I came to the U.S. as a participant of Korean government exchange program, KoreaWEST. After my language study in San Diego, I moved to Arizona for my internship.With my home-stay family In San Diego, I was pleasantly introduced to American culture: from various American home-style foods to American celebrations on Halloween, Thanksgiving, andChristmas. Also, I made friends from all over the world at my language school and had a great time visiting thebeautiful beaches in San Diego and surfing. It was heavenly.
Before I started my internship at Global Ties AZ, I knew nothing about Arizona except for what you see in the movies: desert and cactus.As I grew accustomed to Arizona, I began to see significant differences between California and Arizona in the environment, of course, weather, people, culture and atmosphere, even though these two states border each other. Thanks to my work at Global Ties AZ, I got to know the state pretty well, and had the opportunity to visit many places inthe Phoenix metropolitan area and the scenic northern part of Arizona. I used to feel homesick (for Sand Diego) but now, I don’t.
My primary work was accompanyinggroups under the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) to their meetings in Arizona, and promoting about what we are doing for international cooperation using social media. During the last 6 months I met people from Israel, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Egypt, China, Japan and Romania. Aseach group has its own theme, I learnt about many of the different issues and challenges this state faces in politics, education, law, wild life and human rights, and about successes. I also was able to learn about the different cultures and situations of our visitors. I had thechance to go to a baseball game, Phoenix Zoo and to try horseback riding with our visitors.These are unforgettable, fun memories to me.
Of course, it was big challenge for me to speak and write in English for work, as it was my first time in the States and I was nervous. However, this job helped me improve my English skills, both speaking and writing. Also,the unique experiences I had with different people and culturesgave me a greater sense of confidence in my ability to contribute in a professional environment in international cooperation.I am sure that my internship at Global Ties Arizona provided me with the tools and experience necessary to achieve my future goals.
I am so blessed that I could experience all of this, and so lucky to have had this opportunity in the America with the support of Korean Government, U.S. Government and Global Ties Arizona. I was only in the U.S. but I met the world. It definitely broadened my vision and gave me the confidence totry new challenges in my life.One of my dreams now is coming back to the U.S. as an IVLP visitor from Korea so I can meet Global Ties Arizona again!