EdWatch: Tall Oaks students travel to South Korea, visit DMZ

By Amy Cherry 8:52am, October 2, 2013 - Updated 1:38pm, October 2, 2013
WDEL's Amy Cherry talks with five Tall Oaks seniors about their trip to the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea.
Seniors at Tall Oaks Classical School get an eye-opening experience.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more in this week's WDEL Delaware EducationWatch.

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Tall Oaks seniors traveled to South Korea for the Global Youth Forum this summer for a presentation on social media and its effects on human relationships and came home champions!

"We nailed it!" says Valerie Ziegler.

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The students also spent time teaching English to Korean kids, marking Ziegler's first time on the other side of the chalkboard.

"It was hard to get them to respect me when I couldn't speak their language. We had a meeting with our teachers right when we came back, and I was like, 'I don't know how you do it,'" she says.

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Hannah Crismon had no idea what a rewarding experience teaching would be; she recalls one note fondly.

"Dear Miss Teacher Hannah, your learnings make me good. I will never forget you, ever, ever, ever, love James," she read.

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They got to try Korean barbeque and some foods they would have preferred not to know what it was. Josh Franck wasn't as picky as his female travelers.

"Fish jello. They put a hunk of fish on our plate, and I was like, 'Oh I love fish,' took a bite, and I'm like this thing's full of bones," he said.

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The students also traveled to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a truly life altering experience for all of them.

"Going to the border was definitely an eerie experience," says Jaime Weber.

"I don't think I was afraid; it was unsettling," says Ziegler.

"We crawled into this damp dark tunnel, and we're going like steep downhill for about a mile-and-a-half, it was so scary," says Audra Baumann.

I thought it was kind of fun actually; I have a good sense of adventure," says Franck.

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Weber says the experience was humbling, and made her feel grateful.

"As Americans, we're so blessed to have peace in our country because there's so many places in the world where that's not the case," says Weber.

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Ziegler says traveling to the DMZ made the North and South Korean conflict more "real."

"The tension between North and South Korea seemed more tangible because I know people, who are actually living it," says Ziegler.

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