Korean study tour (Report from Korean student / volunteer)


scene from discussion in Korea

As an interpreter, I took part in the study tour in South Korea held from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3, 2009, which gave me chances to have a variety of experiences.

The figure of South Korea with the problem of immigrants seemed novel and was different from the one that I had recognized thus far. Immigrants seemed to have established the foundations of their livelihood and have sent down roots deep into Korean society. I also confirmed, however, the presence of various elements that do not permit the immigrants to lead a happy life in South Korea, such as political situations and prejudice of ordinary citizens. I was surprised at the fact that organizations supporting immigrants in such torment exist also in South Korea, and felt ashamed of being too little concerned about the circumstances surrounding immigrants in South Korea. Although the current situations in South Korea are trying for immigrants, and also for supporting organizations, I saw hope for the solution of problems concerning immigrants in South Korea in the days ahead, in the activities of them and many smiles seen in the activities.

Through APFS and the study tour this time, I got to know various matters that I had been unable to know when living in South Korea. I hope, from the bottom of my heart, that the tour will be a great step to the mutual cooperation, in order for both Japan and South Korea to be a country where immigrants can live a happy life.