The University of Washington (UW) was established in 1861 and it is the oldest state university on the Pacific coast. The university was located in Seattle which is the central city of Washington State. Seattle is a great city with a population of nearly 5 million people. Seattle is the representative city in the West of the United States. About fifty-thousand Koreans live in Seattle. The city has several Korean businesses including Korean Air, Korean restaurants, grocery stores and Korean barrooms.
About forty-thousand students go to the UW. This university is a large scale university, and excellent students throughout the United States go there. The University of Washington ranks in the top 20 along with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Applicants of UW have increased since the 1990s. UW was expected to rank comparably with the University of California Berkeley (UC Berkeley) and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 2000. Foreign students from 86 countries go to UW. Korean students have gone to UW since the 1950s. Now, Korean students have reached enrolment levels of about 150 students every year.
The university campus includes; College of Architecture and Urban Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, Business School, School of Dentistry, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Forest Resources, Information School, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Nursing, College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences, School of Pharmacy, Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, and School of Social Work. UW is famous for sciences and in particular the medicine program which is very distinguished for its research in cancer and heart surgery. The College of Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Aeronautics & Astronautics, and Materials Science & Engineering are the best in the world. These departments receive a lot of research funds and grants from the Boeing Company, Microsoft Corporation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Houston. In addition, the College of Forest Resources and College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences are also prominent contributors to their field of study. There are 3,600 professors at UW, and the ratio of students to professors is 11 to 1. Four professors in the Departments of Physics and Pharmacology received Nobel Prizes since 1989. There are 19 libraries with a total of 5,601,263 books, 6,432,950 microform data, and 56,292 magazines.
Introducing Sookmyung Women’s University as UW
UW set up a sisterhood relationship with Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU) on June 27, 2005. Currently there are only a few exchanges because the sisterhood relationship began only recently. Moreover, the University of Washington is one of the few universities to have Asian Studies.
Go Seong-jin, In Yea Yang, Lee JI-hyeon and Jiyeon Lee who are members of ‘The Scholarship Foreign Culture Inquiry Group,’ went to UW. They had time to travel from June 26 to July 5. All members were sophomores (in 2006), and majors in the Division of Education. This university holds a high rank in the field of information and community and for this reason they wanted to contribute to the awareness of SMU and Korean culture through the Global Project.
One of the team members said, “In fact, we had only one presentation day, on July 3, 2006. Before then, we visited a class with a professor’s permission. We took part in the class (the lecture seemed difficult for foreigners) and we became intimate with students. We thought that it was important to get know intimate with each other and emphasize that we are university students just like them. We exchanged contact information so that we could help them with their Korean studies. Our efforts had a positive and enthusiastic affect on them. The students of UW showed a great deal of interest in Sookmyung International Program. They were probably interested in the Korean culture experience during the summer quarter. They were also very curious about SMU’s long history of 100 years. Students asked about Korean dramas or movies that could help would be attractive only within Asia. We were worried due to unexpected questions, however we recommended Daejanggum and Winter Sonata and they were well received by foreign audiences. After we finished the presentation, we presented brochures relating to the Sookmyung International Program to the Office of Global Affairs. We simply introduced SMU and then, we made a promise with students of UW. Thus, our team successfully finished the Global Project!
Having Wonderful Memories: What Do You Feel after Your Trop to the U.S.A?
Firstly, Go Seong-jin said, “Actually, it was difficult at times, but after getting back, I felt that I got many good experiences, and had a chance to think of things differently. Even if I had paid money, I might not have gotten a better or more precious experience. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to SMU. From now on, I want many Sookmyungians to realize and feel the numerous things through this project.” Another member, In Yea Yang, answered this question: “We successfully accomplished all our objectives in the Global Project. Our team spent time with the students of UW and it had a positively influence in the class. Students constantly asked questions and the professor gave clear answers. I thought students were studying in the true sense of the word. We pledged to take part in classes next semester. I enjoyed the beautiful landscape of UW. I believe that SMU will also be a hall of learning.” Next, Lee Ji-hyeon said that she learned new lessons through this opportunity. “I got many things from this project. First of all, I got met valuable friends. I was thankful to my friends for my accomplishments without difficulty. They were an important turning point. Many people in the world carve out their future with passion; however I spent precious time in vain. It was the greatest lesson to me. I will always do my best in the future. From now on, I am Lee Ji-hyeon in the world, not just in Korea.” Finally, Jiyeon Lee learned another lesson: ”After accomplishing the global project, I was no longer a babe in the woods. Several students studied and read their books during the date for exams in Korea. However, in spite of the date for exams, there were many students reading their books on buses. Although one wears a beautiful skirt, she wears a backpack that is full of books. It is an unforgettable impression on me. They ask questions with ease. Their energetic attitude is a good lesson.”