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    1. Brian Ko '19

      What languages can you speak?

      English, (Ancient Latin), and I’m slowly learning Korean.

      What extracurricular activities are you involved with on campus?

      I’m involved with Chorus, as well as Gaming Club, Classics Club, Asian Society, and Fencing. I also act a lot in theatre shows. I am the Day Student Rep for Abbot Cluster, and I run my own Dungeons & Dragons group on campus.

      What are your favorite thing(s) on campus?

      One of my favorite things on campus is the different theatre shows that are available here. I love being able to go to/participate in the different main stage shows on campus that occur once a term, and be able to watch some truly amazing productions and performances. I also love the extreme diversity on campus. Being a day student, I am not exposed to people from different cultures that often outside of PA, but at PA there are so many people from so many different places, all with entirely different cultures that are all so fascinating to learn about, so it’s something I really enjoy. In addition, the environment and scenery of PA is also amazing: the greenery and the trees during the spring blossom beautifully, the buildings are all so great and are fun to explore, and when there’s a fresh coat of snow on the lawn it shimmers in the daylight.

      How does Andover compare to your home?

      I live close to Andover (about a ten-minute drive) but PA is definitely more diverse, more accepting, and more welcoming than the environment I had become used to. I’ve spent most of my life being the only Asian in a white community, so it’s a breath of fresh air to not only see so many Asians, but many from their native countries, as well. Being exposed to all these different cultures and histories is so refreshing, and not being the “token Asian guy” or having those stereotypes expected from me is a great feeling to have.

       

      Briefly talk about an interesting experience you had while visiting another part of the world (if applicable).

      One of the few times that I ever left the country was last summer, when I went on a month-long trip in Italy for the summer as a part of one of the SYA programs available at Andover. It was an eye-opening experience for me, as I had to adjust with living with a family with a completely different culture and routine. The experience of living with an Italian host family was so interesting, as it involved a lot of adjustment and constant learning and developing, rather than being able to rely on a routine. Not only did I have to learn the Italian language in order to communicate with the family, but I also had to learn to interact with a society around me that operated in a completely different way than what I was used to. One particular memory of mine was during my host brother’s 18th birthday, which holds a lot more importance in Italian culture than in American or Korean culture. It was a fascinating show of familial bonds and the relevance of progressing into adulthood, and I was so earnestly happy when my host brother included me in the family group photo, and what it symbolized really touched me. Being integrated into that different culture like that, and learning another perspective of daily life, is an amazing experience that really impacted me in regards to how I viewed learning and experiencing other cultures.

      Email: bko@andover.edu