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  • 작성자 사진Kim Jae-hyun

[On Campus] Exchange Student Buddy A.G.A!

Apr 18, 2022 / No. 157

Many universities around the world have an exchange student system. At Ajou University, there are students who go to various universities abroad and come to Ajou University to learn through the exchange student system. Ajou University has an organization that helps these students called The Ajou Globe (the AG). Meet the A.G.A president and her buddy currently working at the A.G.A.


Moon Ji-won (4th grade, the Department of French Language and Literature, A.G.A president)

Q. What kind of activities does A.G.A do?

A. Basically, you can think of it as an exchange student helper. Students who come to Ajou University as exchange students are a part of the international exchange team and help as students of the same Ajou University. Before COVID-19, major activities such as the airport pickup, Seoul tour, welcome and farewell parties were held. During the COVID-19 period, we conducted campus tours, field trips, and delivered Korean food to our friends in self-quarantine. Usually, three to four buddies are assigned to each student, and you can have fun with them.


Q. What did you expect from A.G.A?

A. I like to go abroad and listen to various people in various countries. The way of thinking that I had developed in Korea was broadened when I went abroad. I started doing A.G.A activities to communicate with people from various countries.


Q. What do you like about A.G.A?

A. I didn’t travel to Korea very often while I was living here. However, I got to know many good places in Korea while traveling with my exchange student friends. Thanks to them, I became interested in new discoveries about Korea and international issues. In the case of the Ukraine-Russia war, I realized that it was much bigger than I thought while talking to exchange students, and I continue to be interested in issues such as COVID-19 restrictions due to the different scope of activities depending on the restrictions. Last but not least, it’s always nice to meet friends from various countries in Korea.


Q. What was the hardest thing about A.G.A?

A. There were many difficulties I encountered while working as president, but I prioritized A.G.A and invested more time in it than studying. When ordering Korean food from friends of self-quarantined exchange students, we needed to pay attention until the delivery was completed, and there were many things to do when planning the event. In some cases, these were canceled just before they began due to COVID-19. I think that was disappointing and difficult. However, I get encouraged by listening to exchange students saying thanks while dealing with them.


Q. What are the benefits of joining A.G.A?

A. What I like the most is forming human relationships, because you can form human relationships with various friends around the world. In addition, it is recognized as part of in-school volunteer time, and additional points are given when applying for an exchange student program. Above all, I think the biggest benefit is that I can hang out with exchange students while living in school.


Q. What kind of people would you recommend for A.G.A?

A. I want to recommend it to everyone who wants to hang out with foreigners, practice speaking foreign languages, or is interested in foreign countries. Since it is a global society, I meet many foreigners, and I would like to recommend it to people who are afraid of English because learning English is a necessity, not an option. Even if you are not good at English, you can communicate only with your will. I hope you aren’t afraid and want to challenge yourself.


Q. Please say what you want to say!

A. I was busy but happy doing A.G.A. I want to say thank you to all the exchange students who had a good time with me, and I also thank the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for giving me this opportunity. I hope the A.G.A members and exchange students who work together will finish the rest of the semester safely.


Max (from Austria, the Department of Industrial Logistics in Austria, exchange student)

Q. How did you find out about A.G.A?

A. As an exchange student, I was invited to join an A.G.A right at the beginning and I was wonderfully supported even before I arrived in Korea after answering all the important questions. We were divided into numerous buddy groups, where our buddies organize various activities.


Q. What kind of activities did you do in A.G.A?

A. Last semester, trips, hikes, and some dinners were organized by the A.G.A. buddies. In order to make new friends and experience great things, I tried to join these activities as much as I could. For example, we took a day trip where we dressed in traditional hanbok, visited a market, walked along the beach, and had a good meal. Other groups also went to Everland and visited sights in Seoul, among other activities. Everyone had a lot of fun, we bonded as a group and we were able to see new sides of Korea.


Q. What did you like about A.G.A activities, and what would you like to improve?

A. We were able to discover new places that we might not have visited ourselves and it was incredibly fun every time. The activities, in my experience, were also always perfectly organized and we usually didn’t have to worry about anything except getting to the meeting point on time. I also particularly liked the fact that we could order Ajou jackets, sweaters, and T-shirts through A.G.A. I also liked that the activities were not compulsory; everyone was free to decide if they wanted to participate in them and sometimes it was also possible to change groups if the activity of another group suited me better. There was no particular point for improvement.


Q. What do you want to say to foreign students?

A. For exchange students who have just arrived this semester, I would advise them to make the most of their time here, as time goes by insanely fast. I wouldn’t take learning too seriously either, as I think a semester abroad should be more about gaining experience and making friends from all over the world. Of course, the most necessary things should be done. The A.G.A buddies are also always available for advice and sightseeing tips, so just ask them if you want to know anything, they are happy to help!


 

By Kim Jae-hyun, AG Reporter

zxc2337@ajou.ac.kr


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