In South Korea, the spring semester marks the beginning of a new school year, as students in Korea start the new school year in March and end in December. This spring semester presented challenges to students due to COVID-19 as they navigated a new schedule for their classes. KKOOM reached out to our two college scholars, Byung Kyung and Minyeal, in mid-April to give us a sense of how their daily school routine.
Byung Kyung and Minyeal are both majoring in Applied Music at a Divinity college in Daegu, South Korea, which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea. While the spring semester was supposed to start on March 16th, online lectures did not begin until April 13th. Most professors record their lectures in advance using “Naver Band” and also conduct some classes using ZOOM. Each subject is about 25 minutes in two sessions for lecture and homework.
The transition to online classes did not seem to pose a problem for either of our college scholars. Byung Kyung takes advantage of study groups with classmates, while practicing social distancing and uses caution while interacting with others. His favorite class this semester is vocal performance to help strengthen his talents. What gives him the most joy nowadays is reading and his meditation time.
When we asked Byung Kyung if he had any words to share with KKOOM supporters, he shared, “Even around the world, coronavirus gives us a lot of pressure. There are times I have struggled with how coronavirus has affected our society, but I am still having a good time by the grace of God. Thank you for your support in helping me recover from life’s difficulties. I also want to help other people later without forgetting this grace!”
Minyeal’s favorite class this semester is piano accompaniment. Minyeal is a praise band leader at his local church, so he is used to being behind the mic singing. While piano accompaniment is his favorite class, he also shared this class gives him many challenges personally and academically. It is a difficult class, but Minyeal has a positive attitude about his effort and progress made throughout the semester. He really enjoys it because of the accountability and personal attention he receives through 1:1 learning with the professor. One of the best things that gives Minyeal daily joy is writing Bible verses. It helps him relax throughout the day.
Sharing his appreciation for KKOOM’s support, Minyeal also expressed his thanks to every supporter who helps fund his college scholarship. “As I received a lot of love, I will do my best to work hard to live as a person who gives and loves many people. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who support my dreams, and I sincerely hope and pray that the Lord’s love will be filled there. Thank you very much.”
Through the unexpected challenges of a delayed start to their spring semester and transitioning to online classes, Minyeal and Byung Kyung have faced adversity with grit and resilience, learning to bounce back from difficult situations. There’s a famous saying in Korean culture called “hwaiting,” which means “you can do it.” Your generosity motivates these two young men to pursue their dreams in the midst of a global pandemic. Thank you for giving Minyeal and Byung Kyung the strength to get through their studies, day by day, by cheering them on saying, “You can do it.”
Grace Lee, Chief Administrator