Student Writing

Genderfluid in Korea–One Teenager’s Story

Editor’s note: the writer of the following piece required anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject. Any responses can be sent to


As Eve bit into the fruit from the tree of knowledge, her vision widened and she began to see what she had not seen before. She began to feel what she had not felt before. And that’s how she got herself kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

Korean Students Write the Darndest Things

Part of my job as a high school English teacher in South Korea involved giving out, and then correcting, weekly creative writing assignments. It quickly became one of my favorite parts of the experience, as it allowed my students to apply the language with more freedom and personality. It also helped me to get to know them in a more private way. From unintentionally funny remarks, to profound realizations, their writing was a joy to read.

Below is a small collection of some of my favorite excerpts. I’ve also taken the liberty of underscoring their messages with related images. Perhaps this could have been made into some sort of class project… Enjoy!

Student Writing Sample: Goals for the New School Year

What are your goals for the new school year? Think of two large, general goals and three small, specific goals. Tell me what those goals are improtant to you and what you will do to achieve them.

“Fighting!” is a common expression of encouragement in Korea.

Looking at the Korean Uni Experience after 12 Years in the U.S.

By Jun Won Lee

How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it–Rasheed Ogunlaru

Cheonggye Stream, central Seoul, 1950s and now.

Many of my American friends ask me about daily life in Korea, a place that has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to the most dynamic over the past 50 years. Likewise, many people in Korea wonder what the difference is between Korean university life and the one in the States. Hence, I have decided to provide a deeper insight of Korea, as someone who left Korea at the age of 7, spent 12 years attending school in the States and returned to attend university in Seoul.

From ‘Gangnam Style’ to ‘Dartmouth Style’



Originally published by

By Elena J.

The front gate at Yonsei University in Seoul.

Who Do You Love?: Korean Ethnocentrism, International Couples and the Dating Dilemma

By Bo-Kyung Byun

Making Kimchi with the Hong Sisters: A Tradition of Taste

By Seon-Myung Yoo

Part I

Before the Kim-jang

Jin-Ok Hong, 51 years old, is scurrying through her house, vacuuming, wiping, washing the dishes, and doing the laundry. While the washing machine tosses and turns the laundry, Jin-Ok squats down in the bathroom to scrub the floor and walls extra carefully. Then, she prepares a simple lunch for herself before her siblings arrive for the annual kim-jang.

Kim-jang, is the process of making kimchi for the winter. Historically, Koreans have pickled their cabbages and radishes toward the end of the fall after harvest in preparation for the winter. The tradition is preserved into the modern contemporary Korea. The women of the family get together every year to go through the various stages of kimchi-making at a large scale.

In Utero: Korea’s Youth and Politics


By Stella Jang

The Making of a Korean Journalista


By Soorin Kim

There have been two times when I had to live apart from my dad, a veteran journalist in KBS. The first period came when my family was living in Pusan and my dad got promoted to become the director of a nascent media-watch program, “Media Focus,” at the head office of KBS in Seoul. Although we had to live apart, we were all happy about this change. It was an important position in the world of Korean media.

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