“Arashi made me come to Japan.”
PARK SUHEE, from the faculty of Humanities, Kyonggi University, Korea
PARK SUHEE is an exchange student from Korea starting 2018 spring Semester at Hirosaki University.
She is a big fan of “Arashi” which is a music group of Japan. She began to study Japanese on her own, by the trigger of them. She enrolled into Kyonggi University, majored Japanese language, and decided to study abroad in Japan.
This time, we interviewed her about the reasons why she decided to choose Hisosaki University, and her university life in Hirosaki.
―Why did you choose Hirosaki University to study abroad?
There were mainly two reasons. One of them is the recommendation from my friends and seniors in Kyonggi University. Actually they have studied abroad in Hirosaki before. When I told them that I wanted to study abroad in Japan, they recommended me Hirosaki University.
Another reason is the amount of information. Since the partnership between Kyonggi University and Hirosaki University has a long history, there are a lot of information about Hirosaki University.
That’s why I could come to study abroad here in Hirosaki, without anxiety!
She came to Hirosaki when she was a junior in college.
In Hirosaki University, she took Japanese literature class, which was taught by Assis. Prof. Natsuko Ozaki, besides Japanese language class. Because she had majored literature in Kyonggi University.
―How was Japanese language classes in Hirosaki Unviersity?
I took upper-intermediate Japanese language class at first. According to the first placement exam, my Japanese language skill was Advanced level, but I chose upper-intermediate because I was feeling that my writing and reading skills in Japanese were not enough for Advanced level.
In the class, I mainly learned reading and writing. I had a hard time writing an essay in Japanese! It was even difficult for me to decide the theme of my own essay, because it required specialized knowledge. I also had my Kanji faults pointed out a lot by teachers…
In addition, it was very difficult for me to learn Japanese Kanji and polite explanation which is called “Keigo”, especially “Sonkeigo”, which is the one category of “Keigo” and is used to show respect for senior people! So I often had a trouble talking with professors using appropriate Japanese “Keigo” words!
I started studying Japanese when I was a 4th year in elementary school. I think I started it because I was attracted by Arashi at that time.
In the beginning, I studied basic words, such as “Ohayo-gozaimasu”,”Konnichiwa”, “Hajimemashite”. To learn more, I watched Japanese drama TV and listen real conversation in Japanese language a lot.
In Hirosaki, people has a Hirosaki accent. So, I feel like, their way of speaking has rubbed off on me! haha
―How was your university life in Hirosaki?
I remember that I was very happy when I bought my bicycle. From that day, I didn’t have to go to school on foot.
Almost all of international students lived in the special dormitory which was provided only for international students, but I lived in the student dormitory which was a little bit far from Hirosaki University. It was a little bit hard for me to go to school, especially when it rained.
I sometimes felt like, food in Hirosaki was a salty, but I was gradually getting used to it. I also found it interesting that university dormitory use okra in the meal a lot. haha
I ate out a lot in Hirosaki because it was one of my hobbies. My favorite is the hamburger restaurant, named “Pepe-kitchen”. It was very nice! I like both of Western food and Japanese food, but, for me, Korean food is the best! I love Kimchi and ordering food delivery!
―What was the surprising thing in Hirosaki?
First, why do Japanese people wear formal suits in a freshers’ ceremony?
In Korea, we don’t even attend it because there aren’t any classes nor orientations. If we
had to attend it, we would wear casual clothes and take orientation classes later.
Additionally, I was very surprised when I saw their mothers dressed in Japanese Kimono there! I thought, oh my god, was it a mothers’ celemony!?
―What is your future Dream?
I would like to be an event planner after graduating from Kyonggi University. My goal is to find a job that I can utilize my Japanese skills here in Japan or Korea.
I think “Arashi” made me think like that.
―Would you like to give messages for Hirosaki students who want to study abroad in Kyonggi University?
Kyoggi University is located in Suwon. It takes you about one hour from Suwon to Seoul. There aren’t big festivals as many as Aomori has in Suwon. But, Suwon has a long history of its culture, a lot of public performances such as concerts every year. In addition, there are a lot of delicious foods, and there is a street named “Chicken Street”in Suwon!
Then, regarding the school dormitory of Kyonggi University, it is well equipped with facilities. Some of my friends from Hirosaki University live there. The dormitory provides us breakfast and dinner every day without Sunday and public holidays. It is very nice, but if you get bored of the dormitory meal, I recommend you ordering food delivery!
―Would you like to give s message to future international students in Hirosaki?
Time flies! Enjoy Hirosaki life to the fullest! I want you to try visiting somewhere out of Hirosaki-city and experience a lot of things!
Actually, I could broaden my horizons by spending time with my friends in Hirosaki University, and teaching Korean Language and Culture as a volunteer.
I would like you to try to be friends with a lot of people. I mean, not only with the people from Korea, but also people from other countries. I believe that it is a great opportunity for you!
SUHEE joined Hirosaki Neputa festival on August 3rd and was interviewed before leaving Hirosaki.
Thank you very much SUHEE!
Hope to be a good event planner, and see you in Hirosaki again!