Korean student’s life in America

Lucy Cho, Staff Writer

Eight months ago, sophomore Yoon Lee moved halfway across the world from South Korea to the United States, leaving her father and her childhood friends. 

Lee said she misses her father most when she hears her friends talking about their own fathers, but she won’t be able to see him until next year.

“I wish I could go [to South Korea] during summer vacation, but I came here so late, in my sophomore year, so my mom wants me to study more [to catch up],” Lee said.

Lee’s mother wanted her to move to America to escape the strict education system in Korea that had her at school from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every weekday, including time she spent studying after school officially ended. Lee moved to Northbrook with her mother and twin sister while her father chose to stay back to financially support them from Korea with no plans to move to America as of now.

Ten days after she arrived in America, Lee went to Starbucks to get a green tea latte, but had trouble communicating with the baristas when it became her turn to order. 

“With my accent, [the baristas] kept having to ask me to repeat, and when they asked for the size, I had to let [the baristas] repeat [themselves] three times,” Lee said.

Lee said she also had trouble with the language barrier her first time at an American church when the pastor told a funny story. 

“[At first] I didn’t understand at all,” said Lee. “Everyone was laughing but I couldn’tbecause I had no idea why they were laughing. I still don’t understand services [completely], but I can laugh with them now. I know why they’re laughing.”