No.165 / Sep 4, 2023
The Ajou International Summer School (AISS) 2023 ended successfully. This time, The Ajou Globe (The AG) conducted interviews with Oh Dong-woo who works in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) and oversees the AISS and the participant of this year’s AISS for the readers interested in the AISS.
Interview with Mr. Oh from OIA
Q. Hello, could you tell us something about the AISS?
A. The Summer School program has been held 17 times between 2000 and 2016 as a short-term program. Although, the program was on a hiatus for 3 years since 2017, we resumed the program by conducting the International Winter School online due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The program marks its 20th anniversary this year. Many students participated in the AISS this year, including students from Taiwan, Germany, Lithuania, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Tunisia, Finland, and the United States (U.S.). The duration of the activities being 17 days from July 24 to August 9, 2023. Only those students who earned nomination from Ajou’s sister school and received high scores based on their cover letters including the purpose of participating in the International Summer School were selected for the program.
Q. Could you tell us about the special programs conducted during the AISS 2023?
A. Yes, we designed various programs like experiencing K-Culture with various hands-on training activities only for the participants. Students could enroll in classes to learn about Korean traditional food, K-pop dance, and Calligraphy. We also tried to deliver the excellence of Korean culture by taking the students to Suwon’ famous sites and various tourist attractions. The students of the Summer School watched the football match of K-League at Suwon World Cup Stadium, went to a movie at the Suwon Media Center, and visited the Bukchon Hanok Village and SEOUL SKY of LOTTE WORLD.
Q. Is there a reason that Ajou university does not run the program during the winter season?
A. The OIA conducts the program mainly in the summer season. This is due to some restrictions related to conducting this program arising because of the differences in the academic schedule between foreign universities and Ajou.
Q. Could you tell us about some advantages of the AISS that the foreign students studying in Korea can benefit from?
A. First, Ajou University has a geographical advantage because it is in a metropolitan area. Also, Ajou University provides students with good opportunities to experience K-pop, K-Drama, and K-Culture because of its convenience of accessibility to Seoul. In fact, many foreign students have gone on a trip to Seoul spontaneously with Korean Buddy students when they had no schedule for the Summer School.
Q. What would you like to tell the present as well as the future participants of the Summer School?
A. The AISS consists of programs that mainly focus on satisfying the needs of foreign students, and the responses of this year’s program have been great. Furthermore, foreign students can quickly adapt to Korean culture thanks to the Buddy and working scholars. I think the AISS is a good opportunity for the foreign students to learn more about Korea during their visit. We are planning to conduct this program on a bigger scale next year. Do show us your support. If you have further queries about our program, feel free to get in touch with me.
Name: Oh Dong-woo
H. 031 – 219 – 3521
Interview with student who worked as a Buddy
Q. Could you share with us your wonderful experience as a Buddy in the AISS?
A. Lee Yu-jung (4th grade, the Department of History)
Most of all, going out with foreign friends during the day when there were no classes was the most exciting thing. Going to café and some attractions that I liked made me feel like they were my real friends who can empathize with each other, not just a Buddy only valid for this program. Also, I was fascinated by the students who eagerly studied Korean because of their interest in Korea. They made me think that I could learn from them, although we were maybe of the similar age.
Q. What influence did being a Buddy in the AISS have on you?
A. I became confident in speaking English. Before this program, I used to be nervous about speaking perfect English, such as using correct grammar and pronunciation while conversing. However, now, I can speak English confidently without these worries. Furthermore, I have become confident to be friends with foreigners, regardless of their nationality, whoever shares similar interests like me.
Q. Would you like to say something to the future Buddy students?
A. I was so worried about befriending foreign students openly whose nationality, race and, culture were different. However, I was able to participate in the program happily thanks to other Buddy students, people in charge, and foreign students. I can say that I am so proud of myself and have no regrets. If you have ever thought about having friends from foreign countries during your school life, I strongly recommend you to apply for the Buddy program of the AISS!
If you are curious about the program and want more information, you can visit their website operated by the OIA through QR code. It explains in detail about the selection process, cost of the program, and provides a brochure related to this program.
By Seo Myeong-jae, AG reporter