Foreign Exchange Program

Amanda Braun - 2018 IFYE Participant from Illinois - South Korea

October 26, 2018


This is recap of the first three months that Amanda Braun spent in South Korea before heading to Thailand.

She wrote on Facebook, September 6th, "I am excited to go to Thailand but also sad because in the short time I’ve been here, I have fallen in love with this country.

Amanda spent time with seven host families during her three months in South Korea. She has watched a demonstration on hand painting of fans and attended a Korean wedding. One of her host families had horses.

July 13th and 14th, she attended a 4-H camp in Jinhaegu, Chang-wonsi. She attended a seminar writing, “about the Korean War with Japan and how the general was the greatest leader of all. After that lecture we made wooden boat models that the soldiers used in the war. I was told they are called Turtle-ships because it has armor on the top to protect from bombs. We played games and exercises and had a great time with my new friends! The second day we went out on the ocean in a boat! The ocean is so beautiful and being with awesome people makes it even better!” She participated in community service of ‘weeding’. 


During the last week of July, she headed to International 4-H camp. July 30th, she, "went to the fish market with Mr. Peter in the morning and there was soooo many people! I saw huge octopuses and ate soup with octopus! It was so yummy! Then we went to the beach and did water sports! I crashed into the water hard but it was still very enjoyable, then at night we walked down the beach and looked at the lights! All in all it was a great day.”

In the third week of August, she, "Enjoyed 4-H camp this week in Wanju-gun North Jeolla! At the camp there were many high school students, maybe 300 total and maybe 100 staff and young farmer members. We did activities like a nature walk, fishing with only nets, climbing, and a concert! It was a very enjoyable time. And the last night there was a huge ceremonial bonfire and everyone stood in the clover shape holding candles! The sight was very beautiful.”

She thinks her favorite food is, “tobokki, which is a rice cake filled with cheese, mixed with spicy sauce and onions.” During her last day in South Korea, she helped make, "막걸리, which is a traditional rice wine. The rice is dried and made into a powder, and then sifted until only the fine parts are left. Then 10 L of water is added slowly as a person mixes. The rice becomes really sticky and hard to mix, so between the three of us we switched turns after the water is added, we must wait for half an hour for the water to cool down to 25 degrees C, or the enzymes in the rice won’t ferment. It is then placed in a big pot to set for two days. After two days, we get to add more water and stay the mixing process over again!"

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