California State University, Fullerton

A-Z Index

CSUF Home   »   INSIDE

Mikyong Kim-Goh, fourth from left, with other research fellows in Korea.

Greetings from Korea

Professor in South Korea Recounts First Weeks of Her Summer Fellowship

June 16, 2009

By Mikyong Kim-Goh

It's typical summer weather over here, hot and humid with intermittent showers.

I have been here in Yongin, Korea, for about a month as a field research fellow sponsored by the Korea Foundation. A sister city of Fullerton, Yongin is about 30 miles south of Seoul. Looking out from my friend's apartment on the 18th floor, I have a pretty nice view of gentle rolling hills and a huge complex that looks like an indoor driving range.

Korea has an excellent public transportation system. I can pretty much get anywhere by bus, subway or train. I'm five minutes from a stop, where I catch the bus to Seoul to attend the Yonsei-Korea Foundation academic forums at Yonsei University.

One of hundreds of shrines for the late South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun. Photo by Mikyong Kim-Goh

It has been an incredible month with the tragic death of the former President Roh Moo Hyun. I witnessed the state funeral after 7 days of mourning.

Millions of people visited the more than 300 shrines set up all over the country to show their respect and say farewell to their beloved leader, who is fondly being remembered as the "common peoples' President."

The Seoul Square was packed with people wearing yellow visors, ties, or T-shirts and holding yellow balloons. Yellow reportedly was President Roh's campaign color.

During a three-day field-trip to the southern region of Korea, Jeolla Provinces, organized by the Korea Foundation, for the field research fellows, I discovered the beauty and history of this region for the first time. There are 19 fellows on this trip, including me. They come from all over the world — New Zealand, Russia, Belarus, Mongolia, Singapore, China and the U.S. Most of the fellows here are university faculty members. There are a Ph.D. candidates, collecting data in Korea for their dissertations.

We've been visiting ancient temples such as Hwaumsa (built in 544 A.D.) and Unju Temple, Suncheon Bay, one of the most beautiful and natural estuaries in the country, Nakan Eupseng Folk Village, Boseong Green Tea Farm, among other places.

Mikyong Kim-Goh is a professor of social work. She is in South Korea on a fellowship, conducting field research on female victims of domestic violence.

Related Story:

Korean American Paradox

Back to Top