Ballerina Park Sae-eun Joins Paris Opera Ballet 박세은 발레리나 파리 오페라 발레단


I just tweeted this, but feel it deserves a write up also. The Paris Opera Ballet almost never chooses a non-French member for their troupe! congratulations Sae-eun!! Maybe you can see her in Paris next time?

Park Sae-eun has become the first Korean ballerina to become a member of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world. She has been dancing there since last summer.

“After finishing an audition on Thursday, I was notified that I was the only person to be given a permanent place as I finished first out of 130 applicants,” Park said on Saturday in a telephone interview with the Chosun Ilbo.

The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest troupe in the world, having been established by Louis XIV in 1669. It is considered one of the world’s top three ballet companies along with the American Ballet Theatre and the Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House in London.

Park has penetrated the glass ceiling that exists for non-French ballerinas. The troupe is seen as a bastion of French culture and is highly selective, especially in admitting dancers from abroad. Just 5 percent of its 180 dancers come from outside France, mostly from other European countries.

Due to such fierce completion, it has been the all-but impossible dream of many dancers to become a permanent member of the troupe.

Park started ballet at the age of 10 and picked up a gold medal at the Dong-A Dance Competition when she was in high school. Since then, she has had an impressive run at international competitions and picked up the nickname, “the queen of competitions” along the way.

She is the first Korean to have won three of the most prestigious competitions in the world in Jackson (2006), Lausanne (2007) and Varna (2010), with Moscow being the only key title to have eluded her so far.

She worked at the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company in 2007 and joined the Korea National Ballet in 2009, where she became the youngest dancer in its history to land starring roles. Park intended to become a permanent member of the Dutch National Ballet, but instead took a gamble on going to Paris, where she set a new milestone in just a year.

Park’s case is quite unprecedented, as most of the troupe’s members are selected after six years of training at its own ballet school. They then spend another four to five years there on temporary contracts.

“I heard it’s extremely difficult for a foreigner to pass the audition, so I didn’t have high expectations,” she said. / Jun. 18, 2012 12:51 KST

[Now Listening] WA by Lee Jung Hyun (와 – 이정현)

I’ve always been a fan of Dance Dance Revolution. As for K-pop, let’s just say that our love affair has gone on for a while. You can imagine my surprise when I first found this song in Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix. I think it went like this.

(Sometime in the late 90’s, early 00’s)
“Hey, this isn’t cheesy J-pop! Waiiit….this is Korean! Whoa, Korean Rap interlude!”

[Now Listening] Love Style by 보이프렌드 (Boyfriend)

Hello everyone, my name is Rhema and allow me to introduce some mainstream k-pop music. The song that I have been in love with recently is called Love Style by Boyfriend which came out on June 14th. They debuted on May 26th, 2011 and I was right there when it happened. These guys have the young, innocent, and overbearingly cute concept going on. However this is actually the first song of theirs that I really like.  I remember when everyone was going on about them, I just never saw it. But when I heard this song I got hooked immediately! The group consists of six members: Donghyun (Age 23, Position: Leader), Minwoo (Age 16, Position: Rapper, Maknae/Youngest), Youngmin (Age 17, Position: Vocalist, older twin), Kwangmin (Age 17, Position: Rapper, younger twin), Jeongmin (Age 18, Position: Vocalist), Hyunseong (Age 19, Position: Lead Vocalist).  The music video is also unbelievably cute, with lots of cute faces and colors flying around. But, don’t take my word for it, listen here and I hope you like it!

[Now Listening] 10년 동안의 오독 (10 Years of Misinterpretation), Pt. I by Verbal Jint

Hello readers, it’s Eli and this is my “Now Listening” post! Woohoo~ ヾ(@⌒ー⌒@)ノ

Eli 요즘 듣고있는 노래입니다. 버벌 진트에 대한 포스팅!

After watching the teaser videos on repeat for the past week and a half, Verbal Jint finally delivered “10 Years of Misinterpretation”, one of the albums on my “now awaited” list.    The video above is for the headline track, “You Deserve Better” (Also known as Pretty Enough/Enough Better)  featuring Sanchez of PHANTOM.  I can say that the video is an interesting take on being “friend zoned” by the girl you like, and having to watch her date that no-good guy (Played by Sangchu of Mighty Mouth).

The album itself has been on repeat and it works as a nice daily soundtrack,  filled with mellow beats and soothing vocals.   It seems as though Verbal knows exactly who to pick for his collabos,  and that’s what keeps bringing me back to his music.  I’ll post a few of the teaser tracks below, and you can see for yourselves! The full tracks are on itunes~

Perfect Day (Featuring IVY)

Good Morning (Featuring Jung Yeol of 10cm)

Console The Boy  2013 (Featuring ZION, and Hanhae of PHANTOM) 

[PS. Please sing more often, especially in the album… whenever that’s dropping ;A;]

[Now Listening] Killer by Baby VOX 베이비복스 킬러

Baby VOX – Killer

One of the members of Baby VOX oughta look familiar to you fans of K-dramas. Yep. That’s Yoon Eun Hye, before she blew up and became a megastar. And of course, like any classic K-pop song, it wouldn’t be complete without a rap interlude. Ahhh…the classics.


[Meet a KKonnect Buddy] So I’m the Maknae? 내가 막내야? 일라이의 소개글

꼬넥닷넷의 “막내”로 불리는 일라이가 전하는 소개글 입니다!

Hello there, or should I say 안넝하세요!

My name is Eli, and I’m currently an upcoming senior… in High School.  I’m also turning 17 in August as well… welp.

My hobbies consist of, but aren’t limited to: cooking, taking photos, blogging, listening to music, drinking coffee, going to karaoke rooms (노래방)  with friends, and being absolutely fabulous.  My goal in the future is to travel around the world and teach English, so I’m hoping that everything will work out once college comes around (which isn’t too far off.. uh oh)

My adventures into this delightful world of Asian (pop) culture, began when I was still a little kid.  My parents had me watch anime throughout my childhood, and I can say that I began to fall in love with Korean pop culture after playing one too many video games through middle school.  However, the relationship with K-POP was on and off, until 2009; where everything was wonderful.

Though I’m not as much of a hardcore fan (anymore), a few of my favorites would have to be: Double A, Infinite, T-ARA, and Girl’s Day.   As for K-Indie and Hip hop (oh yes),  my top groups would be: Phantom, Epik High, and Glen Check!

It’s a pleasure to be interning with the Korea Daily, and writing for the KKonnect blog/magazine! Expect to hear about  music, events,  fashion, and food (lots about it too).

And that’s all there is to it~ *w*

Christine’s Experience of Teaching Abroad in Korea – an Interview


Meet Christine Mendoza!  She has gone abroad to Korea to teach English and she is going back soon! Read how she got started and what the experience is like. 


한국에서 영어선생님일을 한 크리스틴과의 인터뷰! 

– Introduce yourself!

Hi, i’m christine. I graduated from SDSU in 2009 and as of now, i’m planning to get my masters in either psychology or social work. If i’m not working or hanging with my friends, i’m either on my PS3 or on my ukulele.

– Where and when did you teach abroad? with what program?
i was in south korea from Jan 2010 to Feb 2011 with the TaLK Program (Teach and Learn in Korea) 

– how did you choose the program?
well this is a funny story. i was sleeping in east commons at SDSU waiting for my friends. when i woke, i saw i made a drool trail on my daily aztec newspaper. i followed it and saw this advertisement for the TaLK Program. because i was graduating in the winter, and the graduation ceremony is only in the spring, i needed something to do for 6 months, and i thought, why the heck not.

– about how much do people earn average?
this was a part time teaching job and i got 20,000 won per hour


– what was the best and the worst experience of teaching abroad?
the best experience was meeting new people, experiencing a new culture, eating with friends and coworkers, and having your students talk to you and understand you in “konglish”
worst experience is when it’s a hot and humid day and none of the kids would pay attention to you and everything is just lost in translation. FRUSTRATING!!!!

– you are now going back, why?
I miss it. I miss the lights, the food, the jimjilbang, the noraebang, the people, the “ajumma parks” i want to immerse myself in it a while longer if i can, and, well… it’s happening 

– do you recommend this job to others? what sort of people would be best fit for this job?
I most certainly recommend this job to others. you learn from one culture while giving back english confidence to your students and all around you. BUT you have to be committed and give it your all. i’ve experienced and heard about many “bad” teachers that waste the students time and the school’s time by going to school hung over or just streaming english movies with korean subtitles. sure teach them english, make them understand, but also make them want to use it, especially with you!!

– what is your biggest “Korean interest” at the moment?
i would have to say the food. i miss the food carts, i miss the kimchi, and how they deliver food absolutely everywhere. also singing in the noraebang for 3 hours and only spending approx 15 dollars. MAHNI SERVICE JUSEYO kkkk


Check out Christine’s blog that has more on her experience abroad: 

An-nyung America!

<<An-nyung America!

Two students from Korea spend their last year at UCSD’s I-House. They share their most memorable moments. 

UCSD의 글로벌빌리지 I-House에서 지난 일년을 보낸 한국 유학생들의 유학후기>>


by Jacklin Lee


There is no doubt that the United States is a melting pot of different people from all over the world. UC San Diego is no exception when it comes to contributing to this giant jigsaw puzzle of different ethnicities and nationalities. It is is home to hundreds of international students every year and most of them reside at I-House: International House. Being an ambassador at the I-House, I was able to meet incoming and outgoing international students from more than thirty countries. Today I share with you an interview with two Yonsei University students who spent the last year at I-House. 


Jacklin: What did you like about San Diego or the United States?

Sunny: I liked a lot of things! People are laid back here – I think people in La Jolla even more so. They like to relax and enjoy their time. In Korea, it is the opposite most of the time. They are constantly preoccupied worrying about money, success, children, and the future. I like how here, parents and adults have their own lives and are not consumed by taking care and babysitting their children twenty-four hours a day. Plus, unlike Korea, people are not constantly rushing each other!

Inae: I don’t think I could ever forget the huge burritos and the delicious baby back ribs. I think these messy finger foods really suited me because I love to get down and simply enjoy food like a child!

J: What would you like to take away from here?

S: I want to tell people in Korea about how much Americans show their respect to soldiers. It really moved me. 

J: Were there any things that you thought Americans could learn from Koreans?

S: I think Koreans know how to complete things more quickly and effectively. It may sometimes be good or bad, but I noticed that there is a lot of waiting here in America. It really tested my patience! Oh, and the public transportation in Korea is undeniably faster and more accessible. Since I lived in Korea for 24 years though, and only am staying for a brief time here in San Diego, I can only say so much! 

(Read the full interview on 


Sunny is a Psychology major student who hopes to retain her surf skills, and Inae is a East Asian Studies major who fell in love with Disneyland. Thank you Sunny and Inae for your feedback and comments! 





다음달 기사를 기대하세요! 재클린의 한국유학일기

Next Month preview: Jacklin is heading to Korea! Find out what students from the US studying abroad in Korea have to say about their experience. What are they looking forward to? What are some of the rumors that they have been told about Korea? Stay tuned to the next month’s issue for stories from Jacklin’s 2012 summer excursion to Korea. 


About writer: Jacklin Lee is a board member of Korean American Literature Club (KALC). It was founded several years ago with the purpose of discussing Korean books and connecting with other Korean events such operas and film festivals. KALC holds regular book meetings and movie nights apart from the special events such as attending film festivals and other Korean cultural events.  



(신실장님: 사진 4개 있죠? 그냥 작게 보이게 해주세요. 얘내들을 구지 하이라이트 할 필요없어요.   그리고 사진의 설명글은:  Sunny and Inae’s travel photos. Can you guess where they are?) 



“Fighting!” for SDSU Korean Studies Program

<<“Fighting!” for SDSU Korean Studies Program>>

<<SDSU 한국학 프로그램을 위한 ‘파이팅!’>>

<How SDSU’s faculty, students, and supporters are working together to establish an official Korean Studies Program>

By Vong Phonsiri Jr. 

What is it about Korean culture that has so many non-heritage people curious and captivated? Could it be the charm of those sweet yet corny dramas? Perhaps it’s the flashy and catchy wonders of K-pop. Or maybe it is Korea’s people and history.

Whatever that attractive aspect is, Korea’s culture and language definitely have experienced a significant rise in popularity and interest in the last few years among non-Koreans here in the States. However popular it may be though, Korean culture is much more than just dramas, movies, and k-pop music. And those with the interest have looked into local cultural organizations and universities to satisfy their need to learn more.

Let’s take San Diego State University, for instance, which has had incredible growth in its Korean Program in the last few years. But despite its successes as a program, SDSU still lacks its own minor in Korean Studies. SDSU has enough courses for a Korean Studies minor at the very least, so why not? I’ve taken Korean classes at SDSU and many of my peers also seem to be hopeful for a Korean minor.

I had the opportunity to chat with Professor Soonja Choi, the program director and professor of linguistics. From my conversation with her, I learned that there are two major reasons for SDSU’s lack of Korean minor: funding and tenure approval from the University.

“There is a strong relationship among funding, enrollment and the growth of the Korean program,” says Professor Choi.

Believe it or not, the current program at SDSU is only partially funded by the university or the state. Much of the Korean program has been graciously funded by outside private funding and private donors. Thanks to the help of private funding, the Korean program at SDSU has steadily grown. Just the fact alone that much of the growth has come about from private funding offers some idea of the desire and need for a Korean program at SDSU.

Receiving approval from the University is of another great importance. For any program to be approved as a Minor, at least one tenure-track faculty is required for the program. Despite its growth, the duration of its existence too has played a role in why there is no minor today.

Actually, the department has made clear its importance for a Korean program and has been quite supportive. With 10 different courses and about 100 students expected to enroll in the fall semester, the department has acknowledged the successful growth of the Korean program. Support from the school and community can also be a factor in determining how fast a program needs to be approved.

Despite the wait, the near future still looks very bright for SDSU’s Korean program. ” We’ve proposed a Korean Studies Certificate, which could be approved in about a year’s time,” says Professor Choi.

“A Korean Studies Certificate would require a total of 12 units with 6 units in advanced Korean language courses, and 6 units in Korean culture. A student seeking out a Korean Studies Certificate would have to demonstrate an understanding of language and culture in upper division levels. The certificate could potentially lead to better opportunities. For example, if you wanted to go to Korea to teach English, a Korean Studies Certificate would look much more appealing to employers, which would give the student many more options.”

In the long term, Professor Choi hopes to create an integrated and interdisciplinary Korean Studies program that teaches students Korean culture and language. As the program grows and develops, the program may even be able to open up Korean internships, where students could receive credit for their internship work in Korea-related companies and organizations in the San Diego region.

“I feel touched by non-heritage students interested in learning about Korea. As a Korean, it makes me feel proud. As a researcher, I want to investigate what is it about Korean Culture that excites students to want to learn about Korea. It is the students that keep me excited and inspired me to make an even better Korean program in the future,” says Choi.

If you would like to show you support for the Korean program at SDSU, I highly recommend voicing your opinions to Dean Paul Wong at or Director Soonja Choi at 

f anyone is interested in interning for SD Korea Daily, please email 


Vong Phonsiri Jr. is a senior at SDSU and serves as President of SDSU’s Korean Student Association. 



Let’s Wine–A review of the Dokdo Wine

<<Let’s Wine–A review of the Dokdo Wine by Toni>>

<샌디에고의 바닷와 요리하기를 좋아하는 평범하지만 와인만큼에서는 민감하다! 귀여운 CPA, 토니씨가 맛본 독도와인>

The aroma of Dokdo Winery’s 2008 Merlot was earthy with an enchanting crispness of espresso that drew me in.  My swirl presented a gorgeous presentation with highlighted edges and a vibrant cranberry glow.  My first sip was delightful.  As typically not gravitating toward Merlot, I had to have another taste quickly.  It possessed just the right amount of acidity to allow for a fine accompaniment with various culinary treats, and, in my case, a wonderful pairing with my Cambozola cheese.  Perhaps the slight zing that was present in the wine pairs nicely with the zing in the cheese, and, I would suspect, also pair nicely with a spicy dish of sorts.  The caramel undertones gently framed the slight black cherry sweetness.  A winner in my book!

Antoinette Majka is a CPA and wine enthusiast living in southern California.  She enjoys exploring many culinary delights as well as delightful beverages throughout the state.

What is Dokdo?

Dokdo is a group of small islets in the East Sea whose sovereignty is disputed between Japan and South Korea. South Korea currently has its Coast Guard stationed there.

Dokdo wine is produced at a winery in Napa Valley and is named ‘799-805‘, the postal code for Dokdo Island. According to Dokdo Wine’s website, the new wine was created to draw people away from the controversial debate over which country (South Korea or Japan) owns the rocky islets, and to bring people back to the original delicacy and beauty of the island itself: “Instead of appreciating the beauty of Dokdo, the world has been too busy fighting over it . . . The island should not be fought over, it should be shared. We were inspired by this ideal while creating the wine. We wanted to create something that represented Dokdo and our passion towards it.”

Dokdo wine is currently sold out but visit their website and be added to the mailing list for updates!