis project on tourism in colonial Korea in which I had to read and analyze primary sources in the Korean language. Finally, at the end of the course, I presented on the Korean movie (and novel), Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 (2019), discussing issues of gender in contemporary Korean society, through which I learned how to formulate my own argument in Korean and clearly communicate my ideas to my fellow classmates.

The two months I spent in the online program at Korea University helped me regain my confidence in pursuing further studies and research using the Korean language. I would like to thank the Korea Institute for making my summer a truly meaningful one.