GCC welcomes Baekseok University students for ESL immersion program

by Guam Community College
Stripes Guam

GCC students who spent two weeks at Baekseok University in Korea last month as part of GCC’s Korean Language and Culture summer course welcomed their Korean counterparts to Guam on Tuesday, July 31st, for the ESL Immersion portion of the program between GCC and Baekseok, a private university. Located in Cheonan City, South Korea, Baekseok has an enrollment of approximately 15,000 students and a thriving hotel management program with which GCC has partnered for the college’s Associate of Science degree in International Hotel Management.

The 12 students from Baekseok will spend the next four weeks on Guam, studying English at GCC and experiencing the warm hospitality and vitality of the island’s Chamorro culture.

“It’s now our turn to create unforgettable memories for the students from Baekseok. We have high expectations that they will enjoy every minute of our planned agenda,” said Eric Ji, GCC Hospitality & Tourism Dept. Chair.

Jae-Hwan Baek, a 24-year-old hotel management major at Baekseok, said he is taking part in the program “to learn English and the culture and visit my friends from Guam.” Baek noted that he has good memories of two weeks he spent with the students from Guam at Baekseok, and he hopes to learn with them here.

Licina Ruecho, a GCC Tourism & Travel Management major, was one of the students that traveled to Baekseok.

“It was amazing. Their school is so big and they’re so advanced. We learned taekwondo, and we took the subway – we don’t have those on Guam,” said Ruecho. “Their dorms are so tall – they have like 800 rooms. I was in awe,” she said.

Ruecho and five other GCC students traveled to Baekseok from July 16-27, as part of a four-credit course that immersed them in the Korean culture and provided them with the opportunity to learn and speak Korean.

“It’s the culture – connecting with another person that you wouldn’t normally sit down and talk with,” she said of the importance of the program. “And the language, getting to know little things. It goes a long way – it really felt like home by the time we left,” she said of the GCC students who spent two weeks in Korea.”

For more information about the program, call Eric Ji at 735-5629, or email eric.ji@guamcc.edu.

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