From August 2016 to August 2017, I participated in the Campus Asia dual degree program at Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) in Korea University. During the whole year of studying in Korea University, I have obtained much more than I expected. I learned a lot from the classes and other academic activities. Meanwhile, I gained lots of wonderful experiences through communications with different people coming from different cultures. In the following parts, I would like to share some of my experiences and feelings in Korea University.
Study at GSIS, Korea University
For students from Campus Asia dual degree program, GSIS in Korea University offers a variety of programs in the fields of International Studies. International Studies is further subdivided into International Commerce, International Development & Cooperation, International Peace & Security, and Area Studies. I chose International Peace & Security as my main track. Then, I took relative courses in accordance with my track. Even though there are four tracks for the international studies, and we exchange students can choose anyone we are interested in, there are some core mandatory courses that all students have to take. Compared to the elective courses, these mandatory courses often have mid-exams and final exams, rather than writing papers and reports. Therefore, students have to spend much time to review and prepare the exams. Regarding to the on-class study, professors and teachers in KUGSIS prefer students to discuss and expound their own views. And presentations, as important assessment criteria, are also often required in each class. At the beginning, I was not used to such kind of teaching method. But after several weeks’ practice, I could catch the points and became more confident. I was not that afraid of talking and discussing with other students, especially those who come from English-speaking countries. My communication skills were also improved a lot with such kind of discussions and presentations.
Life in Korea University
First of all, I highly appreciate and recommend the summer school, which is one consisting part of the whole Campus Asia program. In order to adjust to the new environment as soon as possible, I applied this program to learn some Korean and experience some traditional and original Korean culture. During the three weeks, I studied Korean language for several hours from Monday to Friday and in the weekends we went out of the campus and experienced Korean Cultures, such as travel, Tae Kwon Do and Korean food cooking.
Besides participating summer school program, we fortunately had opportunities to go to Jeju island for our filed research. Jeju is quite different with the mainland cities in South Korea. The air is fresher, purer; weather is warmer, and even food, is much more delicious. we picked up tangerines, visited Gangjeong village and the Jeju 4.3 Peace Park in Jeju. Among these field activities, the Gangjeong village and 4.3 Peace Park impressed me a lot. I personally believed that the desire for peace and better life of Gangjeong people are reasonable and their willingness should be recognized and concerned by more and more people. And for the 4.3 massacred, I was shocked and realized deeply that conflicts should be settled, and the world’s peace and security need us to protect. As a whole, thanks to this field trip, the image of Jeju island in my head became much more full and over-rounded.
Finally, with respect to the experience of Korean culture, what impressed me most is the Korea-Yonsei rivalry, which is the college rivalry between two universities located in Seoul, South Korea: Yonsei University and Korea University. Rather than defining it as a game or rivalry, it would be better to call it as a carnival. Students from both universities had lots of fun from the games and cheers. During the game days, students from KU and Yonsei wear the red and blue t-shirts to root for their own teams. The venues where they match become the ocean of red and blue. And for me, the most interesting thing is Korea’s cheer-culture. Those cheerleaders composed various songs and dances to cheer for their own teams without stop. And all audience will dance and sing following cheering leaders. After the games, students continued the carnival until to the second day, and their enthusiasm imbued everyone and everywhere.
As a conclusion, I do thank Campus Asia program for giving me such a great opportunity to continue my study in Korea University. For the whole year in Korea University, what I have learned is not only the academic study on risk management, but a better understanding between different nations and cultures, especially between China, Japan and Korea. And also I do appreciate that Professor Ogawa encouraged me to apply the Campus Asia dual degree program. Without Ogawa sensei’s kind guidance, I could not obtain such a good opportunity to improve my academic and social ability, and gain another master degree in Korea University.
Authored by Yanlin MAN