The Home Visiting Program is one of the leading and most prominent culture exchange programs at KDI School. In this era of globalization, cultural exchanges have grown significantly in importance in that they help boost mutual understanding, promote trust and foster cooperation between people from different countries. Knowing the international nature of KDI School and our global presence, the ability for our students to develop and maintain a broad global perspective further enhanced by a diverse range of cultural experiences is an essential attribute.
This year, in order to continue growing international friendships between Korean and international students, nine Korean students invited some international students over to Korea. Among all the memories that they created together, we wanted to showcase three stories that we think stand out from these visits and capture the magic of learning through international exchange programs.
Mr. Kim’s invitees, Mr. Abdillah, Ms. Sarahtika and Ms. Situmorang from Indonesia, had the opportunity to visit many well known city attractions such as the Donghaksa Temple and the Gongsanseong Fortress in Gongju in which they were thrilled to discover more facts about life in Korea from various historical, cultural and social perspectives. Through sharing anecdotes about the cultural similarities and differences between Korea and Indonesia, Mr. Kim said that they had got to know each other much better and deepened their mutual understanding of each other’s cultural backgrounds.
Ms. Lee was pleased to welcome Mr. Arifin, Mr. Jamal and Mr. Rasool from Indonesia, India and Iraq respectively. Ms. Lee’s biggest worry was getting the meal planning right for his guests as people from around the world have different eating habits and eat different types of meat depending on their country and culture. So, Ms. Lee opted to prepare Korean food such as Kimchi, Ssam, Ssamjiang and steamed white rice. He reported that his guests savoured the culinary delights of Korea and were delighted by his choices! In addition to that, they had a wonderful time traveling around Daejeon and Gongju districts learning about each other’s professions, as well as their cultures and languages.
Mr. Jung enjoyed taking Mr. Ali and Ms. Khin, international students from Pakistan and Myanmar respectively, on a guided tour of Seoul. For Mr. Jung, it was a unique opportunity to observe at first hand a foreign student’s fascination with all things Korean which are currently in vogue worldwide, such as movies, food, fashion, and K-pop. Through his in-depth discussions with them about the feasibility of exporting Korean dessert culture abroad foreign students, he also gained a deeper understanding of the trends and global competitiveness of the Korean dessert culture.
This year’s Home Visiting Program was a fantastic success and a meaningful experience for both Korean and international students alike to share the cultural idiosyncracies of their own countries. In particular, it was even more special for the international students as they had not been able to directly experience Korea in person until then due to the pandemic. All the members who participated in this program commented on how much they had appreciated Korea’s beautiful and culturally rich environment, creating special memories, and experiencing the distinctive culture of different countries. Thanks to the stellar efforts of our students, every program visit went off safely and was successfully wrapped up, while adhering to the all important Covid-19 guidelines to keep everyone safe and well.