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Testimonies : Kim DOHO (Korea)

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Hello, my name is Kim Doho, I'm from Myong-Ji university, in Korea. My major is the study of Arab. I have been here, ICES since January, 2014 for the exchange program for 1 year. I hope this will be helpful to those who want to come ICES.

What I found in France ?

The beginning

France is the first country I have ever visited. So for me, when I arrived here, everything was so strange like the language, people's appearances, the street etc. And I had thought that people might behave in more individual way but I found it not. What I realized is that it is just the different way which people behave in. In some case, people behave in more individual style in my country and on the other hand, people behave more individually here in France. So What I had to do was to get used to the way of behavior here.

Language

At the beginning, I was so stressed because I could not understand what the others said. Although I took TOEFL to be accepted here, and I prepared French after having accepted to study in ICES, to listen what the real native people are saying face-to-face is more than what I expected. So I had to ask for help often and everyone helped me willingly, often saying "N'hésites pas à demander" (don't hesitate to ask). But for those who want to come here, I want to say that the more you speak well French, the more you can enjoy.

La Roche-sur-Yon

This city is not that big, but rather a small city. So there are not very few Asian people. I think it is better for me because if I were in a big city like Paris, I would rely on Asian (especially Korean) society. Although the city is small, it has amenities enough, and thanks to the transportation system (above all, the train) I can go to big cities whenever I want and I need.

ICES

For me, what was impressive is that the students participate in class more willingly and without hesitation if they are not sure. I thought it is very good ambience because the student can have a feeling like "I am following well in this class". The other advantage is outing for international students with French students. I think it is very good because we can get information about the sites so that we can appreciate better with their guide.

Culture differences

Now that I can understand a little bit more what people say than in the first time, I find often that people say in different way, meaning with different gesture. It is very interesting and at the same time, it is my problem to overcome. For example, in my residence, one of the managers often says "T'as la pêche ?" (Are you in good condition ?) as a greeting. When I first heard(understood) it, I was a bit confused because when I translated it in my head, it was strange as a greeting. But these days, I try to enjoy discovering these differences in saying and in thinking.