CULTIVATING PIONEERING INTELLECTUALS IN THE CITY OF MARCO POLO
- The first-ever academic exchange program between a South Korean university and Venice International University in Italy
- Nurturing well-rounded talents with a global mindset
- Offering a new paradigm for student exchange programs
Starting this fall semester, Korea University will offer an academic exchange program with Venice International University (VIU).
Located in Venice, Italy, VIU is an international higher education network—a consortium of 19 universities from all over the world. Its Globalization Program offers a non-degree student exchange program to international students from member universities. In order to help students gain international learning experience, VIU also provides a wide range of academic exchange opportunities, including joint research programs and problem-solving driven projects.
To join the VIU consortium, a university must undergo deliberation by VIU’s Strategic Committee and gain approval of two-thirds of the VIU congress, which is composed of the representatives of VIU member universities. Korea University is the first South Korean university to join the consortium, and KU President Yeom Jaeho was appointed as a member of the VIU Board of Directors.
For the VIU’s Student Exchange Program, Korea University will send two professors to VIU each year. In addition, up to 40 KU students will be selected for the program. The students will have interdisciplinary problem-solving based learning experience in multi-cultural, multilingual environments. They will also have opportunities to take 35 non-curriculum courses, including learning the culture of Venice and field trips to cultural heritage sites. Those who complete the student exchange program are eligible to apply for internships in Italy.
Korea University’s Office of International Affairs will offer beginners’ Italian lessons to help KU students selected for the VIU Student Exchange Program with their language learning.
VIU is also actively engaged in joint research projects with member universities as part of its summer short-term research programs for a wide range of levels, from undergraduate to post-doctorate, strengthening research networks among the member universities.
Venice is the cradle of Renaissance culture and a home to explorer Marco Polo. This international city of co-existing European and Islamic traditions is known for its rich history, culture, and art. VIU students can take part in the annual Venice International Film Festival and the Venice International Architecture Biennale.
Founded on December 15, 1995, VIU started as a consortium of seven educational and research institutions. VIU offers subject-based programs in order to strengthen networks among the member organizations and maximize its intellectual capital. It is also active in hosting workshops and events on a regular basis regarding a wide variety of topics, such as sustainable development, competitiveness in the global economy, and population aging. It also offers a Ph.D. Academy, Graduate Seminars, and other programs to foster collaboration among researchers and support researcher training.
The VIU consortium is composed of prestigious universities and research organizations, including Duke University in the U.S., the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, Tsinghua University in China, and Waseda University in Japan, all of which are known for their educational and research excellence. Korea University is hoping to increase communication with other VIU member organizations.
Venice—a city of water and canals and the center of Renaissance art—boasts a vast tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Korea University aims to go beyond educational and research cooperation within the consortium in order to provide KU students with a firsthand experience of Venice’s rich culture.
Sunhyuk Kim, the Vice President for International Affairs, said, “VIU is a new university network model designed to offer students wide international experiences. Its curriculums focus on global issues, so the student exchange program will be a great opportunity for KU students to gain global insights.” He added, “Korea University has a variety of international programs, such as short-term experience programs in Shenzhen, Helsinki, and other Innovation Cities, and language programs, including the KU-China Global Leadership Program, KU-Latin America Global Leadership Program, and KU-Japan Global Leadership Program. What makes the VIU Student Exchange Program different from these others is that it combines cultural experience with language learning. I hope KU students have a life-changing experience through this program.”
Unlike most universities in South Korea, which mainly focus on academic exchanges with higher education institutions in North America and Western Europe, Korea University is joining hands with world-class educational and research organizations in not only North America and Western Europe but also Northern Europe (Benelux and Scandinavia) and Central and South America. With an aim to become the hub of global networking, Korea University is making further efforts to develop academic partnership with universities in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.