|▲ International students are cooking side dishes in front of Myeongjin Hall|
However, a comprehensive program to manage and help international students from admission to graduation has never existed. Therefore, the college of liberal arts has officially started a program to help international students adapt to life at the university.
During the preparation process, the college designated a budget for the program on April 27 and held a meeting for teaching assistants in charge of international students on May 13. Then, on May 16, the program was implemented.
The college of liberal arts plans to institute a tutoring program (international-Korean student mentoring program), to offer major subjects for international students only, to select professors responsible for the international student system, to make a manual for teaching assistants in charge of the students, to make an academic affairs guidebook for the students, and to recruit teachers in charge of the students.
The tutoring program is similar to the Dongguk Bud system to assist exchange students from sister schools of Dongguk University, but this program is different. The tutoring program is for international students as well as exchange students, although it is currently limited to international students in the college of liberal arts.
To explain the purpose of offering major subjects for international students only, Byeon Seung-jae, head of the liberal arts college administrative office, said, “When Korean students and international students take classes together, they can become dissatisfied. For example, Korean students expect lectures to be conducted using advanced Korean, but professors may often simplify their lectures to help international students who have difficulty comprehending the entire lecture. On the contrary, international students may earn poor grades because of the language barrier. For these reasons, the college of liberal arts is planning to offer at least the classes of major subjects for only international students to satisfy all students from Korea and foreign countries.”
Also, there are many other plans. The precise timing of all plans is unclear, but the college of liberal arts is in the process of fostering a more suitable learning environment for international students.
Event for international students in the college of liberal arts
On May 23, a booth for international students in the college of liberal arts was set up in front of Myungjin Hall at 5:30 PM. The booth served as the venue for the first event for students to experience the program. It was a meeting place for international students, Korean students, and Dongguk faculty members. Many people visited the four tents where international students cooked side dishes and served them to guests. All proceeds from the sale of alcoholic beverages and side dishes will be used to support the international students.
Upon visiting the booth, Kim Yu-young, a mass communication & journalism major, said, “This booth is really fun. This is a new experience for me. There are many nice international students. I just met Yang Young, a Chinese student, for the first time, but we have a lot in common. International students seem to be a lot like Korean students. I hope more events like this will be held soon.”
|▲ Yang Young, the representive of international students in department of Korean and Korean Lliterature, is standing in front of the booth for international students in the college of liberal arts|
Yang Young, who majors in Korean and Korean literature, said, “Special events for international students are quite rare, so there has been a lack of interaction between Korean and international students. Even international students hang out in their own groups. I hope to meet many Korean friends and sometimes get help with my studies. I haven’t heard a lot about the new program for international students yet, but I’m excited about it.”
When asked about the newly established program to assist international students, Kim Sang-hyun, the president of the college of liberal arts, said, “The number of international students at Dongguk University has increased dramatically, so now we need to focus on providing the best educational and social environment for them as we can, instead of solely focusing on attracting more international students. All members of the Dongguk community should do their share to make our international students feel welcome and comfortable. I truly hope that international students can experience and learn many things at Dongguk University.”
Although the integration program for international students is only in the beginning stages, it is already making positive changes in the lives of international students at Dongguk University. Without doubt, international students are precious Donggukians just like Korean students. Therefore, The Post sincerely hopes more college-specific programs, or a university-wide program, for international students will be established in the near future.
Kim Eun-hye firstname.lastname@example.org
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