Before the outbreak of COVID-19, KU had had various kinds of international programs: student exchange programs with 38 universities around the world, language training, and cultural programs. However, since the pandemic of COVID-19, great uncertainty has lain ahead of the Office of International Services of KU. Therefore, many students are wondering how they could get profitable foreign experiences. For the students who have plans to apply for the international programs, Kyungnam Times got some information from the Office of International Services.
◦ Global Buddy Program
Global Buddy Program is a matching program that connects an international student and a Korean student of KU. This program is designed to promote students’ second or third language capabilities as well as adaptation support for international students at KU. Fortunately, the program is working without any problem despite the pandemic. The buddy recruitment of the first semester of 2021 has completed. The result was announced on March 24, and the orientation was held on March 26. Buddies have begun their activity as scheduled as of March 29. It seems clear that this program will continue next semester as well. Therefore, if you are willing to improve your foreign language ability, you can apply for the program next semester.
There are some recommended and required qualities for the program. First, the applicants should be students of KU. Second, they should be willing to embrace different cultures and must be able to tutor foreign students. Third, there may be a preference for applicants who can speak foreign languages: Chinese, English, Russian and Uzbek. Fourth, the applicants who are living in the dormitory may take advantage of recruitment. Fifth, there may be a preference for the applicants who attended the language classes at the Center for International Language. Finally, students who extended the semester, take a leave of absence, and attend graduate school cannot apply for this program.
◦ Student Exchange Program
Many students of KU may have heard about the student exchange program and wanted to apply for it. While KU is willing to offer students with affluent experience through student exchange programs, the programs of 2021 are considerably curtailed due to the pandemic. Despite the curtailment of the number of programs, some of them have still remained. According to the Office of International Service, application of the student exchange program to the US and Japan was done by March 23, and successful application will be sent to the countries in the second semester. Also, there are exchange programs to China and Taiwan. The exchange students to the countries had already been sent to the countries on March 1. However, the successful completion of the programs depends on the situation of the COVID-19. According to the office, the safety of students is the most important. The program may be canceled if any condition of pandemic, including individual prevention and situation of subject countries, gets worse. Student exchange programs require students to have enough ability in the foreign language they wish to speak. For instance, IBT TOEFL, JLPT and HSK scores are required to certify your English, Japanese and Chinese proficiency. If you want to have more than six months of foreign experience, you can apply for this program next year.
◦ Culture-Language and Online English Training Session
Culture-Language Training Session was completely stopped in 2020. Unfortunately, the programs for the first semester of 2021 have also been canceled. According to the office, the strict quarantine guidelines of Japan, Korea and the United States have been obstacles for the sessions. The number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases per day in the US exceeded 70,000 on April 14. Fortunately, the session of 2021 has not completely canceled; the winter session is still on plan.
Students can also apply for an Online English Training Session with De La Salle University in the Philippines. During the vacation period of 2020, the session was held, and many students of KU applied. A student who attended the session said, “it was one of the most practical English training programs in KU.” You can learn various English abilities including writing, listening, speaking and reading. The competent faculties of De La Salle will help you to improve your English fluency in many ways. According to the Office of International Services, they are making plans to expand the vacation program to school semesters and vacations.
◦ Global Hanma Program
KU has invited many students from associated universities abroad to Korea and provided them with affluent Korean culture experiences. If you are a student of KU, and have interest in international programs, you can apply for this program. In this program, you can volunteer as a staff member. You will serve as a team leader, and guide students from other countries. This program is held every summer and winter vacation. If you have a volunteer certificate or certificate from a language proficiency test, you can submit it to have an advantage in recruitment.
In the middle of an unprecedented pandemic situation, many students give up experiencing foreign countries. However, KU is still offering various kinds of global programs. Do not hesitate to apply for them.