Every summer and winter vacation, the Ewha Global Frontier program is held with the objective of nurturing female global leaders. Students plan everything from scratch: the country, the topic, the setting, the interviews, and the whole itinerary. Marking the sixth year of the school’s annual exploration program, Ewha Voice interviewed three teams from this summer’s program.
Nyang Seed : Germany’s animal rights
Consisting of eco-feminists, Nyang Seed (which translates to the small seed that the cat swallowed) wanted to further their interests in animal rights abroad through this Ewha Global Frontier program and raise the awareness of the issue and propose changing Seoul into an animal-friendly city.
“We want Koreans, even those who do not have a bond with animals, to accept animals as members of society,” said Seo Yeon-hwa, the leader of Nyang Seed.
Nyang Seed explained their journey going to learn about the German Animal Welfare Federation (Deutscher Tierschutzbund), where they interviewed Andrea FurlerMihali in Munich. Also, the team talked about Tierheim, which is a private animal shelter where many Germans adopt their pets because the country’s law forbids any commercial trade in animals.
“The embedded manners and culture of Germans and their furry companions alerted us,” commented Choi Song-hee, another member of Nyang Seed. “It proved the education and pet training system of Germany was already far ahead of ours. I learnt so much through this program.”
MIDAS: the U.S. and its AI technology
MIDAS is a team of three computer science engineering majors who went to California to study and experience the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in everyday life. Oh Ha-bin, Lee Eunji, and Jang Woo-kyung aimed to study the direction of Korea’s technology by visiting two places: a hospital that used AI to scan patients’ bodies and save the data and a restaurant that had an AI robot flipping patties.
“We realized the limits of Korea’s spectrum of applying the tech to other fields, so we applied to this program to explore what we felt was the pioneer of AI, the United States,” Oh said. However, interestingly, the program proved them wrong of their first thoughts.
“The experience widened our perspectives and taught us that Korea was not behind America at all,” Lee said. “Silicon Valley was also an exception in applied technology, so we think that Korea could soon be the new market for developing AI.” “It was an amazing experience as we planned and did everything by ourselves,” Jang said. “Even after the trip, we are busy participating in related topic seminars thanks to all the people we met during the process. I think the experience was and will be helpful for our near future.”
Ewha Chain: Linking fashion and block chain technology
Ewha Chain, a group of four students majoring in textiles traveled to England and Holland to visit the Blockchain Expo Europe and hear from experts about applying such technology to fashion industries.
"Block chain technology guarantees transparency of a business’s distribution channel, so we wanted to see if the technology could be used in the fashion field,” said Kim Han-byeol, a member of Ewha Chain, who was interviewed. “We were asked if the topic was too idealistic, but thinking of the corruption and cruel child labor factories that fashion companies run in the developing world, we were motivated to see if our idea was possible through this program.”
The team explored Mud Jeans in the Netherlands to see the Provenance blockchain technology the company was using. They also learned from London’s Elvis & Kresse, which is a sustainable fashion brand that explicitly labels its upcycled products.
“It was hard to contact and interview the people we met because of the language barrier,” Kim said. “However, our courage and passion as a student project team under the name of Ewha made it all happen.” “The stereotypes we had about block chain technology in the fashion industry tumbled down,” Kim said. “It was a chance to be real pioneers in the field and it was an honor to have the chance.” The teams will be presenting their results on the 18th at the Student Union Building and giving tips for future teams that are planning to go this winter.