Those of you who have noticed that Yonsei Univ. has a lot of foreign exchange students and Korean class students from overseas might have wondered whether they are having a good time in Korea. The Yonsei Annals had a talk with foreign students on March 24 in the Global Lounge conference room. The following is based on the conversations held during that day.
Q. Are you satisfied with your classes in Yonsei?
Marie: I am satisfied with most of classes I take in the business department. However, Division of International Education and Exchange (DIEE) classes are somewhat disappointing. There seems to be a gap between regular and DIEE courses.
Jennifer: In some ways, I agree with you. But you see, Korean students are not fluent in English. That is the reason why the level of classes taught in English may seem a bit lower compared to others. However, those classes have similar academic level in exams and reports.
Q. What kind of Korean university customs was really unique?
Vicki: I thought how they drink is unique and also strange. Some of them drink until they are so drunk that they cannot even manage to control themselves on the streets.
Marie: High school students in Korea cannot have access to alcohols. That is why Korean college students develop bad drinking habits.
Q. Do you have any suggestions to Yonsei students?
Vicki: I think Korea is a great country that has achieved a lot in last 15 years. But Koreans really got to do more. To be more globalized in various aspects, there needs to be a change of mindsets. Mindsets of equality, independent spirit and maturity level should be developed in Korean society.
Michael: Koreans should also try to diminish their strong nationalism. I feel that Koreans think in a "Them versus us" mindset. Treating foreigners as "common people" would help them adjust better to Korean society.
Marie: Also, one of the prejudices Koreans have is that the U.S. is the only answer in achieving globalization. Real globalization indicates interactions with various countries in Europe, Africa and other continents as well.
Most foreign students seemed to be quite satisfied with their stay at Yonsei and living in Korea. We should, however, continue giving them helping hands to make themselves comfortable living here. Students should also try to improve not only the out-bound globalization, but also the in-bound globalization.
Vicki Lee Bergquist (Michigan State Univ., 4) - American
Marie-Luise Herrmann (Univ. of Erfurt, 4) - German
Jennifer (Dept. of Urban Planning & Engin., 2) - Korean
By The Yonsei Annals of Yonsei Univ. Reporter Kim Sae-yeon