Farewell, Exchange Students!
The end of the semester for exchange students
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The spring semester of 2019 is already approaching its end, and students are once again flustered with final exams. This also means those exchange students at Hanyang University who came for a semester are wrapping up their short trip to Korea. As there are a great number of international students at Hanyang University, and more will be welcomed in the future, sharing their experiences sounds desirable. Three of the exchange students who are wrapping up their semester at Hanyang shared with us their experiences at the school and in Korea.
Ashlynne Perez (Department of Financial Management, 3rd year) is from the United States and goes to the International School of Management in Münich, Germany, majoring in Business Administration. Perez chose Korea because she already had business experience in the U.S. and Europe, and she wanted business exposure in Asia. She thought highly of the development that Korea has gone through over the last 50 years and wanted to come to this country, where all of the heartland of Korea is accessible via subway.
Alice My-Anh-Thu Tran (Department of English Language and Literature, 3rd year) is from the Netherlands and is majoring in nursing at Fontys University of Applied Science. “Growing up, I always felt out of place.” Alice is of Vietnamese descent and was born in the Netherlands. She opened up about her internal wish to visit Asia. She had become familiar with Korea through Korean dramas and her cousin who loved Kpop. She wanted to expose herself to Asian culture.
Melvin Ismanto (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, 4th year) is from Indonesia and is majoring in Computer Science at Binus University. He says he was lucky to come to Hanyang University through the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP).
When asked about what kind of impression Hanyang University has left on them, all three students responded by saying "very big." Tran found the formal yet very close relationship between professors and students at Hanyang unique. Tran added that "I became motivated to study harder after I came to Hanyang University and saw the students studying for long hours every day.”
It was not the first time they had all met. Exchange students have two-hour Korean classes twice a week. They were held from 6 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the International Building. “Everyone helped each other out when it came to learning Korean, and the teacher respected the differences in our different ways and speeds of learning," said Ashlynne.
“Even if the menu is not in English, just try new food. Learn to say hello and thank you in Korean. Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable.” This is the advice from Perez to foreign students who plan to visit Korea in the future. Encountering a new environment is always hard at first, but once you decide to “surround yourself in it” and “go with the flow” as she puts it, you will surely have the time of your life during your exchange student period. We wish a safe trip back home to all those leaving Korea soon!
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kim Joo-eun
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