By Solai Alagappan

Students from Korea came to Andover High School on January 2 and were expected to stay for about a month as part of the Endorsement for Global Engagement Visiting Program.

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Korean Students use the Andover High School library space to set up student IDs and cafeteria pins. They also learned how to use and explore Google. (Photo by Solai Alagappan)

The Global Engagement program has allowed twenty-one middle and high school students from Korea to visit Andover to learn about American culture and practice their English language skills. All students taking part in the program were to attend the school and take classes for three to four weeks. The students will also be taking part in after-school activities at West and Wood Hill middle schools.

The Global Engagement program has been helping students get a better understanding of diversity and culture in different parts of the world for ten years. Students from Korea are visiting Andover for the fifth year.

GoEun Cho, the director of this program, says that the students earn many benefits from this program, including learning about how society and culture are much different in America than Korea. “It helps them a lot, learning about cultural differences,” she explained. “Because Korea is a homogeneous society, all students can see in Korea is black eyes and black hair. Here in America it’s really diverse; they can see all different races here; they can learn about cultural competence.”

On January 17, the Korean students also went to an event called Bridging Generations. Held at the North Boston Korean United Methodist Church, the event was an appreciation night for Korean veterans. The event included playing Korean board games, making Korean fans, and a traditional Korean dinner.

The kids visiting needed a place to stay, and this is where students of Andover were also a part of the Global Engagement program and helped the foreign students feel welcome. Dr. Allen, the World Language Program Head, explained that students in Andover got involved by hosting the Korean students, providing them a place to stay for the time that they visited.