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Tuesday,November 29,2022
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English signposts for foreign students

   
"On my first day at DU, I could not find my classroom. So I was puzzled and late for the first class." (An exchange student’s unhappy reminiscence).

Every new semester brings many students to Dongguk University (DU) from abroad. But several of them have experienced a great deal of trouble finding their classrooms. Why? It is because there are, as yet, no signs in English showing them the way. Students find our school getting globalized, but they do not stop considering the day-to-day problems that foreign students may face. This raises a question: Will our school be truly global just by increasing the amount of exchange students along with English-only lectures?

Last semester, even though DU renewed the signs for buildings and classrooms, all were still in Korean. Also, student facilities such as UDRIMS and E-class have no English services. According to Kim Heung-deok, a student of Design & Construction Dept. in Korea Univ., Korea University (KU) has already begun to create English signs for foreign students. In their 100th anniversary in 2005, and as part of their globalization strategy, KU standardized its own colors and fonts for English signs.


Kim Pan-dong, an official from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS), said "HUFS specializes in Foreign Languages.  That is why so many foreign students are studying on campus.  That is why, since this college was founded on the principle of teaching foreign languages, we have taken care to install English signs with English expressions.”  These two universities are known for being well equipped with signs and websites in English.
Fortunately, DU is now putting English translations on every signpost on campus; but this work is still behind a lot of other schools. DU should make a special effort to take the lead on this issue; for example, by using both English and Korean in UDRIMS and E-class.


DU has 750 foreign students, and is planning to create even more exchange programs. The school also endeavors to help foreign students through a Service Center for Foreigners. Now is the time to show more consideration for the foreign members of this university.

 

Kim Tae-hyang  kimtaehyang@dongguk.edu

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