Korean students experience American culture at Humphreys

by Soo Yeon-hwang and Kim Sung-eun
USAG Humphreys Public Affairs

USAG HUMPHREYS – Seventy Shinpyeong High School students and their teachers experienced American culture when they visited Humphreys American High School and other facilities here.

Shinpyeong High School is located in Dangjin, Chungcheongnam Province, west of Hum-phreys. This is the third year in a row that the students and teachers visited Camp Humphreys.

According to Se Hwan Yoo, the principal of Shinpyeong high school, the event gives stu-dents an insight into American life. The program has proven so successful they doubled the number of students who participated this year compared to last.

“The purpose of event is to provide Korean students a chance to experience the American culture and life. They are able to learn about the American education environment and the role of U.S. Army indirectly by visiting the little United States in Korea, Camp Humphreys,” Yoo said. “I hope they broaden their view through this opportunity.”

The students’ first stop was Humphreys American High School where they met their guide, Assistant Principal D.J. Lafon. Lafon showed them the counselor’s suite, cafeteria, infor-mation center, gymnasium, auditorium and student lounge.

The Korean students enjoyed the visit and showed great interest in the school.

“It was a really nice experience that I was able to look around the American school. It feels like I went to the real United States not in Korea, said Eun Lee, Shinpyeong High School freshman. One thing that I was sad about was I could not visit an American class, I wanted to see that.”

There were no American students at school because classes did not begin at Humphreys High School until Aug. 29.

After the high school tour, the students went to the Humphreys Community Fitness Center (HCFC) and played basketball, volleyball and dodge ball.

Following their workout in the HCFC, they enjoyed lunch of American food at the Flightline Grill and looked forward to the afternoon’s events— swimming in HCFC’s indoor pool and final snacks at the PX food court.

Back at the pool, after a safety briefing from the life guard, they enjoyed swimming together and with other Americans in the pool.

Students were exhausted due to the swimming but enjoyed their last moments at Camp Humphreys while eating pizza and chicken at the food court.

At the end of the visit, Myeong Muk Gang, a sophomore at Shinpyeong High School, said he learned about the program from one of his teachers and was eager to participate.

“I knew of this program by the suggestion of my teacher, this is my first time here. It was so attractive for me to experience American culture indirectly instead of going to the United States,” Gang said. “It was awesome that I was on the U.S. Army base. The most exciting experience was visiting the Humphreys High School. It was different from our school because its unique facilities.”

Gang said he was disappointed he didn’t meet any American students during the visit but planned to visit Humphreys again if he could.

“If I have the chance to participate in this program, I will apply for it again,” he said.

Yoo offered some final thoughts on the program.

“I think this program is necessary for students. It is really helpful to learn other cultures. The biggest advantage is that students can experience America even if they are not going to visit the America,” he said.

Yoo said the visit helps students understand a bit about American. “We go to the Humphreys High School all the time; it is important to show how American students receive an education in the school,” Yoo said. Yoo said the visit also helps students understand the role of the U.S. Army in Korea.

“It makes students have the enlightened ideas,” he said.

Yoo said he will continue to support the visits to Humphreys so his students can share the same experiences as this and previous classes.

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