In the 21st century, people live in a global village. Lots of foreigners visit Korea, and also many foreign students come to SMU to study. However, unlike a global world, in SMU, Korean students and foreign students hardly hang around together. Therefore, The Sookmyung Times asked some foreign students and Korean students about this problem.
Jin mi dan, Division of Communication ’09
I am not that friendly with Korean students. Especially, I do not have any relationship with my major students. Because of the competition to get a good grade, Korean students are not that kind to foreign students. I think this is the reason why Korean students and foreign students can’t have a real relationship. In my opinion, the problem of less relationship between Korean students and foreign students is that Korean students do not take interest in foreign students. Various programs are also needed to give a chance to Korean and foreign students’ relationships, but feeling interest in each other is more important than anything else. Introducing foreign students to Korean students in the beginning of semester can be a way to solve foreign students’ and Korean students’ relationship problem.
Kwon Beom, Division of Mathematics & Statistics ’10
First of all, I never took a lecture with foreign students, so I do not have a chance to be familiar with them. Therefore, I wanted to join the program which the Office of International Affairs leads; however, I could not take part. Some of it is my fault, but I think if I do not have interest in being friends with foreign students, I could not know the programs that the school prepares. Moreover, some Korean students do not join programs because they are too huge. For example, the mentor program will be for more than six months. It makes some students feel uncomfortable to join the programs. In my opinion, simple events like receptions will improve Korean students’ participation. Consequently, the school should prepare for a little event where Korean and foreign students do not feel uncomfortable, and promote it more than now.
Chenling, Graduate School of Pharmacy
I have Korean friends who work with me in the laboratory; however, I do not have other Korean friends. I think the reason for this problem is me because I do not have time to socialize with other Korean students. Moreover, because of lack of time, I could not participate in the programs that the Office of International Affairs leads. Most of programs are done Monday to Friday, but I have free time only on Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, I never had a chance to join the events. If the school makes events on Saturday and Sunday, it will be a chance to busy foreign and Korean students to join to make a relationship.
Lee So Young, Division of Communication ’10
I wanted to be familiar with foreign students, but I could not easily talk with them because of linguistic ability. Also, foreign students go around in a group, so it is hard to start a conversation. Therefore, I had talk with them only in a group work assignment. I wanted to join the program to make some relationships with foreign students; however, I could not do it because it is open to people who can speak English or other languages very well. Most programs’ purposes are not only to make a relationship between Korean students and foreign students, but also to make Korean students study other languages. This makes lots of Korean students feel uncomfortable to join the program to meet foreign students. To be a real friend, I think programs like festivals should be prepared, and also a talkative place should be made in school.
Nguyen Thi Cam Van, Division of Communication ’10
While doing group work, I have become familiar with Korean friends. I had a chance to do a mentor buddy program in school, too. Even so, I could not join in because my buddy mate went to study abroad. I think the school prepares lots of events. However, compared with various programs, students’ participation is very low. I suppose the reason of this problem is that students are so busy because of lots of assignments and lectures.
Kim You Jeong, School of English ’08, Member of U.R.I.
I am in the U.R.I., the leadership group of the Office of International Affairs. I have a foreigner in my family, so I enjoy talking with other foreigners and I like to introduce Korea to them. Therefore, I joined the U.R.I. and have a relationship with foreign students in SMU. In U.R.I., we prepare lots of programs. For example, in the term of festival, we made a program that Korean students and foreign students can talk together. By introducing foreign students’ culture to Korean students, we wanted to give a chance to get closer. However, participation was a little bit low. Also, we made a survival quiz program that Korean students and foreign students can join together, and it was successful. I think one of the problems of less participation is language. If Korean students open their minds to foreign students and think of them as same as other Sookmyungians, it will make Korean and foreign students much closer.
Om-Sreypov, Department of Biological Science ’10
I did not participate in events that the school prepared because I could not make time. Also, members who can join the program were limited, so I could not easily take part. However, thanks to my professor, I could make some Korean friends. He has introduced me to other Korean students and I could keep in touch with them. But, I sometimes feel that they are not my real friends because I do not have much contact with them. In my opinion, to be a real friend, I think Korean students should open their minds.