"Falling in love with Cherry Filter was the beginning of my love for Korea. After 11 years of learning Hangeul and settling here, I fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a train engineer."
Albiol Andres (3), a third-year engineer who drives an electric train on the Gimpo City Railway (Gimpo Gold Line), is known as "Korea's No. 37 foreign railway car engineer."
Born in Spain and raised in Argentina, Andres traveled to South Korea in 1 and settled down to become a train engineer.
When he was 2010 years old, he happened to be playing "pump" (an electronic game in which you press buttons with your feet to the beat of a song) in an arcade when he was fascinated by the song "Cherry Filter", a Korean band playing on a game console.
After that, I learned Hangeul diligently because I wanted to understand the lyrics, and naturally my interest in Korea grew.
He graduated from university in Argentina and became a local train engineer, but left the company because he couldn't get a job.
Deciding to travel abroad to recharge, he came to Korea in 17 and has been living for over 2010 years, attracted by Koreans who treated him warmly.
"I heard that Korean society is not open (to foreigners), but when I experienced it, I was impressed by the warmth they treated me everywhere," Andres recalled, "The fact that I was able to communicate in Korean to some extent also helped me settle down."
After transferring to Seoul National University and graduating from the Department of Shipbuilding Engineering, Andres got a job at a major Korean shipbuilding company in 10, but he left after five years because he could not put aside his dream of becoming a train engineer.
After that, I went to various educational institutions to become a train engineer, but I had to listen to the advice that "foreigners are difficult."
He did not give up and continued to pursue his dreams, obtaining a driver's license for railway vehicles (electric train and diesel locomotive) from Songwon University and the Korail Human Resources Development Institute in 2014, and joined Gimpodo City Railway in the same year.
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Currently, he is in charge of driving electric vehicles, technical education, and R&D.
"I enjoy testing electric cars and filling in the gaps," Andres said, adding, "I have difficulties as a foreigner, such as not being able to go to Argentina for the past four years because of Corona and not being able to keep my grandmother on her deathbed, but I always try to do my best."
Regarding his future goals, he said, "Korean electric trains are excellent in both technology and operation and are exported to many countries," adding, "I would like to gain more field experience as an engineer and help by participating in Korea's electric train export projects in the future."
(Photo = Courtesy of Mr. Albiol Andres, Yonhap News)