The whole world is connected like a village at present. As the importance of globalization grows, manymultinational companies want global-minded people who foresee further and think more widely. Thesetendencies, as time has passed, have influenced the educational field. Lots of leading universities focuson international academic exchanges between more advanced universities from different countries.
It is anurgent subject to not only other universities but also the UOS.The UOS runs diverse international exchange programs to foster a global sense in the best and the brightest.First of all, the exchange students program has sent thirty students every year to foreign countries such as China,Japan, Russia, Mongolia, Turkey and so on. Recently the UOS expanded the agreement to include the USA,Canada, the UK and France.
Also the Global Leadership Program (GLP) has offered an opportunity to an averageof 200 students per year to broaden their experiences since 2001. Moreover the UOS has sent about 170 studentsabroad every year to study foreign language and culture through Overseas Language Practices.However, in spite of these fine programs, a recent university evaluation by JoongAng Ilbo underetimatedthe UOS international exchange program. News@UOS surveyed 100 UOS students concerning internationalexchange of our school.
Our question was `Are you satisfied with the present international program at theUOS?` As a result of the questionnaire, 28% of students chose `perfect`, 56% of students chose `normal`, therest chose `incomplete`. It showed that existing UOS international exchange programs do not completely satisfystudents` needs.
Students also chose the lack of lectures in English as a primary improvement to the internationalexchange programs of the UOS. KAIST announced that 100% of its masters and the doctoral lectures and10% of bachelor lectures will be in English, and Seoul National University has decided that more than 30% oftheir total lectures will be English-speaking.
Prof. Keum Hieyeon of the Dept. of International Relations said"the percentages of English lectures and foreign professors will be increased soon. What are more important arenot the percentages, but the quality of English classes.
The UOS is putting lots of effort to better the quality ofclasses nowadays."Academic exchanges between the UOS and foreign schools are also insufficient.
International academicseminars are one of the best opportunities for students to gain a global perspective. Recently German studentsfrom Munster University visited the UOS to make a joint graduation project with the Dept. of Civil Engineering.Such academic exchanges with foreign universities are a great way to make the UOS internationally renowned.
It is also important to increase the number of exchange students coming to our school. It`ll help students toincrease their global awareness and will benefit both foreign and Korean students.We also have to think about which schools we exchange with. Tokyo Gekugei Univ., Yokohama Univ. ofJapan, Fudan Univ., Beijing Union Univ.
of China, and National Univ. of Mongolia are some of the most prestigiousuniversities in Asia and the world. It’`s inevitable and necessary to have broader exchange programs withmore diverse universities from the US, the UK and Europe. The UOS is on its way to increasing numbers ofexchange students and schools significantly in 2007.Although the UOS has a program called `UOS Buddy` to provide support for exchange students with theirdaily lives and school assignments, the rest of the programs` contents decidedly poor.
Kookmin University hasa program that teaches foreign students Korean culture during vacation. They help foreign exchange students toadapt to Korean culture and be devoted to their studies by holding events such as the `Speaking KoreanContest`. It is necessary to make an effort to improve the quality of the program, not only the number of foreignstudents participating.
The global cafe is waiting to be opened inthe UOS for Spring Semester 2007. Prof. Lee Joo-kyeong, Dept.of English Language and Literature told News@UOS, "The studentscannot speak any Korean when they are in the cafe, but onlyEnglish, Chinese, Japanese and any other foreign language." Thisglobal cafe will give both Korean & foreign students great opportunitiesto keep their global perspectives sharp.
Korean studentscan feel the atmosphere of other cultures and foreign students willhave an easier time adapting to Korean society and its culture."Opportunity follows struggle. It follows effort. It followshard work. It doesn’`t come before" American scholar ShelbySteele once said.
The UOS should prepare for the voyage to theworld so as not to fall behind but to excel above others as world isgetting smaller. There are already many great programs and moreare on their way. Needless to say carefully crafted programs areimportant but more important is the students` positive attitude andtheir involvement in these programs.
When both school and studentsstrive for the future, the synergy effect will be much morethan expected. International exchange programs and global programscan bring out much more than we can imagine. Feel thewinds of globalization!