Tour gives students taste of America
October 20, 2010
CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - Twenty-four students and four teachers from Dongducheon Foreign Language High School visited U. S. Army Garrison Casey here Oct. 14 for a tour.
The students are not traditional high school students. They come from different regions in Korea, attend the school specifically to learn a foreign language and only return to their families on weekends. The Casey Garrison tour was an opportunity for the students to practice the English the English they learn in the classroom.
As they arrived at the United Services Organization building here, they were greeted by Brent Abare, deputy to the USAG Casey Garrison commander, and a few Soldiers from the garrison detachment.
The students were divided into three group of eight, each led by one American and Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldier, as tour guides.
The virtual tour of America began in the Post Exchange, and then went to the library and barracks rooms of their host Soldiers. The students were eager to look around to compare and contrast the barracks to their dormitory.
"I share a dormitory room with three other friends and everything in this building is much better than what we have on our campus," said Park Sung-woo, a 10th grade male student. "It's usually fun, but sometimes I need my own space."
The groups gathered for lunch in the Gateway Club, where they chatted as though they were old friends.
"Those who are participating in today's tour are getting the opportunity to practice what they learn in class," said Yoo Hye-min, a Japanese language teacher, while the students were bowling after lunch.
"The students who are participating today are more enthusiastic than they are in the classroom and they keep trying to speak English so I know it's working for them."
The group headed to the Close Combat Tactical Training Center where the students had an opportunity to experience rifle, HUMVEE and tank simulators used by Soldiers to improve their proficiency.
When the students weren't learning military skills, they were firing a barrage of questions at their hosts.
"This kind of program is good for both Korean students and Soldiers," said Spc.Torry Jennings.
"It is good to show them how we live on post as Soldiers in Korea, where we sleep and what do we do for recreation. I'm glad we can show them our culture. I had a great time."
"The tour of Casey Garrison was worth the time for both the Army and the students because it gave us both a positive impression of each other and those experiences are very important," said Cpl. Jo Sung-won, an administrative clerk in the Casey Garrison Safety Office.