“Before I came to SMC, I studied some English, but I couldn’t even order a drink in a restaurant. So there’s no doubt that the ESL classes here helped me a lot.”
The trip from her native Korea might seem like a long and arduous one. But at least Yoon Hea Lee had some footsteps to follow. “It was my sister who first studied at SMC, and she transferred on to [Cal State] Northridge,” said Yoon Hea in very good English, indeed. “And she told me how excellent this school is, and how it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be going on to some big university.” But before she goes on to get her Bachelor’s degree, Yoon Hea plans to get some very practical experience.
“I’m going to work as an intern in Graphic Design this fall, after I graduate. And SMC made this possible for me. And I’ve also been in the Graphic Design club here, which is a very excellent program. They give you the chance to exchange a lot of information about what your opportunities and options are. And I really want that ‘real world’ experience that I’ll be getting through my internship.” Yoon Hea says, “I had Zeny Baduel here for a Design class, and she is my favorite teacher, so far. She gave me a lot of excellent advice about how I could improve my artwork and myself as an artist. So, yeah, I’m very happy that I could study with her.”
Yoon Hea adds, “In Asia, it’s incredibly important to have good English skills if you want to get a good job. I’m learning a lot of my English from people I meet here from other cultures. And I also go to the computer labs and the Math lab, where I study difficult concepts—all in English, of course. So, slowly,” she says with a laugh, “I’m starting to feel pretty comfortable with the English language.”
Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.