자기 발견의 여정 (A Journey of Self-Discovery)

Challenges. When overcome they make us stronger, however, when left unaccounted for, they grow to become larger and sometimes even unconquerable obstacles.

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장애물 극복 (Overcoming Obstacles)

As a part of the Busan International Comedy Festival’s main event preparation, there are a few pre-events that take place in order to promote and draw attention to the upcoming festival. A few of these already took place such as the flash mob event at a middle and high school as well as the opening ceremony for the accepted volunteers. Another main event took place on Saturday was one of the most important pre-festival events. This event was the “BICF Showcase” where a few comedian and youtube guests came to help promote the festival.

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출석의 뜻밖의 어려움 (Unexpected Difficulties of Taking Attendance)

Moving into the fourth week of my internship, the office started to become a lot busier. We had two events planned at the end of the week and started preparing for them. The first event was the “발대식” (welcoming ceremony) for the volunteers. As a part of the public relations team, I helped with the interview process the week before. This interview process required some pre-planning and setting up. First our team arrived at the Media Center located in Centum City a couple hours in advance and we went around the building hanging posters around the center to make sure the interviewees knew where to go. I was placed in charge of staying in the waiting room and giving out the nametags when the interviewees arrived. Additionally, as the interviewees returned after completing their interviews, I took back the nametags and gave out a souvenir fan that had the festival logo on it. I found this to be an interesting experience as I have never proctored a test or looked over an interview process and this experience was a test of how quiet one could stay for an extended amount of time. I also realized that sitting around and not doing anything while waiting for interviewees to come sounds like an easy job, but in reality it is quite tiring. After completing the interview process, we took down the posters and signs, and went home.

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어린 시절의 추억들 (Childhood Memories)

For week 3 of my internship, I approached my cultural exploration in South Korea from a different perspective: examining what makes a person who they are. This starts from their childhood experiences, whether good or bad, which set them on a path to who they will become in the future. Taking classes on Korean culture and society during my semester abroad taught me more about the typical Korean student lifestyle and how much time they dedicate to working towards getting employed after college. Some students spend up to 14 hours a day studying and preparing for the one test that will determine their future, the CSAT or 수능 (suneung). Therefore, hosting an event like the flash mob surprise event called 스쿨 어택 (School Attack) opened my eyes to how much these students appreciate any distraction from their daily routine of studying. This event, hosted by my internship organization, 부산국제코미디페스티벌 (Busan International Comedy Festival), as a teaser for the upcoming festival, consisted of going to a local middle school and high school and surprising the students with an event where they would be able to participate, receive prizes, and watch performances. Being able to experience this from the perspective of the organizers, I gained a greater appreciation for the time and effort it took to put together all the events I experienced while in primary and secondary school.

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문화 교환 (Culture Exchange)

As I dove into another week of work, I soon discovered that I would have to find my own opportunities to work to make the most out of this experience. At first, I was confused as to why everyone in the office around me always seemed busy, however if I asked to help out with anything, I would always be given the response, “I’ll let you know later.” The day would sometimes end with a trivial task or I would not be assigned any tasks at all. Halfway through the week, I heard my team manager talking about visiting various locations outside the office as work and I volunteered to join and help out to gain some experience. I was finally given the okay and accompanied my team manager on this trip. We visited various event halls and theaters around Centum City. The first place we looked at was the Shinsegae Culture Hall. Here, I took notes and pictures while the team leader told us where the posters and promotional items would be placed. We next went to the Media Center, another venue for the festival, followed by the Busan Design Center. Finally, we stopped by the Busan International Film Festival Building, one of the most interesting structures in Busan which also houses its own cinema center where the public are welcome to watch movies. At this time, another festival was taking place called BIKY, or the Busan International Kids and Youth Movie Festival, where famous youth movies are displayed and events are hosted for kids. Seeing how this festival was being promoted and the abundance of posters all over Busan (e.g. in the subway stations), I got a better understanding of how the Comedy Festival is going to be promoted. After visiting these locations, the head team manager, 박 팀장님 (Mrs. Park), led us over to a cafe where we discussed the notes we took and also had time to casually talk and ask questions. I found it interesting sharing my experience as a foreigner and my perspective of the culture while being able to ask questions of my own on how foreigners are viewed by native Koreans and how our culture is perceived.

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