KeyongDuck Kim

MSc in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Applied Linguistics

Home country: South Korea

Stirling winter graduate KeyongDuck Kim can talk the talk and walk the walk after gaining an MSc in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Applied Linguistics.

The 35-year-old from Seoul in South Korea joined the University through the INTO graduate diploma programme.

Originally stationed in London, Stirling was recommended to KeyongDuck as the perfect place to get the experience he needed studying in another language.

KeyongDuck said: "I didn't know much about Stirling before I came here but the INTO programme was incredibly helpful in preparing me for my postgraduate course. Once I started my Master's, I realised I had learnt a lot about what to expect and had a head start on fellow classmates, which was really beneficial. I loved the teachers at INTO - they were so friendly and helpful."

An English teacher in Seoul, KeyongDuck was originally encouraged to give teaching a try by a close friend.

He continued: "I originally studied civil engineering but it wasn't my thing. My friend was an English teacher and I secured a month-long work experience placement in his school. I really enjoyed it and realised I wanted to teach language to young people full-time.

"It was important to me to develop myself and my skills and put my English teaching to the test in the UK. My Master's involved lots of team work and group discussion which I didn't have the chance to do in South Korea. This was great and really helped improve my communications skills."

A family man, KeyongDuck's wife and 10-month-old baby relocated from South Korea with him to support him during the full-time Master's course.

"Looking after my family while studying was a real challenge. On the academic side, INTO readied me for studying and I knew what to expect. Fatherhood, however, was a bit different and my baby girl was still young when we moved to Scotland. Being on the other side of the world without family and friends was a test, but I'm glad we did it. I also didn't realise how cold it would be!"

KeyongDuck used the evenings to study and balance the demands of home and university life. The strategy paid off, as he graduates with a distinction.

"Getting a distinction was a big achievement for me and Stirling provided a great environment. There is such mix of people and the campus is an amazing place to study because it's so quiet and peaceful. It was great to have the loch on my doorstep when I was stressed and need to go for a walk and refresh - I don't want to leave!"

KeyongDuck now has time to concentrate on family life again. He is supporting his wife as she studies for a degree in Coventry.

"It's nice that I am now able to support my wife while she studies and gains the qualifications she wants. Once she finishes, I would like to go home to South Korea and possibly start my own business teaching English to young people. Watch this space."

KeyongDuck is among the first students to graduate from the joint INTO graduate diploma programme at Stirling.

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