Degree is passport to new life

Former SHU journalism student Steve Dunks is proof that a journalism degree can take you places you might never have imagined.

The 23-year-old, who graduated in 2014, is now teaching English to school children in South Korea, as well as writing his first novel.

Green%20classSteve, originally from Lincoln, lives in Tongyeong, a small city on the south coast and has renewed his teaching contract until 2017.

He said: “March is the start of the academic year here. I chose to take the kindergarten classes, so that means six and seven-year-olds.

“They’re not my favourite age, that would probably be the teenagers for their ability to have a conversation, but they can surprise me.

“Last year there was one girl who would make English word play jokes, there is a certain reward to the job when you see understanding like that.”

Steve is teaching part time so that he has time for his writing as well. In his novel, he hopes to portray the value of trust and loyalty during increasingly desperate circumstances.

“The story follows the journey of a young adult, James, and unfolds in a fantasy setting.”

“I’ve been quite strict with my time planning since the start of it and have finally been hitting daily targets. If I can maintain this level, the second draft should be finished by May!”

Steve said he was glad he had done a journalism degree at SHU.

“I was once not entirely convinced by the idea of going to university, but am now very pleased that I went. The course taught me lessons that only afterwards I realised I needed.

“Whilst offering me a future career in journalism, it also developed my character, made it possible to teach in a foreign country, and ultimately provided the opportunity that I sought.”

Steve has been learning Korean too, although said it wasn’t easy.

“The language has been difficult to learn but after many hours studying I can speak some! I have a Korean girlfriend too so she sometimes forces me into Korean conversations.”