May 9: NAVER? More like;

Today was definitely one of the most memorable days I have had so far on the trip. We started our day by traveling to NAVER, a company seen as the Google of Korea. NAVER’s headquarters were very impressive, as it was a clear example of a modern company, filled with young employees, continuing to grow. NAVER has a multitude of intriguing projects that they are currently working on, one of my favorites being their technology that separates audio and highlights a certain voice or can eliminate any background noise. The company has made a difference throughout Korea and is focusing on localizing in the country as well as expanding throughout Asia. Their messaging app LINE is very popular in Japan, and even has a store in New York City that I myself have passed by a few times. They also own Kakao, which is a branch that owns a collection of apps from KakaoTalk (messaging) to KakaoMaps. Visiting their company was very exciting, as a line of work like this is what I am interested in. I hope one day to also work in a team on projects that further technology and use the knowledge we have to streamline certain processes.

After visiting NAVER, I had the best experience at a local Taekwondo studio. We took a one hour class during which we were able to practice Taekwondo (at a beginner’s level, of course) by running through types of kicks and movements. We started with stretches and warmups, which were surprisingly hard to follow! Once we got the gist of it, we began learning some kicks and proper form. Best of all, it was my first time breaking a board, something I was actually able to do, to my own surprise. It was a wonderful experience; the class was enjoyable to the point that I think I would like to practice Taekwondo again. We received a certificate for our participation and I am really excited to bring the certificate as well as my new skills home.

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