Different Countries, Different Languages, but We Are All YU Students!
Different Countries, Different Languages, but We Are All YU Students!
  • 이다현 기자
  • 승인 2013.05.14 20:16
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After embracing the concept of the global village, Korean students have gone abroad to study and students from around the world have come to study in Korea. As a result, we can see many foreign students on our campus. There are almost 1,300 foreign students at YU. The percentage of Chinese students is the largest, but there are students from a variety of countries such as the Netherlands, Uzbekistan, Japan and France. The Observer conducted interviews with a Chinese student, a Filipino student and a Dutch student. We asked them about their opinions regarding their student life at Yeungnam University specifically and in Korea in general.
The present condition of foreign students at YUThere are currently students from 6 countries in Europe and 13 countries from Asia. There are 488 students from China. There are also students from 2 countries in the Middle East, as well as from North America and 3 countries in South America.
Dong-Bin Li,
Junior from China
Q) What are the differences between Korean university students and Chinese university students?
A) Korean students study very hard because of high tuition. In my country, students don’t study as hard because the tuition is cheap. The most expensive university tuition is 3 million won. In addition, Korean students work part-time, but Chinese students do not work part-time because part-time jobs are not part of the culture in China. The other difference is that Korean male students go to army when they are university students, but male and female Chinese students do military exercises after they graduate from high school and before they enter university for 15 days to 1 month. These military exercises are very hard. In addition, Chinese people volunteer for military service.

Q) What do you think about Korean university life compared to Chinese university life?
A) In China, the first semester starts in fall and morning classes start at 8:00a.m. We do not have class from noon to 2:00p.m., so we can take a nap. Korean students only hang out with friends from their college, but Chinese students interact with students from all the colleges in their area. In addition, all colleges have athletics competitions every year. In China, when freshmen enter a university, the university holds a concert for them. This concert does not have celebrities, instead students perform comedies and hold a song contest. Moreover, most Chinese students live in the dormitory even if they live near the university, and we study independently at night, but most Korean students commute to school.

Q) What do you think about the differences between Korean and Chinese university class style?
A) Korean university classes take a long time, but Chinese university classes are only for 45 minutes and there is a 10 minutes break time between the classes. In China, university classes can not be interactive because too many students are in one class. Furthermore, Chinese students often skip classes because professors do not check attendance. Other than that, all students are required to take Chinese history and Chinese philosophy when they are freshmen and sophomores regardless of major. In addition, Korean students write a graduation thesis, but Chinese students write a graduation thesis and they must pass an English test.

Q) How do you want Korean students to treat you?
A) I hope Korean students do not generalize Chinese people simply based on what they see in the mass media. Please be good to Chinese students and do not have bias. We also hope to have many programs and activities that foreign students can participate in during festivals.

Joanna Clemente, Media & Communication, Freshman from the Philippines
Q) What do you think about Yeungnam University’s welfare facilities?
A) They are very big and well equipped. The 2nd floor of the lounge in the Office of International Programs and the University Library are very clean. I can use the healthcare center easily by just paying a little money. I think it is very convenient for students, especially those who are not living with their family.

Q) When did you feel culture shock in Korea?
A) I was surprised by the drinking culture. I felt amazed about the method of drinking alcohol. For example, Korean students mix various drinks. Moreover, I felt shocked by how well Korean students drink.

Q) How would you like Korean students to treat you?
A) I think Korean students find it difficult to approach foreigners. Some of them feel comfortable talking to foreigners while others are shy. However, I just want to tell Korean students not to be afraid to approach foreign students and to be friendly. I hope we can all get along well and help each other.

Jaap, Business, Graduate Student 2nd semester from the Netherlands
Q) When did you feel culture shock in Korea?
A) I have lived in the dormitory in my country and here in Korea. Korean dormitories have many rules, and they tend to regulate students unlike in the Netherlands. The size of the rooms is also very small. In addition, I felt shocked when I saw Korean people eat food from a common bowl and not individually, especially when they eat jjigae.

Q) What are some differences between Korean university students and Dutch university class styles?
A) Dutch students do not study as hard. After class, we often go to a pub. However, Korean students usually go to the library or a cafe after class. Moreover, Korean students do not like being physically affectionate when they date. In the Netherlands, couples kiss and show a lot of physical affection on campus. However, I see many Korean couples only hold hands.

Q) What do you think about the differences between Korean and Dutch university class styles?
A) In Korea, students make presentations and ask questions to professors, but professors do not ask questions to students. They just give lectures. However, professors in the Netherlands and Europe in general like asking questions to students. We prefer a more interactive class style.

Q) What do you think about Yeungnam University’s welfare facilities?
A) They are very good. The library is very huge and has excellent resources. When I went to the healthcare center, I did not have to wait a long time, but the doctor could not speak English, so I felt a little uncomfortable.

Through these interviews, The Observer hopes to show how foreign students think about Korea and student life. On campus, there are many foreign students, but many of us might not feel comfortable striking up a conversation with them. We do not know as much as we think we do, so we must not have biases toward foreign students when we approach them. It’s time for all YU students to think about what we learn from each other.

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