The first wave of students promoting Ewha to their alma mater high schools returned from their visit as the month of family came to the end. These students are members of Alma Mater Visiting Group: an organization under Office of Admissions that encourages outstanding high school students to apply to Ewha. Member recruiting is annually held in March. This year, the recruiting was from March 12 to 23. Any undergraduate who loves Ewha can become a member without any restrictions as to which school the student graduated from. After attending a workshop in April, the visiting teams need to decide whether to visit their high schools during the first wave in May, or the second wave just before summer vacation.
Usually, alumnae from the same high school are grouped into one visiting unit, but a group with only one person can also exist. This was the case with Rho Sooyoung, a freshman from the nursing department. As a one-person unit, she shared her insights as to why she volunteered to be a member of the Alma Mater Visiting Group.
“I first heard of Alma Mater Visiting Group while talking with my friends, and got the specifics while surfing through Eureka,” Rho said. “A big reason as to why I became part of the visiting group was because not many students from my high school apply to Ewha. And I think that’s mostly because of certain misgivings people have on our school. I wanted to completely eliminate those misconceptions.”
Rho visited her alma mater on May 5 – the day her high school was holding a college exposition for their senior students.
“My school actually invited other graduates from top ranking universities in Seoul to give advice to their juniors,” Rho said. “No one from Ewha was going and since I was part of the Alma Mater Visiting Group, I thought it would be a good idea to go myself. Teacher’s Day was coming up and the school said it would pay for my transit fee.”
For members of this organization, all activity fees were covered by the school. For those who needed extra fee, like those who came from Jeju Island, airplane tickets were provided. School souvenirs and promotion items – such as admission flyers, videos, and booklets – were also provided free of charge.
“The students were very impressed,” she continued. “Most graduates promoting other universities were emptyhanded, but our school gave me brochures, bookmark souvenirs, and Ewh@ro booklets to hand out. I also made presentations to use when introducing our school, so comparably, I probably seemed very prepared. Students were saying ‘it was worth coming to Ewha’s promotion booth instead of that of other universities.”
Rho also commented that because members of the Alma Mater Visiting Group had to turn in a plan prior to visiting day, the event was carried out in an orderly fashion. Showing Ewha Voice the itinerary she had written for her visit, she explained how she first played Ewha’s promotion video, gave an overview of the school, talked about admissions, and had a Q&A session.
“I basically just explained things I thought they would want to know such as dormitory life, types of scholarship, and campus life,” she said. “During Q&A session, students asked me if getting good grades at Ewha was hard. I said that it was hard, but that it would probably be the same for all schools. They asked if the tuition was as expensive as rumors said. I answered that compared to most schools in Seoul, it wasn’t outrageously high. They also asked me questions about how I studied in high school, and my final grades. So, I gave them advice on that.”
When asked how she felt at the end of the visit, she took some time to think.
“First, I was really glad I could ward off some of the prejudices students have of our school,” she started. “The students listened carefully to every word I said. Also, when I turned on the promotion video, they were awed by our beautiful campus. That made me feel proud. At the very end, I told them that Ewha was the best university you could go to if you were a woman, but I don’t know if the message got through.”
Equipped with pride for Ewha and souvenirs for their underclassmen, the second wave of visiting groups is to set out just before summer break when college application begins for high school seniors.