The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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ROTC from across the sea

Photo by Photo by Ishika Samant

Computer Science junior Joseph Yoo, Russian Literature junior HoYoon Jung, Public Administration junior Jisu Lee, Social Welfare junior Yuri Kim, and Physical Education junior Yeji Choi pose for a photo in The Battalion Office on Friday, Feb. 3, 2023.

As part of a tradition starting in 2014, the Corps of Cadets is currently hosting 44 South Korean ROTC cadets.

The cadets, men and women from several different universities across Korea, will be in Aggieland for a month to undergo a series of ROTC classes, leadership courses and physical training. In addition, they will get the chance to immerse themselves in Texas culture during their stay. Just like American ROTC cadets, the Korean cadets will commission as second lieutenants in the Korean military upon graduation.

The cadets made the trip primarily in the interest of learning about American customs, Dongguk University computer science junior Joseph Yoo said.

“It’s about cultural exchange,” Yoo said. “We don’t get any class credits, but we get cultural exchange. We’re going to train with the A&M cadets. That’s what the whole idea is about.”

While Korea and the United States share some similarities, Hanbat University public administration junior Jisu Lee said there were also many differences in the cultures of the two nations.

“The most surprising thing was that men and women live in the same dorm … Many cultural [norms are] different from Korea,” Lee said. “We also don’t have any Panda Express [in Korea].”

Comparing the American ROTC and the Korean ROTC, Yoo said while the Korean cadets had yet to participate in military training at A&M, he said both put cadets through similarly strenuous exercises.

“We didn’t get any military training yet right now in A&M, but we did back in Korea,” Yoo said. “I would say, I think both have very [difficult] courses.”

The biggest takeaway for the cadets is the opportunity to engage with native English speakers, Yoo said.

“We don’t really have much of an opportunity to talk with you guys, like the English users,” Yoo said. “We don’t really have many English users back in our country. So I think that’s a great opportunity to talk with them and kind of enhance my English skills, getting exposed to the language. I think that’s a great thing that I will get after this whole program.”

Hallym University Russian literature junior Ho Yoon Jung said the cuisine was one of the highlights of his trip.

“Everything’s so good,” Jung said. “I love the food.”

Overall, Kyung Hee University social welfare junior Yeji Choi and Dankook University physical education junior Yuri Kim said they were enjoying their time at A&M.

“I love it,” Choi said.

“Personally, it is all good,” Kim said. “Perfect.”

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