I decided to flee from North Korea after secretly listening to the radio. I learned that there was a different world from North Korea, a world where people could speak their minds and enjoy freedom.
South Korea was even more amazing than I imagined. Everything was new, interesting, and it made me worried about adjusting to my new surroundings. The ability to speak the language certainly helped.
For me, the most fascinating aspects of South Korea were its public transportation and banking system. I could not believe that machines talked and guided people. But everything wasn't so good and comfortable. Every industry, business, and organization uses advanced computer programs and technology that is different from North Korea, where people do everything manually with their own two hands.
So it was difficult to adjust and I realized that South Korea is a tough society where people have to work hard and challenge themselves because without competency, you can get fired. I didn't experience it personally, but a friend of mine got fired from her workplace. It was shocking news and an opportunity to reflect on myself.
My life is great, but if there is one difficult thing, I think getting into a university and choosing a career is difficult. It is difficult to enter a university without having received standard education. The high school education that I received in North Korea has been accredited by the South Korean government, but there are many things that I have to prepare to enter college in South Korea. This has made me think about the need to create a customized education or a set of guidelines for North Korean refugees who wish to go to university.
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*This excerpt was translated from Korean into English by a Korean volunteer.