April was a very busy month. The most important thing on my plate was certainly my final projects for school. Since exchange students at my school aren't required to do the same work and tests as the normal Korean students, we are instead required to do projects for each of the classes. This month, I completed four of these projects.
The first one that I completed was my English project, for which I was required to give a three-minute memorized Korean speech in front of the class. I wrote my report about difficulties with learning Korean. The memorization of this speech was especially helpful because I am able to use some of the same expressions constantly, so I can just recycle some of the same sentences. This speech was also helpful, because it has given me some more basic phrases that I can fit words into, which has helped a lot with my speaking in the language.
The rest of my projects have all been two-page papers that I have had to write using only Korean. For my Korean class, our topic was "Things I Have Learned in Korea." I enjoyed writing this one, because it allowed me to notice just how much I have been able to do in my year here. For my engineering class, we had a research paper on hanok, the traditional house style of Korea. This one was much more difficult, because explaining some of the things was difficult. I enjoyed it a lot, though, because I learned a lot more about the houses. The last report of the month was for history class, for which we had to write about differences between the food and culture of Korea compared to where we come from. I think that I only have two or three reports left to do, so it will be nice to finish.
The other major part of this month, besides the time I have spent at school, would be the trips that I was able to take. Since this month ushered in Spring here, there were many flowers blooming all over Korea. In order to take advantage of this, Mrs. Kim, our Rotary Officer, brought us exchange students on a trip to a town near Jiri Mountain, one of the largest mountains in Korea, where we were able to see the flowers coming out there.
The day after I went on this trip, my host father kindly brought me on a trip to the sea. This trip came to be because my host family found out that, although we live so near to the ocean, I had not actually been to see it. It was a nice trip where I was able to see more of my region of Korea, so I really enjoyed the experience and eagerly await getting the chance to go on more similar trips.
Because of this trip, I made another goal for myself - I want to make sure to see more of my region. One of the other things that I did this month in pursuit of this goal was that I went on a short trip to the neighboring town of Hansan with Josh, the Taiwanese exchange student. Here, we went to see the Hansan Textile Museum. The town is famous for its production of a specific type of light fabric, called Ramie. It was an interesting museum and I enjoyed going to see it with Josh.
The final major trip for this month was a trip to Daejeon with my Rotary Club for our District's Annual Conference. Although the conference was geared toward the Rotarians (understandable because the only five exchange students in my district are the five in Seocheon), I had quite a bit of fun. I was also given the surprise of having to give a speech in front of everyone and almost winning a refrigerator, so it was definitely a very interesting experience.
With April over, I have only a little more than a month left in Korea, so it is good that I have been able to use my time wisely and have some good experiences. Hopefully, I can continue to use my time well and get to experience and see as much as possible in my time left.
Editor's note: P.J.?Sproule is a Rotary Youth Exchange student from the Houghton Rotary Club living near Seocheon, South Korea, for a year.