With close to 40 members, the Korean Club meets monthly at Weber State University to inform members about Korean lifestyles and culture. The president of the club, 26-year-old senior Sangwon Kang, is in his last year of school in pursuit of a degree in accounting.
Kang transferred to WSU in his junior year from Woongi Tax & Accounting College in South Korea, which is a sister school to WSU.
“The university in South Korea has a relationship with WSU,” Kang said. “I was able to complete two years of school at Woongi and transfer to WSU and pay next to nothing to earn my degree here.”
Kang said the transition to WSU has been difficult because of the language barrier.
“School here is way harder because English is not my first language,” he said.
Upon arriving at WSU, Kang said, he imagined a somewhat different college experience than what WSU has offered.
“Before coming here, I was dreaming of a school with lots of parties, like the American Pie movies,” he said.
Without the parties, Kang has found ways to stay busy while going to school. He is a computer lab aide and said he enjoys the outdoor activities Utah has to offer.
“I really enjoy mountain biking, swimming in the lakes, skiing, and have taken an interest in golf,” he said. “I am registered in a golf class through WSU and have improved throughout the semester.”
Kang has been dating someone for three years who has recently transferred from South Korea to WSU. Junior Sunyoung Ahn, an international economics major, joined her boyfriend last year.
“It was hard being away from him for a year, but we both knew that one day we would be back together and it was worth the wait,” Ahn said.
With his girlfriend now in Utah, Kang said, he misses his nephew and three dogs the most.
“I have only been home once in two years, but I am looking forward to seeing my family this winter, as they plan to visit me,” he said.
After graduating, Kang plans on trying to work in the United States. He has applied to J.D. Clark and Deloitte, both accounting firms.
“I would really like to work when I get done with school,” Kang said. “If I can’t find a job out of college, then I am going to try and get my master’s at the University of Chicago.”
While in the US, Kang has attempted to venture out and see other parts of the country.
“Last spring semester, I was trying to take a road trip to California and Las Vegas,” he said. “I made it to Elko, Nev., and had car troubles and had to spend three days there.”
For the time being, Kang said, he is just enjoying his last year at WSU, focusing on school and the Korean Club.
“He is very hard-working and gets things done when he says he will,” said Yousef Alawadhi, the Arabic LEAD trainer in the WSU Student Association.
The Korean Club is constantly looking for new members. Students interested in becoming members can contact the International Student Office for more information.
“We would love to get more people into the club so people can learn about Korean culture,” Kang said. “It is a great way for us international students to meet Americans.”