Song in love with Fiji

Yunjeong Song in Maui Bay, Sigatoka. Picture: SUPPLIED

TEACHING in a developed country such as Korea for 10 years, Yungeong Song knew she had to share her knowledge with the children in Fiji.

A volunteer math teacher at Marist Brothers High School (MBHS), Ms Song as she is known to her students will leave Fiji content with what she had offered her students.

Being from Inchen in Korea, Ms Song shared how she thought working in Fiji would be difficult at first and how the Fijians quickly changed her perspective.

“I have been in Fiji for two years now and my first year was spent in Gospel High School. Now I’m here in Marist Brothers High School completing my second year,” Ms Song said.

“I came here through a program that supports education in developing countries with the partnership of the Ministry of Education in Korea and the Ministry of Education in Fiji.

“I applied for the job and got the chance to come to Fiji.

“When I got here last year it was quite hard to adjust at first because of the language barrier, the change in the environment, facilities and the education system.

“Now into my second year and I feel comfortable and feel right at home.”

She said she was on a one year contract and after completing the first year she wanted to extend her stay which was later accepted.

“It is my first time to come to a South Pacific island and at first it left uncomfortable because the pace was a bit slow and laid-back compared to Korea which is more advanced,” she said.

“In Korea everything is developed, especially technology and most things are made to perfection.

“Now I’m enjoying living here because the slow pace has allowed me to appreciate so many things, especially Fiji’s beautiful culture and landscape.

“I love teaching students here, but I still miss my Korean family and friends back at home.

“We keep in touch and talk about the work I’m doing and how it has broaden my knowledge.

“I have been to other countries for short trips, but this is the first time for me to leave for a whole year and to work.”

She said the number of students she taught in a class was bigger compared with her class in Korea,

“In Korea, I usually teach about 20 students in a class, but here the number is bigger,

“The boys at the MBHS respect their teachers, so it was easy teaching them. Sometimes they get mischievous but I get help from the prefects in controlling the students in class.

“It is good to experience the different cultures in Fiji, unlike Korea where we have one culture. Here there are so many cultures to learn about and experience.

“The people here are kind and it’s easy to interact with them because they always have a smile on their face, so it’s easy to talk to them.”

She said she would miss her students and friends the most when she leaves and also the fresh air and green environment Fiji offered.

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