Korean Students Speak

Many of the Fulbrighters have been working on a big project this year, called Korean Students Speak.  Most structured the activity around some sort of lesson on free speech or something of the sort, and then turned the students loose.  They were given a piece of paper and a marker, and told to write anything they wanted; anything that they wanted to share with the world.  Here are just a few of the things that they said.  Some are funny, some are sad, some are profound, all are real.  To see the entire project, go to http://koreanstudentsspeak.tumblr.com/.  Transcripts of the signs are written in the captions under the photos.

Flying high is not hard.  But the burden you give make us fall down to the ground.

You should not give up so easily, no matter what you do.  

Bad math  bad brain
Be brave and express your opinion 
Cogito Ergo Sum

Competing with friends for grades makes me mad

Don’t ask me, “Are you Japanese?”.  I’m KOREAN!

Everyone is a precious child, a valued friend, and important person 
Hey guys.  Rise up!  And walk out on the world!  Whatever they say, you can change the world! 
I am who I am.  You are who you are.  Be yourself.

I hate to study English (because Americans have a leisure time while we study their English)

I really want to unify Korea.

I want Korea to be multi-cultural.  Why don’t you come to Korea?

I want a Korea where Korean students can have “real smiles.”

I’m happy now.  I’m quite satisfied in my life.  But if I say about my anxiety, it’s my mental pressure of the future.  I’m the first son of my whole family and all of my family have a lot of expectation to me.  I think I can’t make it, though.  What should I do if I fail to be a successful man?

I’m not your puppet

I’ll make this world better place

KE (Korean Education) is HELL.  KE have so many subjects.  There is NOT a vacation.  We must escape KE.  We don’t be slaves of time.  And our time is running out now.  Give us significant teenager.  

Korea, you must be changed.  I will change you.

Korean education is unfair because many students have own talents, but Korean education don’t admit their own talents.

Life is Beautiful.  Enjoy your life!

Love Yourself!

Please give us chances to fail and overcome.


I want to be a student of Seoul National University Department of Geography, and I want to be a Geography information system expert or Geography researcher.  **Please don’t laugh at me.

Studying is not everything!  BUT studying is everything in KOREA.

Teacher can make me smart.  However, teacher can’t make me happy.

Thank God!  It’s good to be HERE!

There is something more than what you can see

We can do better when we are united.

We can do it.  Impossible is nothing.

We want to study for our own dream.  Not for jobs.  

What we learned: Give up your dreams and you’ll achieve your goals. 

I think….Korean education is something wrong.  Many Korean students try suicide and suffer from study.  Korean students study 16 hours every day.  I can’t understand this education.  We need something to change.  

(Left) You’re not alone.  (Right) I’ll be with you.

3 comments on “Korean Students Speak”

  1. Tom L says:

    These are great. I sense a book here.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great idea Uncle Tom!! Lauren, your lessons seem to inspire and bring out the best in your students — the Light you share is AMAZING. xoxo Aunt Cathi

  3. Mia says:

    This is depressing to read. But I’m glad they’re speaking up. I hope the government will listen.

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