International Student Spotlight: Christine Ryu

Christine and Jocelyn

Christine and Jocelyn

The first student to apply to the LCS International Student Program was Christine Ryu.  A junior from South Korea, Christine has attended LCS for a little over a year now.  In this month’s spotlight, Christine shares her thoughts on life as an international student.

Where are you from?  Can you describe what it is like?

I am from a small city about a thirty-minute drive from the capitol of Seoul in South Korea.  Our area is agriculture-based, with mostly rice and grapes.  We have all four seasons, but not as much snow as some of the US had this year.  Like most people in South Korea, my family lives in a condo.  Our country has few natural resources, so we work hard in IT and auto industries.  We also love pop culture!  When I was younger, I wanted to be a k-pop star when I grew up!

Why were you interested in studying in the US?  And why Florida?

First, when I thought about coming to the US to study, I prayed to God.  I believe He wanted me to come to the US.  I also like the diverse lifestyle and freedom to be myself that I have in the US.  I want to learn English to communicate with people from other cultures all over the world.  And I chose Florida because of the weather.

What do you miss most about South Korea?

The food!  US food is not spicy enough.  And there is not really any Korean food in Lakeland.

You’ve been a student here for over a year now.  What do you think about life at LCS?

I have learned a lot of new language and culture.  At first it was difficult to make friends because our cultures are so different, but now I have many friends here at school.  I like my classes; my favorite is music composition.

What else would you like to share about life as an international student?

I love my little 4-year-old sister, Jocelyn, in my host family!  In my family in Korea I am the youngest, but I am the oldest in my host family.  I have learned a lot about how to understand children better and to not be so focused on myself all the time.

How does an international student find a host family?

Our international students come to LCS through several educational organizations.  These organizations have local coordinators that work with their Lakeland students.  The coordinators find host families, prepare them for life with an international student, and provide support to the host families and international students throughout the school year.  Hosting an international student is a great way for a family to learn about another culture without leaving home!

Miss Kala Walls serves LCS as a 6th grade Social Studies teacher, and as the International Student Program Coordinator. You can email her at

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Published on by Kala Walls.