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Study Abroad - From WASEDA to the world -

From Waseda to Korea

Ms. Kanako Kishi
5th Year Student at the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I

My encounter with Korea was through the "Korean Boom"

"I was always being influenced by something in Japan." It is impossible to imagine Ms. Kishi as being shy when now listening to her blithely talking about herself before her overseas studies in Korea. Her encounter with Korea occurred after entering university. Through Japan's "Korean Boom", which is represented by the Korean drama "Winter Sonata", Ms. Kishi developed a vague interest in Korean actors and modern Korean culture. However, for Ms. Kishi, this small encounter with Korea did not end as merely a temporary boom.

Interest in modern Korean culture and the broadcasting industry

Ms. Kishi participated in 2 short-term foreign study programs in Korea during the summers of her 1st and 2nd years, and these experiences caused her interest in Korea to grow rapidly. During her 3rd year at university, she participated in a 1 year foreign exchange program at Korea University in Seoul. Ms. Kishi had always possessed an interest in the broadcasting industry, and during her time at Korea University she enrolled in related courses such as traditional Korean music, speech studies, and television program creation. However, she reflects upon her initial foreign study experience by saying that "It was difficult to read the blackboard during the lessons, and it was difficult to understand what native speakers were saying". Even so, Ms. Kishi used the Korean which she worked hard to remember to be active in the broadcasting circle, and she managed university broadcasts. She was even selected to server as an interpreter during an exchange tour between Japanese and Korean high school students. Shortly before the end of her foreign study term, the hardworking Ms. Kishi was offered an internship in program creation at Korea Cultural Broadcasting (MBC) by a professor at the university. She immediately accepted the offer and extended her foreign studies for another 2 months. Ms. Kishi worked in all processes from creation of programs to on-air broadcasting, making full use of her Korean ability even in the business world.

Feeling the Korean "heart" through foreign study

Ms. Kishi is planning to return to Korea again, and has decided to enter graduate school at Korea University after graduating from Waseda University in March of next year. The main reason that she is drawn to Korea is her affinity for the "character and heart" of Korean people. "I have more Korean friends and acquaintances than I do Japanese. Once you enter into "uri" (Korean for "us"), relationships are maintained which are so close that they border on being meddlesome. This was really appealing to me. In the past, I lacked decision-making ability, but my Korean friends helped me to acquire independence and activeness," says Ms. Kishi with a smile. "In the future, I would like to become a bridge between Japan and Korea by working in interpreting or Korean language education." Through her active and positive behavior, Ms. Kishi was able to learn about the hearts of Korean people in addition to the Korean language. In the future, an even more mature relationship will be needed in the exchange between the countries of Japan and Korea. I feel as if I saw the form of this relationship in Ms. Kishi's carefree smile.

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)