Two students from South Korea spent four days as interns with the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) as part of Cebu’s sister-province exchange program.
They were among 10 students from Pukyeong National University in Busan selected to visit Cebu and exchange ideas with Cebuanos.
At the tourism office, Hyewon Song, 24, an English literature major, and Seorin Kim, 21, an international studies major, translated into Korean its brochure on the Big 5 sustainable eco-tourism sites and the Capitol’s walking tour script.
They first observed the conduct of the “Cebu Youth 4 Tourism Youth Summit: Wired and Free” at the SM Seaside City Cebu last August 21 before joining the PTO the next day until August 25.
The students were impressed that over 350 youths from all over Cebu showed up for the summit PTO organized, saying such a number could not be gathered for a similar event in their place.
Funded by the Busan City government, the Korean students’ internship program was intended for them to be globally competitive.
Tourism Officer Boboi Costas said Hyewon and Seorin were also exposed to Cebuano culture and had a “food sampling” session with PTO staff.
He said they told him that they learned a lot during their community tours, which they did not have in Korea. For Costas, it was a two-way learning experience.
“It was a very good cross-cultural learning. Nakahibalo sila sa atong kultura, nakahibalo ta sa ilang work ethics. I wish naa pa ‘tay similar undertaking in the future,” he said.
For Hyewon, 24, she also learned a lot from the experience.
“It was a great opportunity for me not only to learn the business culture in Cebu, real work at the office, but also to experience food, tradition, and culture in Cebu. It will be a big step in my career. I’m really happy to meet you and work at (the) tourism office. You guys are very kind and friendIy. Everybody has been so nice, sweet and caring. I will always remember your kindness,” she said.
Seorin, 21, likewise said, “The internship was a really a good chance for me…to learn the culture of the workplace in Cebu and (to) meet lovely people there.”