Revitalizing Korean Villages with International Students
Revitalizing Korean Villages with International Students
  • Kim Na-hyun
  • 승인 2023.09.05 18:23
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(Provided by YU Multicultural Education and Research Institute)
(Provided by YU Multicultural Education and Research Institute)

  The ‘Global Village Creation’ project took place in Bongjwa Village, Pohang, in May. This initiative aims to revitalize rural areas by encouraging graduate students who study abroad to consider settling in Korean villages after completing their studies. Students visited the village exchange center during the project, explored cultural sites, and attended special lectures. The director of Pohang’s New Vitality Plus project delivered a special lecture on ‘Building a Sustainable Rural Social Development System.’
  Yeungnam University’s Multicultural Education and Research Institute (MERI) is responsible for organizing this project to rejuvenate villages in local governments across Gyeongsangbuk-do. The project has been running for two years, and last year, Seommari in Cheongdo was also included in the initiative. Multiple villages, including Cheongdo and Yeongcheon, intend to participate in the project.
  The main objective of the ‘Global Village Creation’ project is to provide support from graduate students studying abroad to revitalize villages in Gyeongsangbuk-do. It aims to counter the decline in these villages caused by low birth rates and aging populations.
  The Yeungnam Observer spoke with Professor Chung Yong-kyo, the head of MERI. He shared, “The global village creation project aims to invigorate aging rural communities. I hope this project is a positive example, allowing Koreans to embrace a multicultural society.” He expressed his desire to shed light on the positive aspects of villages, which often go unnoticed. He also emphasized the role of humans as integral community members. He stressed the importance of hands-on experiences in rural areas.
  International students who participated in the project noted that their experience in Korean villages helped them better understand Korean culture. They also mentioned that the project provided them with insights into the situation in their countries by comparison. They highlighted the technological advancements and robust infrastructure as advantages of Korean villages.
  MERI is involved in various other projects as well, such as hosting ‘Multicultural, North Korean Child Mentoring’ programs and engaging in state-supported multicultural initiatives. The ongoing ‘Capstone Design’ project at YU’s Department of Sociology is also connected to MERI’s activities.


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