Many Hands Reaching Out to Help Freshmen Adjust to Ewha
Many Hands Reaching Out to Help Freshmen Adjust to Ewha
  • 송혜원 기자
  • 승인 2007.03.02 00:00
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▲ Freshmen are actively participating in the 'OX quiz' during the orientation.

             Finding a friend in university is a little different from doing so in high school. As many freshmen in the past have had difficulty forming good relationships with their peers, theStudent Counseling Center and the student councils in each college have taken steps this year to help freshmen adjust.

             Starting this year, the Student Counseling Center will arrange mentors from the same major or college for in coming freshmen. Acknowledging the need to connect younger and older students, the center has selected 30 mentors among sophomore and junior students. Each mentor will lead three mentees, help them adjust to the school and answer inquiries related to their majors. Researchers in the Student Counseling Center will also supervise the mentors and mentees and help with any requests from the mentees that are beyond the mentors’ ability.

             Professor Lee Yong-hah (Mathematics Education), who is in charge of the mentoring project, says that this program was launched after listening to students’ opinions from each college. Lee says that most of the students and also many professors expressed much over the weak relationship between juniors and seniors. As a solution, therefore, this mentoring program aims to form a strong network among Ewha students. Whether to expand the project will be decided based on this year’s results. Freshmen who are interested should apply for the mentoring program by March 19 at the Student Counseling Center.

             Other programs for freshmen are prepared by each college’s student council to greet new students. An orientation to their college is the biggest annual event organized for freshmen. Staying together for one to two days in a place far from home, students get information about each major in their college, learn how to register for classes, and meet students and professors. While talking, eating, and sleeping together with other freshmen roommates, friendships naturally flower.

             As each college is different in size and in characteristics, orientation programs also vary in many ways. This year’s student council in the College of Engineering paid deep attention to freshmen living from outlying areas. Lee Young-hae (Computer Information Communication, 3), president of the College of Engineering student council, says, “We had to gather at Ewha at nine o’clock in the morning to depart for the orientation site. But as it was hard for some students living in outlying areas to arrive at Seoul so early, we started a home-stay program and let freshman living far away arrive one day early and stay at senior students’ homes.”

             To give a better understanding of everyday life at Ewha, Division of International Studies’ student council made brochures and handed them out to freshmen on orientation day. These brochures contain specific information on how to register classes, how to make student identification cards, and what clubs there are, and even have lists of the best restaurants and cafes near Ewha.

             Some colleges that could not go to an orientation before class registration thought of other ways to help freshmen. The College of Law student council organized a preparatory college on the 12th of February, before registration day for freshmen. “Although it was not an orientation, about 160 freshmen and 40 seniors participated in the preparatory college program,” says Lee Hye-lim (Law, 3), president of the College of Law student council. After a tour around the Ewha campus, the preparatory college consisted of programs which aimed at preparing freshmen for everyday life at Ewha.

             For students who are used to the high school homeroom system, student councils have also adopted a college homeroom class system. This allows students in large colleges to become acquainted with a smaller number of students in a “home-room” class.

             One well-organized home room class system is in the College of Social Science, which has a total 13 of home rooms with 20 to 25 people each. Like high school homeroom teachers, there are two to eight homeroom seniors taking charge of each class. Paik Yeon-kyung (Economics, 3), president of the College of Social Science student council, says, “We are trying to reduce the number of students in one class, meanwhile increasing the number of classes. Our goal is to match one freshman and one senior in the end.”

Communication among freshmen and seniors is also active in cyberspace. The Cyworld club for College of Social Science freshmen has more than 400 members, far exceeding the number of students who entered the College of Social Science this year.

             Even with orientations and mentoring programs to help, those looking for many friends may want to try an active and personal approach. According to the survey conducted among Ewha students, most students who answered they have more than 15 friends at Ewha said they approach other people first when they want to meet a new person.

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