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English and linguistics students visit South Korea

A study trip to South Korea gave students from the School of Journalism, Language and Communication the opportunity to broaden their cultural experiences and enhance their CV.

Second year students from the BA (Hons) English Language and Linguistics course visited Seoul as part of the English Language Skills Initiative (ELSIE). Working with tutor Angela Kilpatrick, the group successfully submitted a proposal to UCLan’s Travel Bursary Scheme, which helped fund the trip.

Fakra Jabeen, one of the students who visited Seoul, gives her account of the trip.

"This trip was certainly a worthwhile experience and an excellent opportunity to experience South Korean culture.

We visited numerous temples and the Gyeonbok Palace where we learnt of the country’s rich history and in particular its relationship with Japan. There was also an opportunity to visit the British Embassy, which provided us with a great insight into what occurs behind the scenes between the two countries and the hard work that is required by the Diplomats in order to maintain harmony.

Our visit to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which divides North and South Korea, was an eye-opening experience. Seeing this in person and walking through the tunnels that the North had built to target the South, was a reminder of the brutal history of war between the two countries.

The Seoul Tower gave us an amazing view of the city but aside from the sightseeing, one of my favourite parts of the whole trip was the Taekwondo practice, which was fun and a nice active break. We also attended a ‘Nanta’ performance, which is a theatrical comedy show without speech. This was extremely entertaining and incredibly funny.

We also visited Gyeongju, which is two hours away from Seoul by train. This gave us the chance to experience the spiritual side of Korea by living life as monks with an overnight stay at a temple. This meant we were unable to eat meat and had to wake up at 4am for morning walks. We also took part in tea ceremonies, meditation, archery, community work and Sunmudo, which is a combination of temple martial arts and meditation.

As someone who has had a longstanding interest in South Korea, this trip has allowed me to tick something off my bucket list. It was a fantastic experience and I learnt a lot about myself. It has fuelled my ambition to teach abroad and also my passion to experience different cultures.

One of the things I will miss most about the country is the people and the amount of respect and love they express to every human being. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and I would recommend it to anyone who loves culture, beautiful scenery, architecture, and good people. I would love to go again."