Huntington University is a Christian liberal arts college in Indiana

Student gains cultural experience through overseas internship

Jina Lyu

"This internship helped me see a big picture of my dream."

Although quite diverse in other ethnicities, the opportunity to learn of a new culture and expand her horizons was enticing to children's ministry major Jina Lyu.

Lyu, a junior from South Korea, spent two weeks of her J-term interning with Tutku Tours, a travel agency in Izmir, Turkey.

This internship proved to be a time of learning as she was given a wide array of responsibilities including creating connections between the travel agency and South Korea, specifically Korean pastors.

"The travel agency had been working with Americans and Canadians for nine years," she said. "They wanted to reach Koreans and expand their business through me. I translated letters to Korean and sent them to pastors, professors and community leaders."

Along with those tasks, she was also given the job to help publicize the agency.

"I also had to write a promotional article about Tutku Tours and its programs in Korean, so that the travel agency could use it for their website."

Looking back on her experience, Lyu learned some valuable life lessons, which stretched her beyond her area of study.

"One of the biggest lessons I learned was how to write professionally," she said. "I couldn't see their facial expressions or their tones of voice, so I was careful of my word choice because all our communications was made through email."

Though this internship was not directly related with her major, Lyu states that it was still a helpful experience and helped her see more about her future desire to start a private Christian school in Korea.

"This internship helped me see a big picture of my dream," she said. "I was able to observe, experience and tried to immerse in the Turkish culture and I loved it. This made me think of the possibility of starting my second school in Turkey."

Lyu's experiences in the classroom at HU helped her adapt better to interacting with different people and to be aware of different cultural norms and how she should interact with others.

"My classroom experience helped me know how to adjust in a new culture and be careful of cultural differences," she said. "My ministry and missions classes helped me to be aware of different cultural differences and how to deal with them."

Lyu recommends that students take advantage of the resources that the ERC has to offer so that they can find a great internship just like she did.

"The ERC is a great tool for students to use. It has a lot of connections and knows various internship positions and opportunities for HU students."

 

The Enterprise Resource Center at Huntington University – we’re all about pairing Huntington University students with area businesses for internships, practicum experiences, class projects and special projects.