Jan. 30, 2014 – Education students from Duksung Women’s University in South Korea spent three weeks in January at Caldwell College learning about the American education system. Eighteen students and one chaperone attended the fourth annual Global Education program, visited K-12 schools and local museums and interacted with Caldwell College students.
They made visits to Mount St. Dominic Academy, Trinity Academy, Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School, Grover Cleveland Middle School, James Caldwell High School, and Forest Avenue Elementary School in Verona. They attended English classes for two hours each day and went to college classes along with Caldwell students who volunteered to be their “buddies,” said Dr. Ellina Chernobilsky, one of the faculty members who ran the program.
“We wanted to make sure that Caldwell students were exposed to the program and that the students from South Korea had the chance to meet the college students and interact with them,” explained Chernobilsky. “This allows both sides to learn about the similarities and differences in cultures and education systems and the way of life. They also make new friends and maintain the connections after the program is over.”
Caldwell senior Colleen Begley, a social studies and elementary education major, found it to be a very rewarding experience because she and her “buddy” were able to bond in “talking about their cultural differences” and similar interests of education, art and the upcoming Olympics. They were excited to learn that they both would be cheering on Kim Yuna to win in women’s figure skating at the Winter Games.
Jaehee Kim, who plans to teach chemistry, and Jiyeon Park, who is studying to teach pre-K, said they would be taking several ideas from the U.S. back to their country including how American teachers use group work in the classroom and how U.S. teachers and students more readily interact together.
Grace Park, a sophomore at Caldwell, who was born in South Korea and did some of her schooling there, was one of the buddies for the students. She said “It was very gratifying for them,” not only because they came to know what the American education system is like, but also because they thought about ways they could bring what they learned to their teaching in Korea.
They had time for recreation, enjoying a campus basketball game and a presentation by the music department at which members of the percussion ensemble described their instruments.