Some people seem to have a sixth sense for spotting extraordinary opportunities. They are always in the right place, at the right time. They know how to give the right answers. Or maybe they’re just lucky…
Dominic Kummer, a Swiss student who took a language course in South Korea with ESL, is one of these fortunate people. With his ideal-son-in-law looks and above-average IQ, Dominic definitely stands out from the crowd. He travelled to Seoul with the conviction that learning Korean would add significant value to his résumé as a soon-to-be college student. Making the most of his Korean classes at Lexis Seoul, he rapidly fitted into the urban lifestyle of the welcoming metropolis, even playing in the local college football team. He stayed in a residence located 5 minutes’ walk to the language school. Dominic says: “Foreigners, especially when they are interested in getting to know the local people and lifestyle, are very popular here.”
One morning, far from imagining what will happen next, Dominic goes to his language school, as he usually does. But a surprise was waiting for him: at the school, he is told that the schedule will be a bit different today. A local TV channel is inviting a few foreign students to explore Seoul together with a shooting team. Among the 20 participants selected to participate is, of course, our dear Dominic.
And off he goes for a day full of discoveries, together with Swedish, Japanese, American and Australian students. The TV team has selected a dozen places to film the participants. Whether in the streets, in restaurants, at a local party or in shops, the video camera is there to record the reactions of our young foreigners faced with daily life in Seoul. The atmosphere is relaxed and peals of laughter emerge from the participants as their attempts at expressing themselves in Korean become more and more confident.
In a restaurant, the participants put on traditional outfits…
…which immediately lightens the atmosphere. Then, a hearty Korean meal is served, according to local customs, in a large number of small dishes. Explanatory comments in Korean are sometimes translated but often understood long after the tasting of the culinary specialties.
And that is not all. The next activity requires craft skills. Participants are asked to make their own bows – for archery is a very popular sport in South Korea. The country regularly wins all the archery medals at the Olympics and World Championships, and this has been going on since 1980. The TV team films the young foreigners as they make their bows following the advice of local craftsmen.
And guess who’s made the prettiest of all bows?
Dominic enjoyed spending the day in the company of the other participants and members of the Korean channel team. Some time later, the Lexis school in Seoul sent him two links to Youtube video clips showing extracts from the shows shot on that day:
Since then, Dominic has returned to Switzerland in order to continue his studies. He has decided to take another language course in Korea soon as he is convinced that learning Korean can be useful to him. The official language of the “Land of Morning Calm”, which has spurred its technological advance in such a spectacular way, Korean can certainly give Dominic an edge over his professional rivals in the future.