Letter to the Editor

BY DI READER | DECEMBER 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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Int'l student: Good and bad things observed at UI

It's almost been four months since I first came here as an exchange student from South Korea, and the time to leave Iowa is just around the corner. While studying in the United States for the first time in my life, every moment that I've experienced here has been new and unfamiliar to me. Thus whenever I attend a class, I tend to be either impressed or embarrassed.

First, I was really impressed by the active participation of American students, who easily and eagerly speak out. This level of active participation that I've observed here is hard to be seen in classroom in East Asian countries — this is especially true of classes in South Korea. Most lectures in South Korea are just taught, and students just tend to listen to the professors, rarely opening their mouths. After attending class with active Americans, I do sincerely feel and realize that this active participation in class is what Asians, including me, should learn.

On the contrast, there's also an aspect about which I'm really embarrassed. I saw some students looking down and ignoring their instructors only because he or she is not a white person and speaks English awkwardly, which I frown upon. I understand the difference in cultures between America and my home country. However, I strongly think that ignoring their instructors is totally rude behavior even in this freewheeling America. This attitude is not only rude but also inappropriate to live in the 21st century, where every kind of person should live in harmony with one another.

I really want students to respect their instructors, whoever he or she is, because they are the ones teaching us.

Soram Kim
UI student

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