Island News

Korean students experience Fiji life

Written By : WAME BAUTOLU. Many students would be against the idea of going to school during the holidays but some students from Korea are doing otherwise. At the moment
16 Aug 2008 12:00

Written By : WAME BAUTOLU. Many students would be against the idea of going to school during the holidays but some students from Korea are doing otherwise.
At the moment there are 42 Korean students who are here during their school break to experience what schooling is like in Fiji and also experience the Fijian traditional way of life.
Teacher in charge of the program Sonia Lim said students pay to experience such a lifestyle and their job is to deliver what the student wanted.
“Basically we bring them over so that they get to know what it felt like going to school in Fiji and what Fiji is like. These are the students that usually see the image of Fiji on television or magazines,” Ms Lim said.
Back in Korea they usually have two semesters of school in a year and they have a month break after the summer semester and two months break during the winter semester which is around December.
The two school semester in a year applies to all education institution starting from kindergarten to tertiary level.
The program has been going on for the last five years and this was also one of the ways in promoting Fiji in Korea as students when they return, they often urged their parents to return.
For many of us that have yet to meet the President of the Republic of the Fiji Islands and Tui Vuda Ratu Josefa Iloilovatu Uluivuda, Ms Lim said their students has met his Excellency a week ago when they visited him at government house.
“This was the biggest highlight of the groups tour here as they got to shake hand with the President himself and some of them got to tell him about their experiences in Fiji,” Ms Lim said.
Not only did they get to meet his Excellency in Suva but they were also treated at his Viseisei village which students were amazed at the different culture and the hospitality of the people.
“Most of us love cassava because the taste is much similar to the sea potatoes we have back at home. The students enjoyed themselves at the village and no we didn’t allow any of them to drink kava.”
Edupia Co.(Fiji) Limited which is an education and business consulting group is responsible for this program.
Ms Lim said this was the biggest number they have had so far which probably made it easier for officials at government house to accept their invitation.
She stressed this program also strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
The 42 students’ return home on August 22, and according to Ms Lim, Fiji is the only country in which they find comfort in implementing their program.
“This place is so peaceful and the people everywhere are very friendly. The place is surrounded by trees and we are always thankful to bring over students from home to experience the beauty Fiji has to offer,” Ms Lim said.
Ms Lim introduces one of her students, Stella Kim who wishes to share her experience during her short stay here in Fiji.
Stella is 15-years-old and attends Nadi Airport School said despite going against her parents will to be here, she said she was glad to be part of the group.
For three weeks she has managed to make friends at the school with a Japanese student and a local named Lusila.
“I’m in class seven and yes I love the school because the teachers and the students are good. I’m having fun and yes I would love to come back,” Stella said.
The 15-year-old would love to work in a media industry when she grows up but she is more in to announcing and not in the print media because she doesn’t like writing much.
Well for Stella she was up the previous night practicing what to say to Island Life and she admits that she was a bit nervous.
“People here are friendly, they look comfortable all the time and even when they don’t know you they just smile and say “Bula”. Fiji is very peaceful and quite,” Stella said.
And that was the line that kept her up practicing the whole night.
For many of the students, just an expression from their faces depicted that they were enjoying themselves and the thought of home isn’t anywhere near them.
Island Life caught up with them after they had finished school and while they were enjoying their after school snack of juice and cookies.
Ms Lim said for many of this students this is the first time they have traveled to an overseas country and this wont be the last time we will be seeing them in Fiji.

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