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Sampling South Korea

West Briton reporter Katy Young is taking part in a cultural exchange to South Korea – a venture sponsored by Rotary International.

Here, in an article which first appeared in the West Briton, she tells of her hopes and fears before embarking on the month-long adventure, from which she plans to e-mail regular updates to her colleagues.

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Never put your chopsticks upright in your bowl, always take your shoes off when you walk into someone’s home and always wait for the oldest person at the dinner table to start eating before you.

These cultural changes are just some I’m going to have to learn and get used to while I spend a month in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

I’ve been lucky enough to be picked as one of a team of four who will be in Korea until the beginning of May as part of Rotary International’s group study exchange programme. The purpose of the trip is not only to experience a taste of Korean life but to promote Cornwall.

We will also have the opportunity to go on a work placement relevant to our professions, so for me it is the chance to experience a Korean newsroom.

I must confess to being both nervous and excited about going (I’ve never travelled into Asia before) – a feeling which, I suspect, is shared by the rest of the team – Nathan Prisk, from Falmouth College of Arts, Steve Hancock, the new development manager for Cornwall College Training, Helen Davies, a partner in Launceston-based law firm Langsford Davies, and team leader Nigel Adams, who owns the Bodmin-based Castle Hill House nursing home.

Seoul is home to around 12 million people – something which causes me some apprehension, having lived in Truro for so long.

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