Double Degree at Korea University (Ryoma Kanazawa)

I participated in the Campus Asia (CA) double degree program at Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS) of Korea University (KU) from March 2018 to February 2019, and have obtained my master’s degree from KU. Through the whole year of studying at KU, I was able to improve my academic skills and knowledge by attending classes and a wide variety of Campus Asia’s events and field trips. In addition, I was able to be exposed to various cultures through interaction with students from all over the world. In this article, I would like to share these invaluable experiences at KU.

Study at Korea University

KU’s GSIS provides International Studies and Korean Studies degree programs. Regarding the International Studies, the program is divided into four courses, which are International Commerce, International Development & Cooperation, International Peace & Security, and Area Studies. I pursued my degree in International Commerce to develop my expertise in international economics and business. Even though my course was International Commerce, I was able to take not only classes related to my course, but also classes in other tracks as core elective subjects.

Most of the classes are organized in an active learning style, and students are encouraged to initiate and get involved in class discussion as well as give a group presentation for each subject. Through studying at KU, I could not only deepen and broaden my academic knowledge from a wide variety of classes, but also improve social skills through discussion and group presentation in the class. At the beginning, I was not good at public speaking and had a passive attitude toward group discussion and presentation. However, through a lot of experiences of group work and the active learning style, I has gradually become confident and able to proactively speak out my own opinions while I learned how to work effectively and efficiently in a team work.

As a double degree student, I wrote a master thesis entitled “The Impact of ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on Foreign Direct Investment”. Currently, FTAs with ASEAN (ASEAN+1) have been actively negotiated to achieve a position as representative production networks in Asia as well as to promote intra-regional trade. With this trend, a lot of research has been accumulated on the relationship between FTAs and FDI, and scholars have been debating whether FTAs have a positive impact on overall FDI activities. To academically contribute to solving this controversial research question and to verify the economic validity of FTAs, I analyzed the impact of ASEAN-Korea FTA (AKFTA) on FDI flows into Korea and ASEAN countries by employing the knowledge-capital model. I was successfully able to publish my master thesis in an economics journal in Korea, which has enabled me to improve academic writing and research skills.

Life at Korea University

Life at Korea University and in Seoul as a CA student was very productive and fulfilling. I had ample opportunities to have invaluableexperiences throughout the CA program. First of all, I was able to participate in the annual CA risk management symposium in November 2018. Many well-known professors and specialists from top-notch universities as well as international organizations were participating in the symposium to share their view of risk management from various perspectives for peace and security in the globalized world. As a CA student, I gave a presentation about my research mentioned above at the symposium and I was able to obtain beneficial comments and advice from participants. This irreplaceable experience helped me to enhance important skills needed for international cooperation from the risk management viewpoint.

Moreover, I had an opportunity to visit the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS) in December 2018 as a CA field trip. TCS is an international organization established and officially inaugurated in Seoul in September 2011 in order to promote peace and common prosperity among China, Japan, and Korea. I was able to learn about work at TCS and also about how to work with government officials efficiently and effectively as a specialist to achieve peace in Asia. Thanks to the field trip at TCS, I not only obtained various networking with international organizations, but also enriched perspectives on working in international fields.

Overall, I have benefited a lot from this CA double degree program, which will definitely contribute to my future career and success. I very highly recommend all Japanese, Chinese and Korean (CJK) students to participate in this Campus Asia Program to build more strong ties among CJK countries as well as to cultivate human resources that are ideally suited to the demands of the new times for peace and prosperity in Asia.

Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Ogawa for encouraging and supporting me to participate in this program. Besides my supervisor, I owe my profound gratitude to all Campus Asia, Korea University and Kobe University professors and staffs who provided me this invaluable opportunity to conduct my research in Korea. Last but not the least, I am very grateful to my family and my friends for their warm support and encouragement for my study as well as my daily life.

Authored by Ryoma Kanazawa (Master Student)


Related Link: Campus Asia Program

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