Many of my friends know I listen to a lot of Korean pop. Because of my love to Korean music, I have become interested in Korean culture. As someone who also comes from an Asian background, it is interesting to see the differences between Japanese and Korean cultures, as well as the tensions between the two countries. In fact, I only learned about the tensions between the two countries because I had become interested in Korean culture. This is something I would have known if I had lived and grown up in Japan. The tensions come from the imperialistic era of Japan, where they conquered some of China, Korea, etc. Unfortunately, the people living under Japanese rule were exploited so this resentment has lasted for quite a while. It doesn't help that Japan has not formally apologized for the wrongdoings.
However, this has not deterred me from being interested in Korean culture. Unfortunately, UC doesn't offer any sort of Korean class. Instead, I was wondering if Korea has something like Japan's JLPT test for foreigners to prove their language proficiency. And I found it! It is called Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK). This made me think that for one of my honors experiences, I could try learning the language and attempt to pass the first level. I looked at a practice exam and wow does it look difficult. I will probably end up putting more than 75 hours into it haha! But because it is something I already had an interest in and would probably do anyway, it's worth it.