Koo Sun-mo Desk of International and Social Affair email@example.com
Kim Min-jung Junior Reporter Sweetcity@hanmail.net
You now graduated high school and are making a specific plan about your university life. Let’s see what you are planning about. Dating, studying, club activity, earning money and so on. Let’s picture your university life which has your dream in it. You wake up at 6:00 a. m. and go to language school to study English. After this class you go to campus. In class you listen to your professor’s words, nodding with agreement.
The truth is, you read about this last night. In your free time between classes you may walk around your lovely campus, joke with your friends, or even work in the cafeteria. After all your classes you might go to your club or join your friends who study in the same department.
You will probably have a drink with them kidding around. When you arrive home you might be quite tired, but you will read a book or listen to your favorite musics finding peace inside yourself. Like you, many people dream about a fantastic life before he or she actually goes into university. You dream about yourself being a person who is a perfect A+ student but also plays well. You probably also hope to be very active in a club or even in the Students’
Association. But all this is quite profound. Now, let’s picture what activities one can do at university. Plus, let’s see what we can do here at the University of Seoul.
(1) On Campus
There are many activities that students focus on while at university. There are school study, activity clubs, small group activities called Somoim, and the activities about student associations. Many people think that the main role of the student is to study hard, and a lot of students know it.
But many students neglect their duties. Students try to study to get good grades, a higher grade on TOEIC and TOEFL, a job, and study abroad. These students win scholarships very often but they do not know the free time of university life.
Students think that school life is not only studying but also finding their interests and cooperating with other people. The students’ association plans introduction meetings for freshmen, returning students, and union meetings.
If you are high school students, you are not familiar with the small group called somoim. You may hear often about activity clubs, but not somoim. Frankly speaking, I heard it when I entered university. Somoims are similar to activity clubs but they are within departments. Nowadays they do sports but originally, they study their own field. Somoim is not diverse and is not managed well.
Instead, many activity clubs are available and it can be a chance to meet many different students. It is a little limiting to stay within their own departments. When they do not have class, they can see different people and get information about other studies. These meetings are a good chance to build friendships and love.
When students live near school, they usually gather to talk about their problems and drink alcohol. Many campus couples start in these groups. Isn’t it romantic to fold lovers’ arms and stroll through the campus together? However, sometimes, these students do not attend their classes and only devote themselves to their groups.
(2) Out of Campus
Do you know how many hours university students spend studying in a week? It is approximately 16-17 hours or at most, 20 hours. Some students only go to school four days a week. Don’t you envy them? Compared to high school life, studying 6-7 hours in a day, university life seems very easy and relaxing. So spending time outside the school becomes very important and difficult. The first activity is a part-time job. Many students think that they are now adults and want to be independent of their parents.
If you are a university student, you may have the experience of doing a tutor. Doing a tutor is an easy and comfortable way to earn big money. However, students feel it is so easy to earn money, that they spend their earnings carelessly.
Instead of a part time job, some students participate in exercising, teaching an evening class, or being university reporter. There are some students who swim or learn how to play squash tennis. Others teach poor children or write articles for university newspapers. These students try to show their talents or “Gui” in various fields.
There is something special at the University of Seoul!!
1. One of the Cheapest Tuition in Korea
The tuition at our school is very low compared to private universities. Our tuition is half the cost of other universities, and almost one out of three students here are on scholarship. If you are not too lazy, you can get a scholarship for our school. So many seniors would say to the freshmen that you don’t need a part-time job. Instead, study hard at the library where there are air conditioners.
A cooler study environment is best for learning. A scholarship is also much better for your body and your mind. The university is a good place for studying and if you spend your time at the library, instead of working, you can absorb and learn much more. Don’t you think this situation would be like killing two birds with one stone?
2.International Education and Exchange
Our school sends several excellent students overseas to study. Some of these universities include, The University of Akron, Morehead State University, and many others. Several exchange programs also exist in Japan such as Tokyo Metropolitan University, Yokohama National University, Tokyo Gakugei University, and Hiroshima Women’s University.
The Department of International Relations invites students from the University of Miami to learn Korean culture from our school in May. The administration pays half the cost and sends students to Mongolia and China to undergo rural life while on vacation. The school supports a trip to Yokohama National University in Japan. This year’s topic is the role of World cup interchange between Korean and Japanese teenagers.
Moreover, there is another event called ‘International Summer School’. Our school invites American, Japanese, Mongolian and Russian students to Seoul on vacation. Our students show them Korean culture, history and the heartbeat of Seoul.
3. Going Abroad Program for Students
This program supports 400 students who want to go abroad during summer vacation. It gives 1 million won to sophomores and juniors who pass a specific examination. Other universities such as Kyunghee University and Konkuk University have similar programs but they give comparatively small money (approximately 800,000 won) for a few students compared to ours.
Also, qualifying for the money is much more difficult at those schools. I was one of those who traveled this past summer vacation and was the envy of many other students. Managing students going abroad program, administrators faced many problems. But next year, the administration has promised to prepare more details and raise more support money, up to 2 million won, so that more students can benefit from this program.
4. Wow! Beautiful Campus
Do you remember the movie, “Have We ever Loved for Real” starring Kim Hye-soo on MBC in 1999? Did you know that it was filmed at our university? This drama showed our school’s beautiful Spring scenery including cherry blossoms, azaleas, and the blossoms of a golden bell.
In Seoul, there are only a few Departments of Landscape Architecture and ours is among the top. That is why we have such a beautiful campus. The film ‘Bungee Jumping of Their Own’ was also shot at our school. The practice room for the Department of Environmental Sculpture was where Lee Eun-joo sculptured.
University life is neither fantastic like your dreams nor too tied up like high school. It can be changed depending on how much you devote yourself to what you do, and how you decide to lead your life. There are many different kinds of activities besides studying at the university.
It is a privilege for university students to gain diverse fields of experiences and discover what interests them. Moreover, how about going abroad to feel and learn a foreigner’s point of view? Various exchange programs and foreign visiting plans can help you extend the span of your thoughts.