Taeato Choi is a 24 year old student from Korea. He has been studying at EC New York for five months, with one more week to go. Taeato kindly shared some information about what brings him to EC New York and his EC Experience.
What do you do in Korea?
I am a university student with one more semester until my bachelor’s degree. I came here before coming to graduate school to improve my English, and my parents are ambitious and want me to study a lot. I am studying art management. In Korea, our art industry is very small so I thought that I can experience a lot of new things by coming here.
Why are you learning English?
Because since I entered the university, every book is written in English or French.
Why did you choose to study English in New York City?
At first I wanted to go to London because I have studied in London before. When I was 20 years old I went as an exchange student there so London was familiar, and I wanted to go back there. For me, being interested in contemporary art, America has more developed art than London. And since I was very young, I had a dream to go to the MoMA.
My agency told me that EC is new and there are a lot of Europeans and others from every country, so you can experience a lot more. I spoke to a lot of people who went to EC and they said that the certification is very good here, so I chose EC. I don’t like to travel, and I hesitated before coming here. I never lived alone before coming here and I always stayed with my family and friends. Nowadays I have to find new opportunities by myself.
What do you like the most about EC?
I made a lot of European friends, even from all over the world! Also, experiencing a lot of cultures. It is very amazing. Before coming here when I met foreigners I was always nervous because I am not good at English. But now, when I am hanging with friends from other countries all day it is more comfortable. I am also very thankful for Mark, who has been my teacher for 5 months. My English is improving so I am satisfied about that.
What do you like most about living in NYC?
In Korea, you can’t see a lot of masterpieces. After coming here, and seeing the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the first time, I was so impressed! In Korea we had a lot of war so we don’t have old buildings. They are mostly new. Here it is mixed. Once in Queens, I rode an elevator in a very old building, and I controlled the elevator with my hand! I had to open and shut it myself. It was very interesting.
What advice would you give to someone learning English?
I’m not good at English but do not hang out with friends from your own country. It’s my personal thing, but for me, hanging out with other country friends is what’s easier. I don’t know why. Not even speaking English, but I experience a variety of foods, too.
Fun facts about Taeato:
Favorite museum in New York City: Neue Galerie which has art from Austrian artists, like Gustav Klimt. The most expensive picture in the world is there.
Favorite Korean artist: Baek Nam Joon
Favorite ethnic foods: Mexican and Turkish. Before coming here I loved bread and hamburgers. I thought that If I go to the USA I will eat hamburgers and pasta every day. But now, I eat a lot of Korean food!
Hidden talent- I can play violin. I have been playing a long time. Also, I can draw.
Like Taeato, you can study General English Courses in New York!