CultureNotes: South Korea

Our students come from all over the world, and we’re all about sharing cultures at Nacel Open Door. While this builds respect and understanding, there are still some differences that might take our Host Families some extra time to understand.

We’ve talked to one of our partners in South Korea for some advice on hosting a South Korean student, which will hopefully help both our students and Host Families have a pleasant program experience.

-The Korean culture is far more reserved than that of the U.S., and harmony is a top priority.

-Because students will likely not want to disappoint, they might nod their heads when they don’t understand what is being said. Our Partner in South Korea recommends asking the question a few times if the student doesn’t understand so they feel more comfortable admitting if they don’t.

-Korean students might not talk much, but that does not necessarily mean they are unhappy. Our Partner in the Korean office recommends using kind words and encouraging students during the transition period.

-Interpersonal communication in South Korea is generally pleasant in tone. Your student might get nervous if you are too blunt with him/her.

-In a family setting, Korean students generally do not share their weaknesses until they feel comfortable enough to consider themselves a part of the family. They are also taught to say “yes” when adults speak to them, even if they disagree.

-Education is highly valued in South Korea, and Korean students are used to studying for hours after school. Some are in the habit of studying until very late at night.

If you ever have any issues with communication or questions about culture, please consult with a member of our Advising Department! We want everyone involved in our programs to have a wonderful experience, and that usually starts with communication!

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