International Invitation from Hanyang University- HISS
Hanyang International Summer School of 2017
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A month long, annually held exchange student program HISS (Hanyang International Summer School) welcomed the foreign students from all over the world on July 1st. HISS has met its 20th anniversary with nearly 2,000 international students in the program, which initially began in 1997 with 20 students. Standing out in all South Korean universities with the highest number of foreign participants, HISS of 2017 has drew up its curtain.
Catching two birds with one stone
HISS has two goals to achieve for the provided month- academics and Korean cultural programs. Within only four weeks, it may seem hard to provide both educational and cultural programs to 2,000 foreign students. However, OIA (Office of International Affairs) of Hanyang University (HYU) has efficiently divided the academic workload and cultural experience program through subtle time management.
“OIA has frequently established more lectures during the HISS which count up to 120 now. Also, enhancing the quality of the classes provided by HYU is another primary mission of ours,” said Angie Lee of the OIA. It included about 120 lectures on engineering, literature, international studies, and more. Weekly cultural programs for the exchange students are also planned by the OIA.
On week 1, foreign students who were interested in Korean music, especially K-Pop, had a visit to the SM Town, which is a musical tourist site sponsored by SM Entertainment. On the second week, a friendship party was held on a cruise floating from Yeouido to Jamsil Han River Parks. Later on, OIA planned to escort the foreign students to an amusement park called Everland and a waterpark Carribbean Bay. Their last activity will be held at the Boryeong Mud Festival.
The highlight of all activities was the cruise party, which News H accompanied with. The party took about two hours where students could enjoy the band performance, special foods, and the beautiful night view of the Han River. “This is my first time staying in Korea, and in Asia. I am enjoying the active atmosphere of Koreans and their unique culture. I’m also looking forward to the HISS programs every weekend,” said Elias El Araj from Netherlands. Also, Mika Auyezkhan from Kazakhstan showed her love for the Korean culture- “I was always interested in Korean culture and I am glad that I chose Hanyang University because it let me experience a lot in South Korea. I also love how they have solid educational structure.”
Mountain to surmount
Behind the delightful programs of the HISS, there are three OIA staffs and other volunteers who support the whole program. “As the number of participants is increasing every year, it becomes harder for us to manage all students’ circumstances like health. We already had a few visits to hospital with our students,” laughed Rick Punt of OIA. However, despite the augmenting size of the HISS program, OIA and HYU volunteers are paying careful attention to the students to prevent any accidents.
“We are still proud that Lee, Punt, and I are leading the HISS, even though our July in calendar disappears completely,” said Min-joo Park of the OIA. “Without love for the HISS, I don’t think the program can be so successful. As we recap all students’ overall thoughts and reviews, we will constantly strive for the better HISS every year,” added Lee.
Aside from the internal difficulties, external factors such as international circumstances and the state of affairs also impact the HISS. “This year, students from the United States dwindled due to the recent North Korean crisis. However, number of Singaporean and Kazakh students augmented due to the increasing interests in the Korean culture,” said Punt. HISS, where unforeseeable and urgent situations sometimes take place, still remains as one of the best exchange program in South Korea due to the efforts people at the backstage put in.
Kim Ju-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Choi Min-ju
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