South Korean intern Julia Lee gives us a brief introduction to herself and the reason she chose to study at Berklee. In the next two posts, she shares her thoughts about what interning has been like for an international student.

I decided to study in U.S when I was sixteen years old. The reason why I chose to study in the States is I got to be an exchange student for a year. Before I came here, I had no idea how schools are in U.S. except from scenes about high school life in movies that I saw. However, I knew little bit of English before I came.

I want to ask you a question: Would you believe that a high school student has to stay at school until 12AM? You would first ask “Why? For what?” (those are two common reactions from friends I’ve asked). And I would answer, “To study”.

Most Korean high schools have their students stay late at night to study. Most high school students get to school by seven or seven thirty in the morning. And regular classes start at eight. It’s the same as American school. But the difference is that the classes end at six. Students eat dinner and the only thing that is waiting for them is more study time.

I can’t say Korean high school students don’t have lives. But they spend most of their time studying. Most students and parents believe that a better college or university degree will make the student’s life better. This factor applies to the Korean student who comes to the U.S to study.

I noticed Korean students get slightly better grades than American students. (Don’t get me wrong; I am just talking generally. And also I think it’s why Americans have a stereotype for Asians.)

The reason why I came to the States is the same reason. I wanted to get a better education with a life like I used to see in American movies. Since I decided to study in the States, I’ve had a goal that I want to pursue a career in Music Business. I heard Berklee College of music had a wonderful Music Business program. Korea’s music business is growing now but is still smaller than American market, therefore I wanted to learn more about America’s music business and apply it to Korea’s music business.

Recently, Obama talked about how and why he likes the Korean school system and “education fever.” So there are definitely pros and cons between the Korean school system and American school system. I am just a student who got the taste of American education for a year as an exchange student.


Julia Lee is a Music Business major from South Korea. Last spring, she finished her second internship at Fenway Recordings in Brookline, MA. Julia hopes to return to South Korea to influence Korean music business with the experience she’s gained in the States.