Degree: Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.) Position: Lecturer/ Consultant Affiliation: Makarere University/ World Bank, UNICEF Message: Since the inception of my Doctoral studies at Kobe University two and half years ago, I...
From one year from 2014 to 2015, I participated in the Campus Asia dual degree program at the Korea University Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul. During the year I gained a lot from the classes and lectures, experienced different cultures through communication with students with different cultural backgrounds from all over the world, and had lots of fun joining activities and traveling with friends and professors.
Studying in GSIS is not easy because we had a lot of classes and exams. In particular, there are some mandatory core classes which we were required to take. At first, I had difficulty getting used to the lectures at GSIS because their teaching methodologies are somewhat different from Kobe University. Here we need to write reports and prepare many presentations and exams for the classes. However, I now think it was very useful. It is the process of writing reports, making presentations and working on exams that motivates us to study to a deeper and wider extent. Also during this process we can have better communication with other students and professors. They were all valuable opportunities. In the first semester I mainly focused on the classes and Korean language study. In the second semester, my focus turned to thesis writing. I had a hard time writing thesis because of the limited time and the need to simultaneous study other subjects at the same time. Even though it was hard, I overcame it and finished my thesis with the help of my professors and support of friends.
Despite tough study here, we fortunately had opportunities to get involved in a variety of activities and trips. In the first semester we participated in field trips to DMZ, Busan and Jeju Island. At these places we could fully enjoyed Korean culture, history as well as beautiful sceneries. In the second semester, there was a field trip to Gyeongju city. Gyeongju contains a combination of Korean history and beautiful scenery. We learnt about Korean history from the Silla era, visited ancient relics and enjoyed delicious local foods in Gyeongju. The field trip can provide with good opportunities for students from China, Japan and Korea to communicating and better understand each other.
In Korea, my friends and I also joined lots of activities in addition to what have been mentioned above. We visited the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, an organization working for the cooperation and communication among Korea, China and Japan. I had opportunities to know students and some staffs working there as well as some data useful to my research paper. Regarding school activities, my friends and I went to watch the famous Ko-Yeon Jeon, which is a sports competition between Korea University and Yonsei University. I was surprised and impressed by Korean students’ spirit, momentum and energy while participating, supporting and cheering for the games and players. I couldn’t help joining the cheering teams and shouting and supporting for Korea University players. It is such a valuable experience and wonderful chance of understanding Korean culture as well as Korean students’ solidarity.
All the things that I have experienced in the past semesters are so interesting, precious and useful. There were both happy and hard times. But those things taught me how to deal with what happened in the daily life no matter when facing with joys or difficulties. I feel I am very fortunate to join Campus Asian Program and came to Korea. This program provides valuable opportunities of learning China, Japan and Korea and getting involved in diverse activities.
Authored by Xiaoxiao JIA