Daily Life Field Note

What is daily life like in South Korea?

What is your full name?

I interviewed Sun Young Park this week, but she goes by her English name, Whitney.

Where do you live? What is your house like?

Whitney is from Miryang, South Korea, which is a city near the East Coast city of Busan. She lives in a big apartment with her family. She even has her own bedroom!

What is your family like?

Whitney has one younger brother, who goes by the English name George. She told me that he is a crazy trouble maker. He is a high school student with a very wild fashion style, wearing bright clothes and bow ties to school.  Her father is the vice principal of an elementary school in her hometown. Her mom is a school administrator at Busan National University.

How do you get around?

Whitney travels to her university and back on the KTX train for about four hours each way. While away at school, she likes to walk around the town, though many students like to use the buses or taxis.

What types of clothing do you like to wear?

“Cute clothing!” she told me she likes to wear. Many Korean girls like to wear very loose shirts, but Whitney likes to dress with a more fitted, Western style. She prefers to wear skirts, not pants, and loves high heeled shoes.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Her favorite food

She likes to sleep! She also likes to eat and go shopping. Her favorite food is ddokboki (spicy rice cakes, the same as Joelle’s favorite food, who I interviewed last week!). Whitney likes to play basketball and go running at the school’s track. She also likes to travel around Korea. Her favorite place in Korea is the Gangnam district in Seoul (like the Gangnam Style song!). When she is in Gangnam, Whitney likes to eat honey bread at a café there. She and her friends like to go shopping for clothes and accessories together when they have free time.

What language(s) do you speak? How do you say “Hello” in your language?

Whitney speaks Korean, English, Japanese and German. She studies German in college and studied Japanese in high school. Whitney has been learning English since she was very young. She grew up speaking Korean. Do you remember how to say hello in Korean? “An-nyeong-ha-se-yo”.

Do you have pets?

When I asked if she had any pets, Whitney exclaimed “No! I don’t like pets!” Many Korean people do have pet dogs and cats though, just like we do.

Have you traveled? Where have you traveled to?

She has traveled all around Korea, but has never had the opportunity to leave Korea. If she could travel anywhere, Whitney would go to the United States. She would like to visit her friend in Colorado and see New York City.

What do you do for work?

Whitney works at a café and goes to school full time right now. In the future, she hopes to work in the investment field for a bank as a fund manager.

Is there anything else you would like to say to students in the United States?

She advises American students to make the most of their free time and express their creativity. Korean students are forced to study for 12 hours a day and their education system is very rigid. She thinks that American students are very lucky to have the opportunity to learn and grow as individuals.

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