My name is Denise, I go by 민이 in Korea and this marks my first post on Highteen TV, and also my bid to appeal to you as the best mentor you'd find on this site.
My name's Denise, I'm a 4th year translations/interpretation major at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) in the department of KFL (Korean as a Foreign Language)
I speak English and Mandarin Chinese as my native languages (Singaporean!!) and I've been learning Korean for the last 14 years or so! (Academically the last 3 years since I came Korea)
I taught myself Korean since 2009 or so when I first got introduced to Korean culture through Korean dramas that were picking up in Singapore and got certified TOPIK Level 5 on my first attempt back in 2015. I retook the TOPIK test in Singapore in 2017 and got level 5 again, but that result too was due to expire in 2019. Come 2020 I applied to pursue my undergraduate studies at HUFS KFL, luckily (or not luckily?) due to the COVID-19 pandemic HUFS had made it optional to have a valid TOPIK certificate upon application but on the condition of an extra interview! I nailed my interview and enrolled into the 2020 Fall semester as a freshman at HUFS.
I took the TOPIK exam again in Korea in February 2021, getting my Level 6 certification. But as indeed due to the validity of 2 years, I retook it in November 2022 and maintained my level 6 certification which will last me throughout my graduation in June 2024.
So enough about the papers that certify my academic Korean skills, how about my practical skills like speaking Korean?
Prior to coming Korea for my undergraduate studies, I worked full-time in Singapore from 2015 to 2020 in Korean-speaking positions at both of my jobs. I was the main communicator in between our Singapore and Korean offices, hence the reason why I got to visit our Korean office a lot on business trips too.
I also worked as a Korean-English interpreter for multiple K-Pop events in Singapore! (BIGBANG Taeyang interview, SNSD Yoona fanmeet, SNSD Taeyeon concert, Jung Sewoon)
This was my track record prior to starting my undergraduate studies in translations (hehe)
Since coming to Korea 3 years ago, I've also worked as a freelance interpreter at several temple stays and Confucian academies tours organized by Funday Korea Networks and San San Crew!
I've interpreted on a little less than 10 of these tours and it's come to a point where the participants recognize me and we end up staying connected after the tour ended!
As for curricular activities, I worked as a staff in the International Student Organization (ISO) in HUFS Seoul campus for 4 semesters!
For the 1st 3 semesters I was a regular staff, in the 4th and final semester I mustered the courage to take on a exco position and was the team leader of the ATTI Team, one of the 4 main teams of ISO. Thanks to my 4 semesters with ISO, I got to meet and make friends with 4 semesters of exchange/visiting students from all around the world and also know the kind of troubles and problems they face while first adapting to life in Korea!
I also am a 2 time recipient of the GKS Scholarship (우수자비), picked among the 20 recipients at my school. The maximum amount of times one can receive it is 2 times anyway. The TLDR on this scholarship is that you are only eligible to apply for it from your 2nd year, and you'd need to write a blindingly good personal statement and study plan (자기소개서, 학업계획서). I will share more tips about how to write a good personal statement and study plan in my upcoming posts!
Lastly, my final and most effective cheat-key to convincing you to register and get me as your mentor would be - my boyfriend is Korean.
We got to know one another at one of my part-time jobs here and we've been happily dating since (coming 600 days!) so if you were to want to consult me for opinions and feedback from a Korean, I have one by my side I can ask for quick and genuine responses! I also will be able to share with all my mentees the ups and downs in relation to studying in Korea as a foreigner, and also give you some candid, useful information to how it's like dating a Korean. (I'm like half serious and half joking)
What you can ask me as my mentee (not limited to these questions):
- How well must I be in Korean to apply to KFL at HUFS?
- How are classes at KFL like, are they all carried out in Korean, how much studying do we need to do?
- How is the neighborhood near HUFS (Imun-dong), any food recommendations?
- How to apply and get scholarships (financial) while studying at HUFS?
- How to apply and get into school clubs?
- How to better communicate and be friends with Koreans?
Thank you and I hope you too get to live the life that you dream of in Korea!
Click the button below (멘토링 신청) to become my mentee!!!
Cheers, Denise 민이