We participants experienced such scorching heat from Shanghai in summer and such piercing cold from Harbin in winter that there was a joke that the KU-China Global Leadership Program was like being in the “Extreme Experience Program.” There were so many times the severe weather was tough. However, it was also a valuable time to see how people live in and survive such hot and humid summers and extremely cold winters, and to experience the rich cultural heritage that has blossomed from people’s adaptation to the climate. Over time, I deepened my understanding of how precious that time was.
@ Hyun-seo Park (’15, Department of Statistics)
Before I joined the program, I could only speak a little broken Chinese, with just a few disjointed words to express myself. However, having finished the program, I can now fluently communicate in complete Chinese sentences. In addition to learning language, I also wanted to better understand Chinese situations related to nursing, which is my major. So I decided to visit some hospitals in China and was able to get a glimpse into what it’s like at Chinese medical institutions. Also, I had a valuable experience learning about the Chinese health care system, including its insurance programs, through interviews with Chinese people. @ Minji Kim (’13, Department of Nursing)
I had harbored the vague notion that it was too late for me to acquire a new language. But I found I was able to really settle into my studies, inspired by the office workers I saw in Harbin and Shanghai working on learning a new language. A lot of students are tempted to become lazy and just waste their time during vacations. But I can assure you that I have spent the most meaningful time of my college life so far [in the program]. @ Chae-rin Kim (’14, Department of Food and Resource Economics)
In the future, I want to work across multiple business areas. To attain this goal, the Chinese market is critical and speaking Chinese is a must for me, and I wanted to lay the groundwork before graduation. Thanks to this program, I was able to achieve my goal and also made up my mind to become the type of person who gives opportunities to those who comes after me. @ Bong-kyun Kang (’10, School of Media and Communication)
I was a complete novice, scared of even trying to study Chinese, but my Chinese proficiency grew fast enough that at the completion ceremony of the summer program, I was able to give a speech in front of the presidents of Korea University and the Renmin University of China. After I learned how to approach and study Chinese through intensive language classes at home and abroad, now I have nothing to fear. I surprised myself by communicating fluently and naturally in Chinese after a two-month study abroad program. The KU-China Global Leadership Program has greatly changed the course of my life, and I am proud of my choice in taking on the challenge to learn Chinese. @ Sung-pil Lim (’12, Department of Materials Science and Engineering)
The KU-China Global Leadership Program enabled me to take a closer look at China. The best part was that I was able to witness with my own eyes how China is transforming, as well as learn its language. That little shiver of excitement and unfamiliarity that I felt after having a conversation with foreign friends in Chinese instead of in English awakened my passion for Chinese. My heart is pounding with excitement when I think about that future moment when my friends and I achieve what we have been dreaming of.
@ Joon-seo Pyeon (’08, Department of Statistics)
From the first semester of my third year, I started to seriously think about getting a job, my career, and my future. I was getting tired of thinking about what it is that I want to do and what I am good at, and feeling the pressure to be successful rather than enjoying learning. But thanks to this program, I now can talk about my dreams clearly. How well I can speak in Chinese after just a two-month experience isn’t what matters. Rather, I think it was more meaningful for me to spend time getting to know what to do and how to prepare for the next twenty years. @ Ho-yeon Lee (’11, School of Media and Communication)
Before taking part in the KU-Latin America Global Leadership Program, I had a vague longing for Latin America and also some concerns about its safety. During the two-month program, however, I was able to escape from my narrow vision that was limited to Korea while improving my Spanish proficiency. I killed two birds with one stone—improving my Spanish and experiencing the beautiful natural environment of Costa Rica. @ Joon-yeob Cha (Department of Geography Education)
Everything in Latin America, from its climate to the cobblestones on the ground, was new to me and made me want to explore it more. I felt like my experience there told me how small the world I’d seen up until then was, and it ignited my sense of inquisitiveness toward a broader world. I believe this will be a great beginning and the foundation of future explorations. @ Dong-yoon Jung (Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences)
At first, I just joined the program wanting to learn Spanish, but I got a lot more from seeing and feeling the various values and beauty on the opposite side of the globe. I also reflected on the times when I had lived with tunnel vision. Since I am now confident that Latin America will offer great opportunities on my path to achieving my dreams, I have been studying Spanish persistently. @ Harim Song (Department of Statistics)
It is no exaggeration to say that my turning point in college has been my participation in the KU-Latin America Global Leadership Program. I think it is this program that equipped me with the strong abilities to survive wherever I am and to create a thorough and viable plan and push ahead with it. @ Ji-young Han (Department of Political Science and International Relations)