12 Korean students from the Fin English School in Daegu, South Korea, came to visit, spend a few days learning and sharing cultural experiences with middle school students at The Epstein School, and see what it is like to go to school in the United States of America. The Korean students made the connection to Epstein via an alumnus, Max Holland. Max, who speaks five languages, worked in Korea teaching English at the afterhours academy at the Fin English School, after graduating from George Washington University with a BA in International Affairs where he concentrated on Conflict and Security Resolution Conflict and Resolution. Max, now in his second year at Georgia State University College of Law where he is President of the International and Comparative Law Society, was contacted by the Director of the program at the Fin English School, Patty Yoon.
Patty inquired about what American schools Max believed would provide an exceptional experience for cultural exchange and learning during their one month visit to the United States. The Epstein School was naturally his first choice and so he contacted Middle School Principal Myrna Rubel. After visiting many of the exciting cultural sites of Atlanta over a 2 week period, (GA Aquarium, Coca-Cola, Martin Luther King Center) the Korean students spent a day at Epstein. There was a welcoming ceremony at which the Korean students introduced themselves and shared their American favorite things: Lady GaGa, baseball, pizza, hamburgers…and for one teenage boy named Dan, his favorite thing to do was sleep. Demonstrating how teenagers are teenagers, no matter what country they come from and what language they speak. After the introductions, the students were all paired up with buddies and attended classes together. “The students at Epstein were so friendly; I want to go back there every day I am in America,” stated one young Korean student named Brian.
The visit went so well, that although only one day was planned, both the Korean students and Epstein students wanted them to come again…..and so they did, the very next day. What’s more, they returned again on February 7, 2012 to have some special Korean tea, snacks and enjoy Korean music together. In the evening, they enjoyed attending services together with Epstein students at Temple Sinai. Then on February 9, 2012 they came back to attend the middle school dance.