Lee Yu-kyung Junior, University of Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Lee Yu-kyung. I live in Iowa city and now I am attending school here at the University of Iowa. I am a junior majoring in elementary education specialized in art and also majoring in Japanese language. I came to this state with my family seven years ago because my father was a visiting professor from Inha University.
I was 15 years old when I came to the Iowa and have lived here since then. Moving to the US was a significant change in my life. I was very excited when I first heard that my family would be going to the US, but at the moment I landed my feet here in Iowa city, I could not control my overwhelming disappointment. Iowa city was exactly the opposite of the images the media had showed me about America.
It was not big at all, in fact, all I could see was the endless cornfields covered with bright sparkling white January snow. Later I learned that most of the states are not as big as the media portraits. For those who cannot imagine what I am saying, just think that basically, everybody in the town knows others’ business where I live.
My high school life in the state was so much fun. Fortunately, I did not go through serious cultural shock. It was not too hard to adjust to the American culture. I joined a show choir from the school that I was very proud of being a member of and also took part in a school soccer team.
However, I always felt lonely even when I was having fun with my friends, because there were no Korean girls who were like me. Now recalling the old days, I always wanted to have a friend who I could share my Korean side with. But I still had so much fun in my high school. Now I am in college and I face many difficult situations with my family.
Unlike the Korean culture, when the kids graduate from the high school, they usually move out from their home and live on the university campus (that does not mean they are totally independent from their parents both either mentally or financially).
Even if they live at home with their parents to save on living expenses, they usually have freedom to do whatever they want to do. My case is very awkward. Because I live in the US and all of my friends are living on their own, but I still have to live with my parents under the very conservative Korean rules, such as dating issues, my academic performances, and even curfews.
Sometimes, I feel that my parents are being overly protective just because we are living in the US and they want me be to aware of my self-identity. I am very aware of myself being a Korean, however, I also feel very confused and frustrated, because I live in between Korean and American society.
It seems that I am in the American world when I am at school with my friends. On the other hand, I feel that I enter to the Korean world in time of being in my house. I live in the world where the society expects me to be Americanized, but my parents are not happy about it.
Although I sometimes suffer from my identity issues, I think my life is very special and unique that I live in two cultures at the same time.