센터소개

meeting room

How big is your world?

Registered Date September 03, 2019 Read 419
Attached File
How big is your world?
After participating IELP in the Philippines
by Young Hee Chung


    I arrived at the Philippine international airport on June 30, 2019. At that time, I had half of worries and half of expectation in my mind, because it was my first experience staying with foreigners over a month. While having lunch at the Jollibee, the most popular fast-food restaurant in the Philippines, I remembered many leadership training programs in the Philippines. I have worked with the Scranton Women's Leadership Center since 2007 to create and develop Asian women's leadership developing programs. Most of the programs were conducted in English because participants came from various countries around the world. For me, who was born in Korea and grew up in Korea, it has always been a big challenge to make and carry out programs in English. To communicate more actively with diverse participants, I needed to improve my English skills. Thus, I participated in the ‘Intensive English Language Program’ with 15 university faculties from six Asian countries. The program was held from July 1 to August 15, 2019, at Miriam College in Manila, the Philippines. I was able to attend thanks to the scholarship program of the UB and the Scranton Women's Leadership Center.


   This IELP program was a valuable opportunity to communicate with friends of diverse cultures. I used to ask a question in my leadership development program, "How big is your world?." It allowed my world to connect and expand with others. During the 46 days of the IELP, I had a cross-cultural experience. In the first class, my Chinese friends greeted me in Korean, and my Myanmar friends also said to me Korean food names. I had many conversations with my friends from Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, China, and Indonesia, while shopping, traveling, discussing, and working as a team. Especially, I built a friendship with my Vietnamese and Indonesian roommates by sharing personal stories and teaching English together. One day, I saw my Myanmar friends walking with white flowers on their heads. But I observed that my Indonesian friends' facial expression became frown slightly at that moment. I want to know and understand Indonesian friends feeling and thought. So I asked them what the meaning of the white flowers is. They explained it meant death because the white flower is used to decorate a coffin at a funeral. At that time, I came to think of the true meaning of communication. I experienced that communication is not just speaking with correct grammar, but understanding the cultural context through listening and empathy. After this experience, I tried to communicate actively with others without thinking of whether my English was speaking correctly or not. Thus, I could communicate beyond boundaries and  my world became bigger.

   Now, I remember the participant named Tri in the IELP. She came from Indonesia and majored in civil engineering. She studied through the scholarship of the Scranton Women's Leadership Center and now teaches university students. When I listened to Tri's story, I convinced that the Scranton scholarship program has cultivated Asian women leaders successfully. Once again, thank you to the UB and the Scranton Women's Leadership Center for the opportunity to be equipped with English communication skills and cross-cultural understanding. Furthermore, I will keep going on contribution to creating the Asian women leadership training program.