Three students visited the Dongguk Post office for an interview to talk about “Freshmen” in their country. Teodora (Teo) and Cornellia (Nella) are exchange students from Romania. Kim Seong-woon (Seong-woon) is majoring Korean language & literature at DU. What are the differences between Romania and Korea? Let’s listen to their experiences as a freshman in their country.
Q. Are boarding houses and rooms for renting common?
Seong-woon: In Korea, there are many university students who come from other regions, so it is easy to find many boarding houses and rooms for renting near universities.
Teo: What do boarding house and renting room mean? (After hearing explanation) Ah, then boarding house means homestay, and renting room means that you have to pay deposit. Romanian students usually live in dormitories. There are no boarding houses and rooms for renting near universities in Romania.
Q. What kind of programs do freshmen participate in?
Seong-woon: Freshmen participate in Orientation and Sae-teo (membership training for freshmen to meet seniors). They can get a chance to be friendly with seniors by drinking and socializing with them. While Orientation is held in a lecture room and pub for one day, Sae-teo is held in a pension (a rental house with full amenities, usually in the countryside) for several days.
Nella: We don’t take part in programs like those. Also, we don't drink. Instead, there are some contests only for freshmen. Seniors can’t participate in the contests.
Q. Do you think that it is important for freshmen to get along with seniors?
Seong-woon: Yes, I do. Because seniors help freshmen in many ways; they inform what courses we should take, how to register for courses, how to perform tasks, and so on. Furthermore, there are many events in each department where freshmen should get along with seniors.
Nella: I don’t think so. In my case, there were about 300-400 students in the same grade and department. In addition, there is a mandatory list for students to register for courses and it is changed each semester.
Teo: The number of students in a department is large and information is changed quickly, so it is more effective for students to adapt to university life for themselves. Seniors don’t care about their juniors. If I tell my junior: “Hello. I’m your senior. I'll help you.” Oh dear, how awkward!
Q. Are there many couples in the same department?
Seong-woon: Yes, I know quite a number of couples in my department. I think that it is because they are easy to see each other and become friendly with each other. However, I saw that they also broke up easily.
Nella: No. There were 2 to 3 couples among 300-400 students. Actually, the whole students were divided into several groups. Each group had 40 students and the groups did not often see each other, so it’s not easy for students to date.
Teo: I agree with Nella. There might be only one couple in my department. What does it matter? I don’t care about them.
Q. After entering University, when did you feel difficulty?
Seong-woon: When I was in high school, I did my homework just as the teachers told me to. So, it was tough for me to perform tasks without asking seniors about them.
Nella: I had many classes and no breaks. Therefore, I didn’t have much time to meet my friends.
Teo: Nobody told me where information was. So, I found information by myself. I went around my department, and I could find notices in various places. I even visited the head of my department to request information.
Q. Please give tips for freshmen in your country.
Seong-woon: Most of all, you had better drink well and build relationships.
Teo: First, be smart and talk a lot. Second, do extra volunteer work. Universities don’t care how many times you volunteered, and give no credit for doing it. But when you are going to apply to a company, it is very important.
Yun Seon-ju firstname.lastname@example.org
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