Korea versus Oceanside

International student gives Korean perspective

My experience as an International Student began in August of 2007 when I came to Qualicum Beach. My initial reason to come to this area was to take advantage of the golf courses because I was into golf at the time. Although I didn’t continue with the golfing, I have continued to go to school here. 

I found some challenges when I first came to Canada. As you can imagine, the English language was my biggest challenge. Reading and writing were also difficult even though I had studied English at school in Korea. 

Even today, similar sounding words in English can be a problem. For example, when a Canadian says ‘Surrey’ and ‘sorry’, it’s still hard to tell the two words apart.

On the plus side, I have found the atmosphere in Oceanside to be more relaxed than in Korea, where everything seems more rushed and competitive. Also, school hours are shorter in Canada and there’s no class on Saturdays. In Korea, I attended academies after regular school. This meant that I didn’t get to some lessons until nine o’clock in the evening.

Canadians really enjoy their hockey, but in Korea most people are hardly aware of the sport. 

In Korea, taxes are included in the price of items. It still surprises me a bit here when tax gets added to my purchase. 

In Oceanside, you can start driving at 16, while I’d have to wait until 18 in Korea. For a teenager, that could be a big advantage.

Coming to Oceanside to study has been mostly a positive experience and the biggest interest for me is in how it will affect my career, whether I choose to work in Korea or North America.

— Min-WoodKim is a student at KSS.