By Cho Hee-yeon (International Office Management, 4)
As the article "Two Foreign Students Face Diverge Lives at Ewha," by Lee Eun-a (April 6) mentioned, more international students have come to Ewha recently. This means that Ewha has been developing internationally. However, despite help from the International Education Institute and the PEACE Buddies, these students might still encounter difficulties in their lives at Ewha, including isolation or difficulties understanding the culture. Joining club activities can be one way to make their campus lives much more exciting and help them overcome their difficulties.
If international students participate in club activities, they can make a lot of Korean friends. For example, I saw many international students at Yonsei participating in a glee club and singing songs on stage with regular Yonsei students. Like this, a lonely and boring life in a foreign country can be avoided by doing club activities. Sometimes, Korean friends can also help when international students are in trouble. Moreover, international students may experience and enjoy Korean culture more deeply. Another advantage international students will get is that club activities can meet their social, cultural, or scholastic interests.
Yet, chances for international students to enter clubs seem to be rare. One reason for this is that all clubs on campus consist entirely of Koreans and they haven't accepted international students so far, making it hard for Koreans to go up to international students. Another reason is lack of information about clubs. Most of the posters and pamphlets promoting clubs are written in Korean so that international students often cannot even learn what kinds of clubs are available at Ewha.
Thus, clubs should try to attract more international students to join. First, clubs should make posters, pamphlets, or brochures in English and other languages. Club members who are good at foreign languages could help. Second, clubs could make programs for international students. For instance, in music clubs, students could sing songs or play music from countries where international students come from. And finally, the club menu on the Ewha website should be translated into English and other languages. At present, only a general introduction is given in English but specific information about each club is not. If this menu were available in foreign languages, it would be a good way for international students to find clubs which meet their needs.
College life is not complete without club activities because club activities give valuable friends, unforgettable experiences, and a feeling of accomplishment. Besides, through participating in clubs with international students, Korean students can understand other cultures better, and this will make Ewha more internationally oriented. Promoting club activities for international students is an investment with a 100 percent return for international students, club members, and the school.