Dongguk University’s Office of International Affairs conducts various international exchange programs. Under the slogan "Dongguk in Global Outreach," they are responsible for academic exchanges with alliance universities abroad, student exchanges, and attracting foreign students to degree programs. A total of about 230 exchange students, about 180 English-speaking students, about 30 Chinese-speaking students, and about 20 Japanese students, came to Dongguk University recently. For this reason, more active interactions with international students are expected at Dongguk University. The Dongguk Post would like to introduce various exchange programs where Dongguk University students can participate and broaden their global perspectives.
Donggukians interact academically with international students
Firstly, there is an Exchange Student Program. The Exchange Student Program is a program in which international students at alliance universities, which have signed an academic exchange agreement, and the students at Dongguk University complete non-degree courses at each other’s schools for one or two semesters. Dongguk University has been operating English-American, Chinese and Japanese Exchange Student Programs. Many schools in Asian countries including China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, American countries including the United States (U.S.), Brazil, Mexico, and many other countries in Africa, Europe and Oceania have signed agreements with Dongguk University. In 2022, students from 33 countries visited Dongguk University. Among undergraduate and graduate students, including students with a leave of absence, they can participate in this program if they meet the qualifications for applications such as completion period and grades, and language standards of the target school. The recruitment usually starts six months before the semester begins. Students need to submit the application, interview with professors, participate in orientation and take the entrance permission of the dispatched school. If specific conditions are met, scholarships such as partial reduction or exemption of tuition fees can also be offered. In addition, the subjects learned at the dispatched school can be recognized for credits through the examination of Dongguk University, trying to reduce the economic and time burden of participating students.
On top of that, Donggukians can participate in the Visiting Student Program. The Visiting Student Program allows students to study in overseas universities that have not signed an academic exchange agreement for one or two semesters. Unlike students who pay tuition to Dongguk University for the Exchange Student Program, there is a difference in that students pay tuition to the overseas university. They also issue a report card after the end of the study to receive credit recognition at Dongguk University.
Next, there are also certain academic exchange agreement universities where students can obtain multiple degrees. This is a program that allows students to study at Dongguk University for four semesters, and study at an overseas university for other four semesters. They can obtain both degrees from Dongguk University and the exchange university when they graduate. There are four available universities, the State University of New York, Stony Brook, Northeast Normal University, the liberal arts colleges of National Taiwan Normal University and the liberal arts colleges of Niigata University. Since the conditions and processes are complicated, it is recommended to participate in this program after sufficient consultation with Dongguk University’s Office of International Relations.
Additionally, international students can join International Summer School or Winter School at Dongguk University. They take classes and participate in cultural programs for about 15 days during summer vacation. Nevertheless Summer School classes for 2022 were conducted online through Webex due to the pandemic, those for 2023 will be offline as previous classes. The learning courses include Film & Digital Media, Meditation, Korean Language & Culture, and Business/Engineering. In addition, students can join Temple Stay, Nanta, Mountain Climbing, Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Tour and Seoul City Tour. Korean students also can join these cultural programs, participating as a staff or buddy. In 2021, Dongguk International Virtual Winter School was run for the first time. The participants also took online classes for two weeks during winter vacation. There were lectures about Introduction to Korean Film, Korean Language and Culture and Korean Popular Culture.
Donggukians join culture exchange programs
There is a culture exchange program where Donggukians can interact with foreign exchange students called Dongguk BUD. It is a one-to-one matching cultural exchange program that supports international exchange students to adapt and live well in Korea. All undergraduate and graduate students without restrictions on grades and majors can apply. They can meet students who can speak English, Japanese and Chinese. They play a role in supporting exchange students' degrees and life in general such as campus guidance, course application, issuance of the certificate of alien registration, subscription to bankbooks and mobile phone plans. In addition, direct exchanges can be made in the process of helping foreign friends. This program is recommended for students who want to improve their language skills and build relationships with international students at the same time.
Dongguk International Student Supporters Association (DISSA) is a foreign exchange student support team that supports international students’ adaptation to academic and Korean culture. They plan and operate several events for exchange students who visit Dongguk University. DISSA plays a role in planning and operating cultural exchange programs with enrolled students. It is a great opportunity to experience planning, operating, and promoting school programs. They also have opportunities to present or lead various events in front of many international students. About 230 international students visited this semester, and some DISSA events such as orientation, hiking and welcome kit distribution were recently held.
Moreover, there is a Global Buddy Program that helps international students of Dongguk Korean language school, who take regular Korean courses, understand Korean culture, and improve their Korean language skills.
Finally, International Week is planned for the first week of November. There will be booths with international students introducing their countries and schools. Dongguk University senior students who have experienced exchange students will be invited and talk about their experience. In addition, International Affair is planning to invite National Institute for Education Development or ambassadors of several countries to deliver more detailed information. Especially the students who are willing to study abroad can get qualified information, and many Donggukians will be able to enjoy and make international friends there.
As such, Dongguk University has a variety of international exchange programs on its own. According to Jung Jae-hoon, the manager of Dongguk University's Office of International Relations, they are planning "Diffusion-type of International Exchange." It is a model that enables long-term international exchanges, starting with short-term forms of international exchange. They are focusing on the on-campus programs this semester. He said, “We want to promote internationalization more actively. Before the pandemic, about 400 exchange students visited our university every year. However, many programs have been canceled and stalled since then. About 200 exchange students visited this semester and are thought to have almost recovered. From next year, we will normalize all programs and expand them further to provide students with many opportunities." He added, "Since international exchange programs require students' will, language ability, and economic conditions, student pools are limited. Therefore, our goal is to discover and encourage students who are interested. We are planning to provide information through multiple channels. There are many helpful programs for students, so I want to tell them to actively search and participate. Through various experiences, I hope students will receive many benefits provided by the school and enjoy a richer university life."
Hwang Chae-yeon email@example.com
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