Pagoda Academy, the Korea-based company specializing in foreign language education, has recently been spotlighted because of an inspirational story about its Chairman, In-Gyung Go, who created 'The Himalayan Club' for enthusiastic mountaineers in Korea.
Chairman Go's aspiration for all Korean youths to have a spirit of adventure and the courage to follow their dream inspired him to support the Korean ‘super climber',Hong Gil Eum, who conquered all 16 giant peaks of the Himalayan mountains.
Hong Gil Eum 's tremendous alpine achievements can be attributed in great part to the dedication, encouragement and sponsorship of Chairman Go.
Thus, our curiosity was peaked, and we sought an interview with Chairman Go. We hoped to hear Hong Gil Eum 's personal story, and understand Mr. Go’s selfless humanitarianism and learn how he became the first Korean leader of an Antarctic expedition.
Q1) What inspired you to invest so much time and resources in Hong Gil Eum ?
A1) I had enjoyed mountain climbing since I was a boy. However, after devoting myself to business, I became very ill and decided to renew my interest in hiking to regain my health. During that time, a newspaper journalist, Mr.Yoon, introduced me to Mr. Eum as an elite mountaineer, who was also very sincere and kind-hearted.
Then, on our way to an expedition together, I was truly charmed by his sincerity, and, I dare say, never felt such kindness from another mountaineer. In addition, I found that he had the courage and adventurous spirit to truly 'never stop exploring', which I had not seen for a long time.
Q2) A decade ago, so far as we know, you were the first leader of an Antarctic expedition from Korea. At that time, did you have any special background?
A2) When I was young, I used to wonder how Korea could be so small. That inspired me to cultivate my own dream, little by little, on 'the spirit of challenge'.
So my motto was 'our Korea shall advance into the world', with the attitude that the Korean peninsula could act as the base-camp of global society.
Then, perhaps by a happy accident, the President of Korea highly valued my principle, so I could hold a baton for the historic, Antarctic expedition.
Q3) As the chairman of an education company and a Himalayan movement activist, could you share with us some common theme between the two positions?
A3) Whether we climb mountains or learn foreign languages, the common aim is to achieve our goal and attain our dream.
The important point is to first challenge yourself with an aspiration, then you dedicate yourself to its achievement wherever you are, whatever you do.
Q4) Do you have any plan to combine university curriculum with your own education system?
A4) Sounds good, but we do not have it nor do we want it.
I think an institution is an institution and a university is a university, and each has its own educational purpose. As you may know, we have more than 30 years experience in teaching English.
I dare say, when it comes to teaching foreign languages, we are competitive enough.
Q5) What is special about your academy's teaching?
A5) We know what Koreans prefer when they learn foreign languages, and what their overriding concern has been.
Herefore, we teach our students with great enthusiasm, ease, and expertise that no institute matches in teaching foreign languages.
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