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Trip to South Korea ‘life changing’ say EHS students

Group photo of EHS students with South Korean students October 24, 2019 – Edina High School (EHS) students traveled to Andong, South Korea last week as part of a student exchange program with Andong Schools. The visit to South Korea mirrored the experience of South Korean students when they visited EHS for two weeks last spring. While there,  the 17 EHS students stayed with their brother/sister families and became acquainted with South Korean culture.

During the trip, students experienced full school life by attending classes Monday through Friday, where instructors spoke only Korean. Jenn Carter, EHS assistant principal, accompanied the students and recognized the differences in the classroom immediately. “When South Korean students came to Edina, the teachers and students thought our school culture was very unique because over there, students are engaged in schoolwork until 10 p.m.” said Carter. “It was amazing to see second language acquisition and to learn about their education.”

EHS students with sister students Aside from attending classes, students were able to visit different sites such as Temple Bong Jong and the Confucian Culture Museum of the Korean Studies Institute. Throughout the trip, students also ate local traditional dishes.

Ella Brown, sophomore, thought the trip was an eye-opening experience. “It was a super cool and interesting seeing how Korean teenagers live and comparing it to the way we live in Edina as teenagers,” she said, “such as the things they do on the weekend, how they interact, what they wear, and their school life.”

Upon leaving, there were tears on both sides. Many students wished they had more time in South Korea. Olivia Tran, sophomore, considered the trip to be life changing. “The trip to South Korea was an amazing opportunity that has changed my life and opened my eyes for my love of traveling,” said Tran.  “It was unforgettable and being able to experience life with Korean students and how they live their life…opened my horizons and showed me how people around the world live different lives through culture, environment and education.”

EHS students with brother students Carter is proud of all the students who went on the trip. “It ties to our core competencies to think globally,” said Carter. “This experience fostered collaboration on a global level and allowed our students to think beyond their worldview.”