Daniel Jeong, of Suwon, South Korea, is nearing the end of his three-year schooling adventure in the international student program.
Jeong, 18, will be graduating this summer with the rest of his class at David Thompson Secondary School in Invermere.
Jeong is also the president of the international student group at David Thompson, based on a vote by other students and Rocky Mountain International Student Program Homestay Co-ordinator Lori Sluth, Jeong explained.
Jeong’s name is a Canadian name adopted for the program – “Insu Jeong” is his Korean name, he said.
“When I first started here, I spoke terrible English,” said Jeong. “I just did a lot of smiling and waving.”
But over his three years of attending school in the Columbia Valley, Jeong says his English has greatly improved.
“I think my school marks really show it too,” he added.
Back home in South Korea, though, Jeong doesn’t bother much with English.
“I don’t really want to speak it at home, and I don’t have to,” said Jeong.
Jeong describes school in South Korea as “busy”, with a school day starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m.
“You also went to school every Saturday, maybe you’d get four hours of sleep each night,” said Jeong.
Compared to school in South Korea, Jeong says he likes school in Canada much better.
Jeong described his first year attending school in the Columbia Valley as not so good, mainly due to the language barrier, and only really having other Korean friends.
However, as time went on throughout his three-year schooling adventure, Jeong said that things became a lot better.
One of the strangest initial shocks to the Valley was the wildlife, according to Jeong.
“There are bears and deer all over – it was pretty crazy and a bit scary at first,” Jeong said.
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 offers an International Student Program that has been in operation since 1987. For more information, visit http://www.sd6.bc.ca/international.php