Stratton from the United States2017.09.29 Narai Ahn 489
Stratton Tolmie (Exchange student from the University of Chicago)
Stratton Tolmie, from the United States, found interest in Korea through Korean colleagues he met during his time as an intern in WHO(World Health Organization) during the summer of 2016. While still an intern, Stratton made a short weekend trip to Korea, was fascinated by the harmony of advanced technology and traditional culture, and decided to study abroad in Korea. Of the many schools in Korea, he chose Yonsei University because Yonsei offers a variety of English-taught courses to choose from in various different fields.
With the plan to enter medical school upon graduation, Stratton had focused on studying the related field back the United States. However, as he is in Korea now, he is taking course that are only available in Korea. For example, the Korean Economy class which he was interested in deals with Korea’s modern history and economic growth in an interesting way.
“Until now the classes I took were mostly related to the field of natural sciences, so I am glad to be able to learn about the different theories and approaches in the field of social sciences in Korea. I am also taking Politics and Society of North Korea and it is interesting how the global society’s response and the atmosphere within Korea towards the growing tension are quite different.”
Another thing Stratton found amusing was the linguistic and intelligence level of the students in Yonsei University. He was quite surprised to see how the Korean friends he met in class were able to hold academic conversations in English without much trouble.
Meanwhile, as he is gaining experience through various activities to become a doctor, he found it unfortunate that he does not know enough Korean to do volunteer work at medical institutes such as the Severance Hospital.
When asked about his thought on his experience in Seoul during the last month, Stratton said that a big merit of Seoul is how beautiful nature such as Namsan, Ansan, and the Han-river are located close to downtown areas such as Sinchon, Hongdae, and Itaewon. However, he was also surprised at Korea’s high intensity of labor compared to that of the United States. He tried to meet the Korean friends he made during his time as an intern and felt sorry that they were restlessly working overtime and experienced the cultural differences between the two countries.
When time allows, Stratton wishes to learn more about Korea through the different festivals introduced by the Korea Tourism Organization, and experience the diverse faces of Korea in everyday life.