Korea University has first foreign student to graduate with honors.
“One day, I want to export my own TV series, like The Goblin, to my homeland,” said the top graduate of the School of Media and Communication.
At 10am on Feb. 24, Korea University held its 111th graduation ceremony in Tiger Dome, Korea University. A total of 6,491 students – 4,367 undergraduates and 2,124 graduates – were granted their degrees at the ceremony.
The ceremony had a special student who came to the university from China and succeeded in graduating with honors this year. Wang Ping stood on the podium to represent the graduating class in the School of Media and Communication as the top graduate of the school.
It is first time Korea University has had a foreign student graduate with honors from one of its schools or colleges.
Since her younger days, Wang Ping has enjoyed watching Korean TV series such as Jewel in the Palace, which naturally led her to have a positive perception of Korea and to dream of visiting the country one day. After graduating from high school in 2012, she decided to come to Korea without knowing a single word of the Korean language. Before entering Korea University, she completed a language course at Dongguk University as preparation.
Even though she had been an industrious student during the language course, her days at Korea University did not start smoothly. Taking lectures delivered in Korean and studying her major in a language that was not familiar to her was far more difficult than she expected. During her first and second years at the university, she recorded all the lectures she took and repeatedly listened to the audio files after she came back from the classes. In doing so, she could improve her ability in Korean, and began to fully understand the lectures without recording them by the time she started her third year in Korea University. Her GPA in her junior year was 4.26 out of 4.5, proving that her efforts had paid off.
Wang Ping, who came to a foreign country all alone, also had to earn a living for herself. She had various part-time jobs, which helped her save money for her studies and also helped develop her conversational skills in Korean. On the days when she did not have classes or on the weekends, she spent her time working part-time jobs. Server jobs at diners or coffee shops were on the list of jobs she has had. She even appeared on a television program, the purpose of which was to introduce tour destinations in provincial areas of Korea. As long as there was an opportunity to work, she did not hesitate to challenge herself. Her proactive attitude allowed her to make money, meet new friends, and, of course, learn conversational Korean language spoken in everyday life.
“Korean seems easy to learn at first. If you go deep into it, however, you will realize that it is quite difficult to have a good command of it since the language has various expressions for different situations. Working part-time and watching TV series accelerated my speed of learning,” she said. Wang Ping continued, “There are some Koreans who do not view foreigners in a friendly way, but most Koreans I have met since I came here have been very kind and warmhearted people who did not discriminate foreigners. This was one of the things that made it much easier for me to adapt to living in Korea.”
Based on her excellent ability in Korean and high academic scores, Wang Ping was accepted by the largest IT company in China, Netis Systems, as a translator and interpreter right after graduation. The Chinese student, who came to Korea after being influenced by the Korean media, and is still dreaming of working for a Korean media company, expressed the ambition that she wants to export Korean movies, entertainment programs, and TV series like The Goblin to her home country in future.