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Welcoming Korean Students

Posted August. 10, 2004 21:57,   


The officials of international exchange departments of domestic universities said, “Since two or three years ago, proposals for interchanges, such as exchange students and summer school programs, have greatly increased.”

For example, Korea University was asked by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to exchange 100 graduate students every year. It’s favorable for Korea University students since the students of Korea University can take one semester of an Ivy League MBA program while only paying the tuition of Korea University.

Kim Paul Jae-won, international exchange official of Korea University, said, “Nowadays, ambassadors and presidents of foreign universities come two or three times every month to propose interchange programs. The countries the proposals are coming from are varied as the proposals are being made by universities of Chile, Venezuela, Vietnam, and countries other than the U.S.”

Recently, Seoul National University concluded a convention with British Columbia University, a Canadian school, on favorable conditions such as exemption from additional school expenses and reduction of boarding expenses. Last March, Yale University opened a summer school program for the students of Seoul National University.

The universities of non-English speaking countries are also working actively to attract Korean students.

Colida University of Mexico has opened a “Korea Study Center,” and the president of the school and the ambassador have personally visited Korea to propose exchanges.

The Renault Foundation of France supports students of Pohang University of Science and Technology and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology by providing them full scholarships to study two years in France.

Waseda University of Japan has held college fairs in Seoul and Busan since last year, and is actively attracting Korean students. At the beginning of this year, 17 students of private colleges and graduates of special purpose high schools have applied to the international department of Waseda University.

Dakao Asakura, an official in the International Department of Waseda University, said, “It is to attract talented Korean students, who usually study in English-speaking countries, to Japan.”

Roh Gyung-soo, director of the International Relations Board of Seoul National University said, “No university in modern days can survive when isolated. Universities worldwide are attracting foreign students through international interchanges to secure diversity of students in their schools.”

Universities are trying to produce better research results through the collaboration of talented students from various backgrounds and by providing students with various indirect experiences. Roh explained, “Especially, since it is known around the world that Korea students are talented, Korean universities can contract exchange programs with foreign universities with favorable conditions.”

Baek Gi-bum, an official of the International Relations Department of Yonsei University, said, “As Korean companies like Samsung and LG are well known around the world, the national brand value has increased. It seems like that the demand of the school, which is attracting talented students, has met the demand of students who are interested in Asia.

The requests for exchange-student programs has increased among students of foreign universities to work at internships with Korean IT companies.

Han Min-gu, president of the Engineering Department of Seoul National University said, “It is true that many European universities and other places are proposing to attract talented Korean students. However, effective interchanges are important. Korean universities should prepare specifically to hold interchanges that are actually useful to the students.”

Yi-Young Cho Ji-Won Jun lycho@donga.com podragon@donga.com