|▲ With friends in a dormitory room at the University of Alcala de Henares in Madrid, Spain|
I remember being extremely excited to meet new friends when I arrived at my dormitory inside the University of Alcala de Henares in Spain. I asked myself questions such as “Who will be my roommate?”, “Who will be my flat mate?” All those questions were spinning in my mind and I was anxious to know the answers. When I first saw my roommate, I tried to be relaxed and not jumpy at once, however I could not contain my big smile. “Hey! I’m Sun! Sun in the sky!” This was exactly what I said to my roommate after meeting her for the first time and it was true – it is the true meaning of my name.
Don’t Be Shy. Just Dance
I am the type of person who will dance automatically when I hear any music that I like. I do not mind the genre, the melody, the rhythm – dancing is who I am. One day I was spending some time in my friend’s house and we were having quite a slow-paced party. There were other people, too. At some point, one of the friends put on the famous Korean song called Gangnam Style by PSY. My body moved faster than my consciousness. In a split second I caught myself moving my body in front of everyone and the party quickly turned into a crazy rollercoaster of fun.
They also gave me a nickname: The Crazy Dancing Machine. Oh, boy, were they right! I truly was a crazy dancing machine. Later we each shared the most famous songs from our countries, so I was able to get to know the Spanish, Latvian and Romanian musical scene. We translated some lyrics of the songs and sang together. From this experience I learned to understand not only the lyrics but also the different cultures that were surrounding me. For that I am grateful to my new friends. Well, I think I did a very good job as an ambassador of Korea as well.
Having a Part-time Job
First of all, you should know that I do not speak Chinese nor Spanish, and still I had a great time. “How is it possible?” you may ask. The beginning of this story starts with my roommate who is from China. She has another Chinese friend who was working at a restaurant. During the weekends, the place is insanely crowded so her friend asked for help by suggesting her to bring in her other friends. Since she was my roommate, she asked me first and I accepted the offer without hesitation. Even though I did not speak Spanish, it was not a problem. I wanted to learn so I thought that by having a few conversations with customers, the language would be specific enough for me to learn a phrase or two. I saw it as a learning experience – and of course, it just sounded like fun!
In reality, I used body language more than oral. It was almost like dancing, filled with gestures. Fortunately, the customers really liked the way I tried so hard and they even taught me a few expressions in Spanish. As a consequence, I remembered all the words that I learned during that time because I used all my senses such as visual, tactile, auditory, and others. It served as a beneficial motivation to learn Spanish. Therefore, if you find yourself in a position where you have been offered an opportunity to work, don’t hesitate. A free language class is awaiting you.
By Park Sun-mi, Senior, Department of Forest Resources
박선미 산림자원학부 4학년 firstname.lastname@example.org