Photo by Sofia Freed
When junior Joseph Yang first moved to the United States from South Korea he spoke little English; however, his passion for school and baseball motivated him to fly halfway across the world to go to Austin High.
“I started playing baseball in South Korea, but if you play a sport you can not study because it takes up so much time you can’t do both,” Yang said.
Yang moved to America during freshman year with his sister who was a senior.
“During my freshman year, my parents were still in Korea,” Yang said. “I lived with my father’s friend. It was hard being without them.”
His mom later joined him at the beginning of sophomore year.
“My father still lives in South Korea but I go back to visit him in the summer,” Yang said.
Nerves were high when Yang made the decision to join a new school. He didn’t know what the curriculum or kids would be like.
“When I first started school here I wanted to get out,” Yang said.
What made starting school even more difficult was the fact that he spoke little English. However, talking to friends on the baseball team helped him overcome the language barrier and bond as a team.
“I was like a baby,” Yang said. “But in sports, I don’t need to know how to speak English well, I just need to know how to play baseball.”
When Yang first arrived in America he was shocked by the lifestyle change.
“Everything is different, the culture, the food, and the language.”
However, Yang was still able to find a place where he felt right at home.
“We have a Korean Market here, so in some ways, it feels the same as Korea,” Yang said.
Of course, Yang still misses South Korea from time to time.
“I miss my friends and family there, but only sometimes,” Yang said.