Last April, Ewha signed an agreement for academic exchange and cooperation with Seoul National University (SNU). According to the agreement, both schools will cooperate in the areas of research and welfare service and also start a credit exchange for students. Thus, Ewha students will be able to take classes at SNU beginning next semester.
This year, the credit exchange system among Korean universities marks its 10th anniversary. Established in 1997 by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development, the credit exchange system was adopted to create a more open educational environment for university students, allowing them to take classes not provided by their home schools.
Currently, Ewha shares credits with seven other universities: Yonsei University and Sogang University during all semesters and Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea University, Sookmyung Women’s University, Sungkyunkwan University and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, during the summer and winter sessions. According to the Office of Faculty and Academic Affairs, Sogang and
However, according to a survey of 153 students conducted by the Ewha Voice, only 23 percent of students know about the credit exchange system in detail, 67 percent responded that they simply know about its existence and 10 percent were unaware of the program entirely.
Students who had not participated in the program cited inconvenient transportation as the most common reason (20 percent), followed by no classes to take (17 percent), and complicated procedures for registering and fear of getting low grades (each 13 percent). Students also mentioned differences in class schedules as a key factor which hindered their active participation in the system. Midterm and final exam periods are also different, extending the times of stress students feel when studying for exams.
Choi Ji-eun (English Literature, 3), who is taking Internet Applied English at Sogang University this semester, says, “I am planning on taking summer session classes but I have to skip two of my classes at Sogang University because they won’t be over before the summer session begins.”
Differences between Ewha and other universities also make things that seem natural at Ewha uncommon at other schools. Liou Min-ha (English Literature, 3) was praised by the professor at another university as a “good representative of Ewha” for not skipping any classes. “I naturally thought attendance was considered as an important factor in grading, like at Ewha. Thus, I showed up at every class, but it seemed unusual to the teacher there, where it is considered rather common for students to miss a class,” said Liou.
It is not only the Ewha students who face difficulties studying at another school. Students from the other schools face similar hardships when studying at Ewha. Hwang Sung-won (Yonsei University, 3), who is taking Gender Awareness Psychology this semester at the Human Ecology Building, complained about the worn-out equipment in Ewha’s classrooms. “The condition of the classroom doesn’t seem favorable. The light is rather dark and the chairs and desks are old too,” said Hwang.
Bang Young-suk (
In fact, many male students avoid studying at Ewha because it is a woman’s university. However, Bang considers his experience of studying at Ewha meaningful in spite of the fact that he had to use bathrooms for professors, something uncommon at his school. “