Go to Polygence Scholars page
Namkyung (Anna) Kim's cover illustration
Polygence Scholar2023
Namkyung (Anna) Kim's profile

Namkyung (Anna) Kim

Class of 2026alpharetta, georgia



  • "How would it be to live in Chile, Argentina, and South Korea as a teenage girl?" with mentor Magdalena (Sept. 30, 2023)

Project Portfolio

How would it be to live in Chile, Argentina, and South Korea as a teenage girl?

Started June 1, 2023

Abstract or project description

“Where are you from?” is a question people often ask to a new student. I had been asked this question too when I moved to the United States. But this question was not as simple as it sounds like to me, even though to many people it is just a simple question. The majority of people living in the U.S. haven’t even ever left the country. They have always been a United States citizen and have never had to hesitate or question their nationality.
Simply by looks I am a Korean girl. But the truth is that the elements that make me who I am are not the same as what a typical Korean girl would be like. In a lot of phases in my life I questioned myself about my true nationality and if it is important to even truly be associated with one nationality. The reason why I became such a complicated person when it comes to nationality is because I lived in 5 countries throughout my life. I always felt like I was just someone on earth, not someone from a country. There were many times I saw this from the very negative side and always just thought I won’t be able to do anything because I had nothing built up throughout the years. However, when I decided to see things in a more positive way, there was so much that I had from my experience. I had been building up my own kind of experience that made me who I am now. As I slowly started to realize this I was eager to share this with others that didn’t get the chance to be able to experience my life and the life of a teenage girl who lived in five different countries.

In this paper I will be focusing on three countries. My home country, South Korea, the country I lived the shortest; Argentina, and Chile. I want to show people how a teenage girl sees how different but similar it is to live in opposite parts of the world and also how countries sharing a border can be very different. When thinking of moving to a new country the first thing you can know about the country is the geographical location in the world. A question I asked myself and was always curious about before moving to a new country was “How does being located in a specific region of the world affect the country's environment, where a teenage girl is going to live?” I decided to answer this question here by focusing on the countries I mentioned earlier: Chile, Argentina, and South Korea. The countries Chile and Argentina are located in South America, while South Korea is located on the other side of the world, Asia. In this paper, I want to highlight the similarities and differences of living in these three countries as a teenage girl. How would living in these three different countries affect the life of a teenage girl? In order to answer this question I will be focusing on the six aspects of life: Environment, food, school, language, lifestyle, religion, and Covid. In regards to food, what kind of natural resources make the country have the best type of food? Communication is also key and this becomes a struggle when moving to a new country. What are special words unique to a language or different pronunciations and dialects? These things all make the country unique. The next thing is very specific to a student. What are the differences and similarities of a student’s life in Chile, Argentina, and South Korea? Adding on to this, how does the lifestyle of a teenage girl differ in Chile, Argentina, South Korea? What are the things a teenage student does outside of school and in their everyday lives? Another important topic is religion. How does religion affect the culture and history of the country that is taught to a teenage girl? Lastly, I wanted to describe how the Covid-19 pandemic hit each country. How does living in a certain country change your experience of a pandemic? I am just a lucky girl who could experience the diversity of the world at a young age and I wanted to share this with others who didn’t get this opportunity. Moving away from your home country can be seen mostly negatively because of the major struggles that follow. It was the same case for me. Every time I moved I was always scared and I felt like a lot of time was wasted because nothing ever connected. However, looking back at it now I can connect my experiences to put them together to reflect and see the world in a different perspective.