HANGZHOU, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Five years ago, when Lee Kyong-min was in high school in South Korea, she wanted to volunteer for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, but failed to make it because of her age. Now, the 22-year-old has fulfilled her dream at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
Lee, who hails from Seoul, built her connection with China when she took Chinese lessons in high school.
"In my second year of high school, I attended a summer camp and lived in Beijing for two weeks, which was my first time in China and left a good impression on me." Lee Kyong-min ate roast duck in Beijing and saw architecture with Chinese characteristics. "These made me feel very interested, and my Chinese friends around me also gave me a lot of help, so I decided to study in China."
Before graduating from high school, she and her family traveled to Shanghai and Hangzhou, visiting the West Lake and Lingyin Temple, and the environment and climate of Hangzhou made her want to stay. "So I began to apply for Zhejiang University, I knew this school was very famous in China, and I could get a good degree here," she said.
After graduating from high school, Lee spent a year studying Chinese in South Korea. In 2020, Lee enrolled at the School of Public Affairs of Zhejiang University.
Living in Hangzhou, Lee felt the warmth of the locals and enjoyed the food there. The staging of the Asian Games in Hangzhou has added more color to Lee's study abroad life.
"When I was a sophomore, I signed up to become a volunteer at the Hangzhou Asian Games, because during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, I had some regrets about not being able to participate in that competition. This time I hope to realize my dream, and my family is also very supportive of me," Lee said.
After several years of preparation and training, Lee became a language service volunteer at the Main Media Center of the Games on September 9, assisting South Korean reporters who have come to cover the Games.
"There are a lot of Korean reporters coming to the Asian Games, and I am able to help them," Lee said, adding that she often fielded questions from Chinese reporters as well.
Lee works there every day from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., after which she returns to school ten kilometers away to study online courses.
"I love sports and I want to watch football, because the South Korean men's team is very strong, but because of my volunteer work I can't go to the match." Although she has some regrets, Lee says her work in the media center is more meaningful.
"I want to allow Chinese and Korean people to discover more about each other. Although my work is only in a service desk, I believe that through me, Korean journalists can understand Hangzhou and China, and Chinese can also understand South Korea," she said.
Having visited some other Chinese cities, like Nanjing and Qingdao, Lee has witnessed the country's development. In recent days, she has also heard favorable comments from South Korean journalists about the main media center.
"I hope to build a bridge of communication between China and South Korea and plan to work for a Korean foreign trade company after graduation to promote trade between China and South Korea," Lee said.