Francis Lewis Hosts Korean Culture Exchange Event

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Students from Dongtan Global High School visited Francis Lewis High School on Friday, October 5  to experience western school life. 

The Korean Exchange Program introduced American and Korean students to various cultural performances, including traditional dances and JROTC routines. Students interacted with each other and gained knowledge about the culture of the language they were studying.

“Being brought up in a Korean household inspired me to take the language course because I wanted to learn more about myself and where my family came from,” said Saha Jeon, a junior taking Korean 3 at Francis Lewis. “One thing that interested me the most was our strict perspective on loyalty.”

Francis News students in JROTC programs such as Drum Corps, Armed Drill Team, and Unarmed Drill Team, as well as the Girl’s Step Team and Varsity Cheer Team performed during the event in the auditorium.  

“I felt very excited and proud when I was performing,” said JROTC Drum Corps team member Yelim Cho. “We wanted to showcase the teamwork and outstanding ability of the members nurtured by the close-knit community of Drum Corps, and I hope that the Dongtan students took some interest in the JROTC program as we performed.”

Min Sun Kim, a second-year student at Dongtan Global High School, was shocked when she discovered the drastic differences between the two schools.

“We can’t wear earrings or dye our hair,” Kim explained. “It’s also interesting that the students here can choose which class they prefer to take. Our school usually plans out which courses we take, so it’s nice to hear that students are interested in different fields of study and that there are programs to accommodate their interests.”

Korean language teacher Ms. Kwon cites the induction of the school’s growing interest in the culture which prompted a program that sent Korean students to American schools in 2017.

“Dongtan’s students used to visit universities,” Ms. Kwon said. “Soon, they wanted to meet the same age group in the U.S. so they contacted multiple high schools. When they contacted us, Ms. Irving, our world language AP, liked the idea of exchanging cultures, so we invited them to come to our school.”

After the performances ended, everyone came together to exchange gifts prepared by the Francis Lewis Korean Honor Society, thus giving students the opportunity to connect with each other and learn more about each other’s culture.

“Although it may not necessarily improve our vocabulary or pronunciation, this program provides American students [with] an opportunity to be more educated about the culture behind the language we’re learning through a one of a kind experience,” Jeon said.