Seoul, South Korea

Youngyoon Amy Seo

The Catholic University of Korea Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital

I completed my internship in South Korea, conducting ophthalmic research at The Catholic University of Korea Yeouido St. Mary's Hospital. During my internship, I completed wet-lab research, presentations about my work in the U.S., manuscript writing, and doctor shadowing. I was able to visit various places in Korea like the Lotte Tower, Busan, and Jeju-Island. In terms of academics, I will soon be published in a research article for the work I have done this past summer. 

Being a Korean-American, I always questioned my identity; I consistently asked myself, who am I, where do I belong, can I really tell people that I know Korea well? Through my summer internship experience, I not only broadened my knowledge in corneal research, but also enhanced my Korean language skills and quickly adapted to the Korean workplace culture. At first, leaving altogether for lunch was a concept I did not understand, but this is one work culture that I will miss the most. When I worked in a lab at Stanford last summer, people usually packed their own lunches and ate on their desks. In Korea, however, everyone discusses what to eat for lunch and leaves altogether. It is this casual chat over lunch that brings all the employees together and forms tight bonds among them, and now I am part of this bond. I hope to bring this unique culture to my lab in the states as well.