Han Kangil is from the Republic of Korea and he studied doctoral program in International Trade in University of International Business and Economics from 2003 to 2006. After graduation, he stayed to teach and is now in charge of the undergraduate Chinese-Korean simultaneous interpretation program in School of Chinese Language and Literature, University of International Business and Economics. He also serves as the president of the International Alumni Association, South Korean Branch. His wife, Tian Fushu, also comes from South Korea. From 2006 to 2008, she got his master's degree in University of International Business and Economics, and is now studying a doctoral program in International Trade since 2014.
The couple has spent 14 years in China since their first visit to Beijing in 2001. China has changed their life in many ways during the past 14 years and their 2 sons also grew up here. 4 years ago, their daughter was born. Now, the eldest child is an 11th grade student in Beijing No.4 Middle School. Tian Fushu told me:” He is like a Chinese boy and China has already become our second hometown.”
After getting married in Seoul, Han Kangil and Tian Fushu, like most South Korean family, led a very simple life with husband earning the bread and wife taking care of the family. Babysitting, watching TV and the gym take up most of Tian Fushu’s life. One day, Tian Fushu watched a documentary on China by accident and that’s the start when China became their common interest. With wife’s support, Han Kangil decided to further his education in China. Considering his own master degree in economics, he chose the International Trade doctoral program in University of International Business and Economics.
For Tian Fushu’s later study in UIBE, Han Kangil said with a smile that it was a reward for her. The 3 years from 2003 to 2006 were hard for Tian Fushu since she had to juggle between family and her Chinese study. They were just scraping by back then with savings in South Korea. The family’s economic situation hasn’t getting any better until Han Kangil graduated and stayed in UIBE as a teacher. In order to pay his wife back for her 3 years’ giving, Han Kangil encouraged Fushu to get a degree in China as well. Then here came a Korean couple studying in China and they have drawn quite attention in University of International Business and Economics.
Tian Fushu told us very frankly that language was the biggest barrier when she first came to China. “Back then, Ni Hao and Zai Jian were all I know”. But it would be unaffordable for them to study Chinese at the same time, still less there were 2 babies in need of care. After careful consideration, they decided that Han Kangil should learn Chinese first in preparation for his study. In the first few months, Tian Fushu was under great pressure. Because she spoke no Chinese, she was not able to go shopping or even answer the phone. Chinese people speak loud with special tones. With no knowledge of Chines language, she always felt people were irritated, which made her scared. However, it was these inconveniences that have prompted her to study Chinese very hard.
It took 14 years for them from studying in China to teaching in China and to settling down in China and Beijing has also become home, not a strange city anymore. Han Kangil, now serving as the president of the International Alumni Association, South Korean Branch, told us, there are now over 3000 international students in UIBE, among which over 700 are from South Korea and it takes up the largest part. He hopes that South Korean students in UIBE could contact him in need of help. They will spare no effort to help them and in this way, they are also expressing their gratitude to UIBE, their Alma Mater.
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