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Colleges Offering More Culture Enhancing Courses

Posted November. 08, 2008 09:16,   


“I’m getting sick and tired of my boyfriend of two years. Do I have to dump him?”

“I don’t mean it, but I find myself continuously making a slip of the tongue in front of my senior. How can I become an amiable junior?”

At a café in the college district of Sinchon, northwestern Seoul, some 10 college students engaged in a heated debate on how to survive campus life. All of them wore a serious face since their discussion was part of one of their general arts courses.

The course consists of lectures on building good relationships with professors and seniors, running campus clubs, and setting goals. Lectures are held not in classrooms but at cafes or restaurants.

Due to the course’s high popularity among students, half of all applicants are allowed to take the course.

▽Popularity of practical lectures

General arts courses are pursuing practicality for survival.

“Many freshmen have difficulty adjusting to college life, which is in marked contrast to high school life. To teach them what they need, we opened a course called ‘Surviving campus life in Sinchon,’” said Goh Gwang-yun, a professor of English literature at Yonsei University.

At Sahmyook University, students who take a course on love make presentations on their first date and draw up a report on the pros and cons of dating someone for many years. If a female student falls in love with a male student in the same course, they all get A’s.

To cater to the diverse interests of students, certain universities have invited prominent guest lecturers. A meditation course at Chungang University in Seoul has a Buddhist monk giving a six-week lecture on Zen meditation and a tour of temples nationwide.

Students can get a glimpse of temple life and talk to monks. “I couldn’t have seen autumn leaves and the night view of Tongdo Temple without this course,” said one student.

Yonsei University is leading the pragmatic education trend by offering courses such as “Harry Potter magic school” and “Walking along the Han River.”

At Seoul Women`s University, students can take a course on “making a fortune,” in which they can learn how to marry a rich man.

▽Diverse experience through lectures

Anatomy is also part of general arts courses. Hanyang University’s Anatomy 101 course gives non-medical students the opportunity to see the dissection of cadavers.

“To prevent misunderstanding of anatomy, we allow students to sit in on the dissection,” said Baek Du-jin, a medical science professor at the university.

Lectures by outside lecturers are also getting more popular. Students at Sangmyung University in Seoul can attend a series of lectures given by ambassadors, professionals and successful people.

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