Sophia Ridza from the KBS talkshow, Chit Chat With Beautiful Ladies, is back home in sunny Malaysia. She shares with K-popped! her experiences on the show.
Let’s get to know sweet Sophia in this EXCLUSIVE K-popped! interview…
Name: Sophia Ridza
Date of birth: 30th March 1985
Blood type: O…or A….or AB…..erk…i don’t know :p
Hobbies: Backpacking and outdoor activities
Family: Number 2 out of 4 siblings
Education: B.S in Electronic Electrical Engineering, Korea University
You went to Seoul to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Korea. Why did you choose Seoul and what do you like most about the city?
After graduating high school, I received a full scholarship from the JPA (Jabatan Perkhidmatan Awam) to study in South Korea under the Look East Policy (Dasar Pandang ke Timur) program. Our former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, launched the Look East Policy program in 1989. Coming to Korea under this program is a dream come true for me.
What I like most about Seoul would be its transportation system. It’s really easy, fast and punctual… no pressure for wanting to buy a car. :p
Where is your hometown and while you were away, what did you miss most about it?
I was born in Johor, but grew up mainly in Subang Jaya (and Korea..hehe). While I was away, what I missed most was my family and last but not least…roti canai la.
How did you get on the KBS talk show, Chit Chat with Beautiful Ladies?
I was working part-time with Malaysia Tourism when they introduced me to the talk show. I went for an interview and got in! ^_^ It’s a new show and they wanted to educate their viewers about foreign cultures and share the experiences of a foreigner living in Seoul. I joined the show for 2 years.
Tell us a funny incident that happened to you while you were on the show.
Well…since I joined the show for 2 years, there are lots of beautiful memories I have with the whole team. I bet most Malaysians noticed my appearance when I got a blind date proposal by too-handsome-to-be-true Mr. Jong… hehe. It was really funny as all of us did not know anything about what was going to happen on the show. So everyone just ‘kacau-kacau’ (tease) the guy la…handsome maahh *wink*!!! It turned out to be “ME” who got the proposal. I was REALLY REALLY surprised!!! Since it’s a TV show, I had to calm myself down soon after…rite? hahaha.
To be on Chit Chat with Beautiful Ladies, you had to be fluent in Korean. Where did you learn Korean and how long did it take you to master the language?
All students under the JPA program had to undergo a one and a half year language course at the Seoul National University before pursuing a degree in any selected engineering course. We did not only learn conversation skills, we had to learn engineering terms in Korean as well. It is important that we are able to read and write fluently in order to take engineering exams in Korean for later degree courses.
Mastering a language is not an overnight skill, the learning process continues even after we graduate from the language courses. Socializing with Korean home-stay families and friends help us improve our conversation skills as well as give us a better understanding of Korean culture.
Now that the show is over, do you still keep in touch with the other women who appeared with you on the show?
They were not only ‘co-workers’; they are also my friends. We do still keep in touch. Not as frequent as when I was in Seoul, but these days, with facebook and the internet, the world has become a smaller place. ^_^ I miss hanging out with them though.
Being on a TV show must be an interesting experience. What memories of the show do you take with you?
Well… being on the show for almost 2 years, there are lots of interesting experiences that I dare not begin to talk about (I may need weeks to tell you all of it :p).
Anyway, part of it would be meeting people from all over the world, understanding their culture, and most of all TEACHing them Malaysian culture. It was so much fun and a headache at the same time…hahaha. Explaining why I can’t drink alcohol or why I can’t eat pork to a society that doesn’t have a Muslim community in the country was very educating. Not just for them, but for me as well.
Last but not least, introducing Malaysia’s developments (I told them about Malaysia and its tallest tower, KLCC) was also one of my most proudEST moments. MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!
During the show, you were set up on a date with a bartender. KBS World did not air that incident. Care to tell us what happened then?
Hhahaha! This is the most frequent question I get from fans. Well… at the end of the show, they definitely did record some of the blind date scenes (we ate at an Indian halal restaurant in Seoul). I think that moment is enough for me to share with everybody. :p It’s really very awkward to be recorded on a blind date… and to reveal more of it… hahahah… it’s just too funny to share it with everybody. But one thing’s for sure… he is a nice, good looking guy. *wink*
Now that you’re back home, what are your plans?
I just got back to lovely lovely tanah airku Malaysia last March and so far I have been around with my family most of the time. After living apart for such a long period, we really need some time to get used to living in Malaysia again. Before it was always “kimchi kimchi kimchi“… now, not anymore >_LG. Wish me luck (“,)
What else would you like to tell us?
I would like to thank K-popped! for this interview and giving me the opportunity to share some of my experiences living and studying abroad in Korea. For those Korean ‘hallyu’ fans out there, get yourself closer to Korean culture by visiting the Korean Tourism Organization (in KL). You could experience lots of Korean culture from the activities they host there. Don’t miss the chance ^_6. 감사합니다 여러분!!!
I was also interviewed by LIBUR, a local travel magazine, for their MAY ’09 issue. Get yourself a copy if you’d like to read more about me. ^_^
Thank you Sophia and we wish you all the best with your new job at LG!
Special thanks to K-popped! reader, Fizzy, for getting us hooked up with Sophia. 😉