How I Can Contribute to the University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin values an educational environment that provides all members of the campus community with opportunities to grow and develop intellectually, personally, culturally, and socially. In order to give us a more complete picture of you as an individual, please tell us about the particular life experiences, perspectives, talents, commitments and/or interests you will bring to our campus. In other words, how will your presence enrich our community?

“It is your turn to speak, Hyun Jung.” This was the moment that I had feared the most when I was first accepted to an international school. My English skills were terribly poor, which often led me to avoid difficult interactions like this one. In my mind I could see the answer, but the words coming out of my mouth were never the right ones. In my Korean school, we rarely spoke to one another in English. Our teachers focused only on the grammar, leaving us at a loss when it came time to have a conversation. As a result, in my new school, I did not always know how to express my thoughts. I became isolated and found myself shying away from the non-Korean students.In English 11, my teacher once mentioned his experiences in the Model United Nations. His story of all of the different students from all around the world interested me. After I asked my teacher about it I found out it would count as a required extra-curricular activity. I had become tired of being shy, and decided to force myself to try something new.I heard that students in the MUN are very vigorous, arrogant, and persuasive speakers. I began to worry. I was not in the habit of eloquent debate. At first though, I was surprised. Students at MUN were agreeable; they said hello, shook hands. Once a debate started, however, they turned into the energetic, active, and aggressive speakers I had heard about.After walking around for a while, my friend asked me to join a discussion about a resolution on climate change. When it was my turn to speak I became very nervous, but I knew I had some important points to bring up. Carefully, I outlined my ideas for the resolution.“Oh, that is a very good idea. Let’s add that,” a group leader said. I was so relieved! Excitement rushed through me. I was hooked.As the day wore on, I became able to explain my resolution with detailed accounts in front of many delegates. With my newfound confidence, I approached every delegate first, not waiting for them to come over to me. I asked for their support and signature in order to pass my groups resolution. As a result of my hard work, along with the help of others, our resolution passed by a majority. In an international setting, with people from all over the world, it can be difficult to make yourself understood. After my experience persuading and garnering support at MUN, I learned how to deal with moments of misunderstanding. I learned to show respect as well as the fine art of “compromise”. I am certain that an international university will have a similar environment. Since my success at MUN, I am ready to welcome cultural differences with an open mind and an open heart. I am not afraid of being wrong because I can always learn from my mistakes.

Leave a Comment