Late July 3rd
, a tired group of nine Korean students from Tongmyong University arrived for a 4-week study tour with ESLI at SIUE. Tongmyong is an engineering focused university in Busan South Korea and currently Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a 2+ agreement with their Engineering Departments. While this group is here visiting the campus, attending some English classes, and experiencing the culture of the St. Louis area and Illinois, two Engineering professors and a group of SIUE students are at Tongmyong teaching an engineering class and touring South Korea. Within our group at SIUE we have students studying engineering, nursing, military science, business, and hotel and tourism management.
What better way to experience culture than to attend a small town 4th
of July event! On the evening of the fourth the students visited Granite City, IL, enjoyed a small-town fair complete with rides, games, and food, and listened to local bands play before an amazing display of fireworks.
The Tongmyong students stay on campus in the Cougar Village dorms, where they can cook their own meals if they don’t feel like trekking to the Morris University Center and the cafeteria. All take part in two classes a day, focusing on grammar skills and speaking and listening skills, five days a week and attend tutoring sessions after classes three days a week with trained ESL tutors.
The weekends are full of fun and learning as well though! Students were introduced to a local farmer’s market in downtown Edwardsville, IL and the next day a trip to the famous St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park!
The group also learned about the 16th
president of the United States, President Abraham Lincoln, and his tragic passing by visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL.
From Lincoln to further back in the past, our Tongmyong University students then visited the Cahokia Mounds, the ancient home of the most advanced American native civilization north of Mexico, from 600 – 1400 CE.
After touring the museum and watching the video to explain some of the history, the group climbed to the top of the highest mound, where the king lived and now called Monk’s Mound, to look at the amazing views of the St. Louis skyline.
The study tour is almost over, with the group planning to visit Delmar Loop in St. Louis this weekend to taste St. Louis’s famous Fitz Root Beer and enjoy the lively scene in this up and coming neighborhood.