The Global Career Development Internship Program (GCDIP) is a 7-8 week program offered by the University of British Columbia (UBC), Continuing Studies to international undergraduate students preparing for a professional career. The GCDIP curriculum is a combination of interactive communication and culture, professional skill development and an internship (Excerpts from its web site).
The Post interviewed a GCDIP participant Park Yeon-joo, a sophomore majoring in Management at Dongguk, and she had this to talk about the program.
What are the advantages?
The Internship program consists of two large parts: the classroom based part and a workplace internship part. Personally, I found the classes at UBC covering cultural differences between Korea and Canada very exciting. There, students discussed and presented their ideas in English. This helped me a lot to get through the job interview in the company at Vancouver.
The most enjoyable aspect of the Internship is the fact that international students can develop global capabilities by working together with culturally different people in unfamiliar territory. It was such a pleasure to meet foreign students from various countries including India, China, France, Taiwan, Hungary and Canada.
What are the disadvantages?
The bad thing about the Internship program is that workplace Internships - approximately four weeks in length - are unpaid. When considering that Canadian students get paid for the same job, I think no payment for foreign students is rather biased and unfair.
As for the classroom based part of the program, it is unsatisfactory that class students are formed only with Korean students even though foreign professors preside over the classes.
Money does matter
I have spent a total of 5,000,000 won on the Internship program. In spite of the fact that 2,000,000 won was given by the Korean government as a subsidy, the burden is still quite heavy for students because they still have to pay for their choice of Home stay, housing and living expenses. In my case, I could save some on the living expenses because my relatives live near UBC campus. Once again, it is disappointing that the whole working Internships are unpaid.
Tips & Advice
As Internship placements are subject to the personal suitability of the students described on their documents, I strongly recommend that you take great care in writing down your exact field or position that you are applying for. Because I chose the marketing field for my preference, I had the opportunity to work for a department store in Vancouver. Internship types can range from the Metro to Hilton Hotels so you will definitely get your money's worth whatever your major is and how much money you have paid.
Last but not least, despite the negative aspects in the expenses, I believe that anyone who travels and lives for a short time in the City of Vancouver will fall in love with it by the end of his internship for its beautiful environment and hospitable people. For me it still feels like it was only yesterday.
Yun Sang-young firstname.lastname@example.org
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