Student Perspectives: Day 2
On day 3 of our trip in South Korea, I am reflecting on the hospitable and welcoming environment. Everyone had been so generous; and then we went to Sookmyung Women’s University. The Dean, administrators, and students made today one of my favorite parts of this trip thus far. We started the day with a presentation by the Dean where we were able to engage in some critical conversations around the need for Sookmyung, the University’s history, and the culture of students on campus. After the presentation, we went on a tour led by two Sookmyung Women’s University students. After this tour and getting lunch, we got a whole two hours to speak with Sookmyung Women’s Universities students. The conversation was amazing, as it felt like an exchange of information. While we were so interested in learning about their experiences on campus and their development, the students were just as interested in learning about ours. While the students were all undergraduates, they were reflecting and meaning making out-loud, similarly to some graduate students. They spoke about the competitive nature of academics and schooling in South Korea. It was inspiring to hear how much time and energy they invest in schooling. For the end of the day, we participated in a Korean cooking class with the students! This was great! Not only did we learn how to cook some of the Korean staple dishes (that I can’t wait to attempt in Fort Collins), but also we got to eat our dishes, converse, and laugh with the students of the university. Today was memorable for so many reasons, but I think my biggest take away is that South Korean women are powerful, strong, and some of the most dedicated students I have ever met. Their desire to learn and grow constantly is an inspiration.
Student Perspectives: Day 3
It’s Friday! We started off the day by visiting the Fulbright EducationUSA Center in Seoul, where we learned about their research programs and education abroad programs for students. The center provides briefings for U.S. schools on Korean education, advising, information on trends in Korean student mobility, educational fair support, promotion of scholarships and new programs, and much more. It was interesting to learn about the research topics students of Fulbright Korea have worked on, which included, education, women’s rights, North Korean defectors, psychology, urban planning, and nutrition. We learned that the number of grantees for Fulbright has increased over time, but we also learned about how issues of funding and Korean and U.S. political relations have made it challenging for the Korean government to support the Fulbright program. SAHE then had a delicious lunch over sizzling grills of Korean bbq, Korean traditional sides, and sweet plum tea.
In the afternoon, we had about three hours to ourselves to recharge and prepare for the CSU Alumni Reunion Reception in Seoul, hosted by the CSU Alumni South Korea Chapter. During the break, some folks went to the Gangnam underground shopping center, others explored Hongdae, and some relaxed at our Airbnb home. The evening was filled with great company as CSU SAHE was welcomed by CSU Alumni in South Korea. Great conversations were made over amazing Korean traditional dishes, and we were reminded that once a ram, always a ram. Go rams!!! So looking forward to our first weekend in Seoul~ 🙂
To an amazing new year with SAHE,