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South Korean student attends PV

Dongmin+Park+participated+in+an+exchange+program+and+was+chosen+by+PV+senior+Evan+Ferioli+and+his+family.+Park+will+be+returning+to+South+Korea+at+the+end+of+the+year.
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Here for a year

Dongmin Park participated in an exchange program and was chosen by PV senior Evan Ferioli and his family. Park will be returning to South Korea at the end of the year.

Dongmin Park participated in an exchange program and was chosen by PV senior Evan Ferioli and his family. Park will be returning to South Korea at the end of the year.

Kayla Barry

Dongmin Park participated in an exchange program and was chosen by PV senior Evan Ferioli and his family. Park will be returning to South Korea at the end of the year.

Kayla Barry

Kayla Barry

Dongmin Park participated in an exchange program and was chosen by PV senior Evan Ferioli and his family. Park will be returning to South Korea at the end of the year.

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When junior Dongmin Park arrived at JFK airport on July 18, his initial reaction was that he saw “so many different people.” Park, visiting the U.S. this year from South Korea, is attending Pascack Valley to study English and have a traditional American experience.

“When I first landed in America, I felt something just new,” Dongmin said. “I thought that I had to be careful about my behavior because I’m kind of a representative of Korea.”

When I first landed in America, I felt something just new.”

— Donming Park

Park was attending a private school in Busan, the southern part of South Korea, which encouraged students to study abroad. His school counselor told him that there was a foreign exchange program, Education First, and Park believed that the program would help him achieve his dream of becoming an English teacher.

The program provided host families with information, such as their extracurricular activities, the subject they liked most, what they want to do in the future, and past experiences of traveling. At Park’s school, there were many people who applied for exchange programs, usually aged 13 to 16. PV senior Evan Ferioli and his family chose to host Park.

“PV should encourage programs like this because it helps the school, and especially the host family, learn more about a certain culture,” Ferioli said. “It helps students learn about a different way of life compared to what we are used to.”

PV should encourage programs like this because it helps the school, and especially the host family, learn more about a certain culture.”

— Evan Ferioli

Park began learning English at the age of nine and went to the Philippines for a year to study English. He first went for a month, and after seeing improvement in his English skills, he decided to stay for a year. Since Park previously studied English in the Philippines for a year, he had few fears of coming to America.

He has also began learning Chinese, but so far, he speaks both Korean and English. Park said that he hopes that by the end of the school year, he feels more comfortable with speaking English to others.

“So far, I’m still worried about this choice of coming here,” Park said. “I could go to college a year earlier than my friends, but I decided to invest that one year for exchange program. I hope I can make this year worthy enough so I won’t regret deciding to come here when I go back to Korea.”

Ferioli has learned from Park that in South Korea, people are on their phones much more than in the U.S, and in Korea, there are not as many sports as in America. The majority of people in Korea live in apartments in cities.

Park said that there are many differences between school in South Korea and America. In South Korea, his school began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. They also have an additional compulsory study time from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The school only offered English and Chinese courses, but at PV, they offer various language courses.

Park will be staying until the end of this school year from his visa, but he would like to stay longer.

I’m satisfied for staying here. People are mostly nice, and I think I’m enjoying it,” Park said. “Whenever I miss my family or friends in Korea, I call them or see the pictures of them. It gives me energy.”

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About the Writer
Sevan Gulleyan, Staff Writer

Sevan Gulleyan is a junior and has been on The Smoke Signal since her sophomore year. She plays lacrosse and enjoys writing and reading fiction.

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