On February 21, 2019 a Commencement Ceremony was held for graduating senior students in the DIS. During the ceremony several students received awards for their outstanding scholastic performance, including Kim Yi Chang, who was presented with the highest academic honor, the Dean’s Award. Other students receiving awards included (for Academic Excellence) Cho Hyun Sik, Park Min Young, Kim Minji, Kim Seo Ran, Yoon Ye Won, Lee Soo Ji, Hwang Da Youn, Hwang Eun Young, Shin Sunkyung, and (for Academic Distinction) Kim Jeong Eun, Jang Young Eun, Shim Young Hyun, Kim Kyun Jung, Ryu Yeon Ju, Yoo Hae Ji, and Jeon Suh Yoon. Additionally, Cho Tae-Young and Park Tae Young received the Achievement Award for the contributions they made to the DIS. The Valedictory Speech was delivered by Lee Soo Ji. The DIS wishes these students well as they move on to the next phase of their lives.
Hanyang University had its 80th Freshman Orientation on February 28, 2019. Starting out with a short lecture about Hanyang University and its future, the orientation consisted of a speech and a few performances by the school’s clubs. We also had a special event themed “The Paper Plane of Hope” where freshmen write down the things they hope for and look forward to in university life and send it flying. The students had a dazzling look on their faces as they began their university life.
- How did you come across this experience?
I actually came across it while going through Instagram. Young Samsung put up an advertisement regarding their program and I saw it on my way to work on the subway. When I saw it, though, I had about 6 hours left until the deadline and so I ran home after work to film a quick one-minute introduction video to apply.
- Tell us about the program.
There’s so much to say about the program but its main purpose is to cultivate contents creators. That includes video editing, reporting, writing journals and making card news. We were given three different tasks during the 6-month period of the program and we had the option to choose between the previously mentioned options of contents. Excluding the main purpose of the program, there’s just so much to do such as networking and having the opportunity to go abroad as a reporter representing Samsung.
- What motivated you to join the program?
I joined the program because I began having interest in video editing a few months before the application started. While taking an elective course I realized my passion for video editing and I wanted an opportunity to expand my knowledge in the field. Then I coincidentally came across the Young Samsung advertisement and thought this was the perfect opportunity.
- What was the preparation and application process?
Like I mentioned, I didn’t have much time to prepare because I didn’t know about the program until about 6 hours before its application deadline. In order to apply, I had to answer two questions regarding business and economics and create a 1-minute video introducing myself. I honestly didn’t prepare much because I didn’t have enough time but I definitely tried my best to include all the positive aspects of myself in that introduction video.
- What were some activities you participated in?
There were many activities that were provided by Young Samsung but I wasn’t able to participate in most of them due to my schedule. I was able to participate in the monthly conferences hosted by Young Samsung and of course the opening ceremony and the completion ceremony that lasted two days each. Also, I had the great opportunity to participate in starring for a set video content in Young Samsung called 지식플러스. There were so many other activities such as tickets to soccer games and operas that I regrettably wasn’t able to participate in.
- What was the best part of the program? The worst?
The best part of the program was the people. I was able to meet amazing people, especially my team members, the Samsung chiefs and Cheil Worldwide Pros. They were extremely supportive and always tried to find the best way to give us a perfect experience during the 6 months. I think the worst part was doing the tasks itself. Through the program I learned the hard work that goes into editing a short 4-minute video and the difficulties of making it happen from planning, requesting for interviews and re-editing according to the feedback that we received. Since it was my first time “professionally” editing videos, I had a very difficult time. However, now that I look back at it, I think through those hardships I was able to learn and grow a lot in terms of video editing.
- Would you recommend this to your friends or other students?
Yes, I strongly recommend this program to everyone. Since only university students are eligible to apply, I think everyone should take this chance and not hesitate to apply. Although it was a long and at times stressful 6 months, there was so much that I learned about myself through this program. Also, meeting people through Young Samsung is a big networking opportunity because the other reporters are so talented and you get to meet people that already have experience in the field. I would recommend this to anyone that has even the smallest interest in content creating.
Sarah currently runs a vlogging channel on Youtube, Sarahlog, and is planning to go on exchange to Germany this September.
Kukka Uimonen (DIS, 2016) and Julia Bärlund (Business Administration, 2016) are two of five student organizers of Hanyang University’s “Helping Hands Boracay Program”. Along with one staff member, they led 14 students to Boracay from February 20 to 27, 2018. In the following interview, the two students share their experiences working in the beautiful South-East Asian island.
1. How did you come across this experience?
Kukka: I heard of the competition from Julia. Then I received an email from Hanyang about a Global Volunteering Competition 2017 for full-time foreign students. The email invited students to submit proposals for volunteering projects abroad in order to contribute to the development of communities. It was also a chance to provide learning experiences for the participants. Our team of five Finnish girls got super interested in the competition because none of us had done anything like this before and found it a rare opportunity. We also participated in the Seventeen Hearts Festival where we promoted our program.
Julia: I was visiting the volunteering center for other reasons when I got introduced to this program. I realized this would be a program me and my friends would be interested in taking part in. So after briefly discussing and thinking about it, we decided to start planning our volunteering program proposal.
2. Tell us about the school program and your project.
Kukka: It was the first time the Helping Hands competition was held, and it was a great opportunity for foreign students at Hanyang. There are not many opportunities for foreign students, so we felt that we had to participate. We had to design a volunteering trip abroad, come up with programs, budget, find contacts, etc. Our team had five girls from Finland and we all had our own tasks to take care of. Surprisingly, our team was one of the two winners, so we had to make our proposal into reality, which was a bit more complicated than expected.
Julia: International students were able to make a volunteering program/trip plan for our school’s students according to our interests and realistic opportunities to actually make the plan happen. As it was directed toward international students, we wanted to show our interest in taking part in these kinds of programs. Our project’s main target was to protect the environment by raising awareness about environmental issues especially related to tourism and plastic-use.
3. What motivated you to start the project?
Kukka: I have been interested in environmental issues for some time now, so I wanted to focus on environmental issues in this volunteering trip. Julia and I met some good friends in Boracay in summer 2017 when we visited the island, and these friends told us about the issues there. We also fell in love with the island, so that’s why we decided to select Boracay as our location for the volunteering program. We also wanted to change the stereotypes people have about Boracay, since a lot of Koreans go there for holiday and they might think Boracay is a paradise island without any problems.
Julia: Kukka and I visited Boracay for the first time in the summer of 2017. We were expecting only the tourist location we could see on Facebook, but what we experienced was quite different. We got to know a lot of local people who actually live in Boracay, which let us to see other side of the island and how the massive amount of tourists affect the small island. Anywhere we go on this planet, there is environmental challenges but taking into consideration how many people come to Boracay every year (over 2 million in 2017), we felt that also tourists should realize what kind of consequences their actions might have on the lives of locals. Many people were perplexed about why we chose Boracay as the location to volunteer, but it made a lot of sense to us. It is important to realize that anywhere we go we have responsibilities to the local environment and everything might not be as perfect at it seems on the surface.
4. What was the preparation process leading up to Boracay?
Kukka: We first messaged our close friend in Boracay who works closely with the local government and asked him if it would be possible to go there with our university to do volunteering work. He helped us to get more contacts and then we developed our proposal after talking to them. We met as a team regularly, made plans, and designated roles for each of us. Then we held interviews for Hanyang students who wanted to join our program. After deciding our team members, we held an orientation where we told everyone about Boracay’s situation, our proposal and just hung out as a team. We also maintained communication with our contacts in Boracay and tried to make sure of everything was okay before traveling there. Finally, it was time to leave for Boracay!
5. What were some programs you did in Boracay? Tell us about the issues you were addressing.
Kukka: Our programs consisted of a coastal clean-up, educational program in the Indigenous people’s village, tree-planting, waste management educational lecture, and on-site visit and Red Cross Youth Camp. We had workshops everyday with our team to deepen the learning process and to get closer with each other. We also had a field trip day, where we had a lot of fun but also got to see the sad truth of corals’ current situation. During our trip, we were able to meet important people of Boracay, for example the mayor Ciceron Cawaling.
Our program mostly addressed the trash problem that Boracay (and the world) is facing nowadays. Tourism is important for Boracay’s economy, but it also brings many problems. Because of the high number of visitors Boracay gets on a yearly basis, they suffer from a huge amount of trash, and it is very expensive to bring the trash from the island to the Mainland. So, we wanted to encourage sustainable development on the island to prevent environmental degradation and promote responsible tourism to others and to our participants. One of the highlights from our trip was coastal clean-up, it really opened every participant’s eyes. Everyone realized the seriousness of the problem when we saw the amount of trash on the beach. I hope people realize that we really must start reducing our plastic use in our daily lives.
Julia: Our goals were mostly to raise awareness and to educate people as well as educating ourselves on the way. Our main themes were reducing plastic use, recycling our waste, and reviving nature. For example, coastal clean-up is done every morning on the island but the waves bring trash from the sea the same amount – every single morning. As we started our daily schedule with this activity, I am sure that it also made all of us students realize the seriousness of the issue with plastic and trash since we did not just read about it but actually saw the amount of garbage on the beach: from small candy wrappers to different kinds of shoes. After this experience we were able to educate the children on our workshops as well as in Ati village better, since we saw with our own eyes the problem. Single-use plastics are a huge problem, and all the people should realize this. We also experienced practical activities (e.g. tree planting) which made it easier for us to teach about the issues and made our own learning experience a lot more powerful.
6. How has it been since you came back?
Kukka: The experience really changed my mind-set and gave me a lot of inspiration. I get very anxious when going to E-mart and I see all the fruits and vegetables wrapped in plastic individually, or when I order coffee and it’s in a plastic cup with a straw. So, I have been trying my best to recycle, and reduce my plastic use by refusing plastic bags and straws. After this volunteering program, I realized I might want to work with environmental issues in the future after graduating from DIS. I also got new amazing friends from Hanyang, who participated in this program!
Julia: After such a time consuming project, it was weird to be done with it. As we as organizers of this trip learnt a lot, we feel that the HYU students that came with us also learnt a lot. We made new friends and a ton of memories we can never forget. Personally, this opportunity made me even more interested about environmental issues and deepened my passion to find solutions to these urgent matters. I miss Boracay, and especially due to the current situation of the island, I wish I could do more to help the environment and people there.
7. What were some challenges and is there anything you would have done differently?
Julia: It was challenging to manage such a big project for the first time; after all, it was 15 people going as a group this time. As we realize now, we might have divided responsibilities more evenly between the students, but this was also a learning experience for us. We had also some issues related to cultural differences with our contacts in the Philippines, since it was hard to make an exact and detailed schedule without meeting people face-to-face
Kukka: I’d have divided the responsibilities more among the participants. It would also have been handy if one or two of us organizers could have gone to Boracay beforehand to check the schedule and our volunteering locations before the rest of the group arrived.
Julia: Firstly, we could have made more preparations together with all of the students before the volunteering trip. Secondly, I agree with Kukka that two from our group should have gone a few days earlier to the island to make preparations, check the schedules and volunteering locations to avoid uncertainty and last-minute changes. In the end we got to do everything we planned on doing, but maybe next time we would opt for smaller group of people, studying more from different resources as well as being more concentrated on finding long-term future solutions together with the locals for their concerns. But all in all, it is hard to make long-term changes in just one week’s time, so the program should be continuous and long-term to actually achieve these long-term goals. In the end everything turned out well, and the bumps in the road made the trip an even more unforgettable adventure!
8. Do you still follow up with the situation in Boracay?
Kukka: Yes, and it will be very interesting to see what happens in Boracay in the future since it has been gaining a lot of media attention lately. I am also still messaging with my friends in Boracay and trying to get their opinions and updates. The locals are very stressed out and worried about the situation so I hope the best for them. I have really fallen in love with the island and locals there, so I wish I can visit and help them more in the future.
Julia: Yes. As many might have seen from the news, Boracay is going to be closed for six months from the end of April. We hope that it helps the islands situation: we hope that they find solutions and are able to implement them in this short period of time. What I am concerned about though is the fact that there will be a lot of people out of jobs while tourists are not coming to the island. I hope that the government has taken these issues also into consideration, even though I do agree that it is good in the long-term for Boracay to (at least try to) fix the problem with the sewage system.
9. What do you recommend other students do to help your cause?
Kukka: I wish all Hanyang students would consider their consumption habits more and reduce their plastic use. Easy ways to help the environment and oceans is to carry a canvas bag with you everywhere you go, so you don’t need to take plastic bags. Also, by carrying a reusable water bottle to school is a good option so you both save money and the nature by not always buying plastic water bottles. Furthermore, when you travel you can do it eco-friendly. Be a responsible traveler and respect the places and the people you visit.
Julia: The simplest way for everybody to contribute, not only to Boracay’s environmental situation, but to any travel location you visit, is to study about responsible tourism and act accordingly. Do not bring a lot of disposable plastics with you, and make smart, environmentally friendly and ethical choices locally as a consumer. For example, just say no to plastic straws, and carry your own shopping bag so that you do not need to get plastic bags every time you buy something. Big changes start from small actions, and we can all contribute to these problems.
A special lecture entitled “Ideas to Reality (How to get a job effectively)” was held on April 3rd in the International Building. Professor Min Byoung-Chul and Yong Min Cho, a manager at Google Korea, guided students on how to create passionate business proposals and pitch one-minute business ideas during the three-hour session. DIS students also learned tips on what kind of people Google recruits, and four lucky students were selected to go on a tour of Google Korea. As a treat, the department provided free pizza. Many students left with their bellies full of pizza and their minds full of motivation.
On March 28, 2018 the Executive Vice Chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Naomi Hirose, delivered a special lecture about the aftermath of the Fukushima accident of 2011. TEPCO was the company responsible for the dysfunctional nuclear reactors which had a melt-down following the tsunami of the Tohoku earthquake. Mr. Hirose gave thorough explanations as to what happened during and after the incident, emphasizing the company’s efforts during the past seven years to overcome the devastation. As for lessons learned, he mentioned “instilling a safety culture,” “effective communication,” “benchmarking best practices,” and “building solidarity.” He also spoke about the energy security of Japan. Professor Kim Younkyoo hosted the event and a majority of the attendees were students from the DIS.
The 2018 graduation ceremony for the Division of International Studies was held on February 22nd. Thirty-three students graduated on this day with BA degrees in International Studies. Professors and parents participated in the ceremony to celebrate their new path for future. More than twenty students received high achievements awards for their GPA scores and contributions to Hanyang University. The Dean’s List Award (for the student with the highest overall GPA) was awarded to Jungyun Choi.
On February 20th, 2018 the Division of International Studies held its Orientation event. To welcome the first-year students the Student Council and DIS office provided a lecture in which they introduced the department to students. After lunch, second-year students and members of the Student Council helped newcomers look around campus and speak with professors. Through this event students learned more about their chosen department and began their adjustment to university life.
I am a professor of economics in the DIS. Before I joined the DIS last year, I taught economics at Henan University in China. My research interests are in the areas of monetary economics, finance, and international economics. I am currently teaching economics and finance-related subjects in DIS.
How did you become interested in joining the DIS? Was there anything in particular that attracted you to this department?
I had a previous teaching experience in the DIS of Korea University in 2015. I really liked it. Students were quite different from those in other departments I had taught in. They were engaging and challenging. In particular, they were never afraid of arguing with professors, which you won’t find easily in typical Korean universities. Perhaps, it’s just because of their international background. Anyway, I thought I might as well apply to a DIS program in the future. Luckily, Hanyang DIS also wanted me too! So, here I am.
How does teaching in this department differ from your previous experiences?
So far, HYDIS students have really lived up to my expectation. In fact, they were better than I first expected in many aspects. I was used to teaching students majoring in economics. I don’t know why, but those students are quite reserved during lectures even though they are well equipped with quantitative techniques. However, the students in this department are not at all afraid of challenging conventional economic theories and thoughts. For an instructor, these students are really fun to teach, and it motivates me to improve my teaching skills.
Any recommendations to those who want to apply in DIS?
Although I am quite new here, I can already tell such students that they would enjoy a unique and caring educational experience here. It is relatively a small department compared to other social science related schools in Korea, and yet we are full of highly renowned professors with cutting-edge knowledge in their fields. Based on this expertise, we offer a truly interdisciplinary program and collegial atmosphere. These features will surely help students compete in the 4th generation industrial revolution era.
Any advice to current DIS students?
Be yourself and always think the unthinkable. I am already very happy with the way students here study and participate in my classes. But I am sure they can get easily discouraged in the current job market. Even so, I want them to maintain their self-esteem, and never give up on whatever they think is important and interesting. I believe this is the only way for their long-term career success.
Hi, my name is Jaesung Yoon. I graduated from Hanyang University in August, 2017 with a bachelor’s in International Studies. I am currently working as an intern in the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KOCHAM) in the USA. Upon termination of my current contract, the performance review that I receive will determine whether I will stay on as a regular employee. In the meantime, I am in the process of exploring other options that will ensure a permanent stay in the United States.
What is your current position and how did you apply for it?
The Korean Chamber of Commerce is situated on Park Avenue in New York. I started working in August but had to arrive in the U.S. a few weeks earlier due to a separate program I did at the UN. My main duties include composing documents and press releases, organizing seminars and conferences, liaison duties, and pretty much any other administrative functions that may fall within the responsibilities of an intern.
I learned about the job opening from the Hanyang Office of International Affairs (a separate entity from the DIS administration office). I had participated in a government-sponsored internship program to the Korean embassy to the Philippines, and upon returning home I was interviewed by the school magazine ‘사랑한대’. Subsequently, the office of international affairs introduced me to a private agency that connects job openings located overseas with Korean students, and after a number of rejections from various organizations, I was able to land a position in the Korean Chamber of Commerce.
What did you learn most from the experience?
Aside from a 6-months internship that I did for the Korean embassy, this is the first time that I will be staying in a foreign country for a long period of time. So pretty much every day is filled with new experiences. Perhaps the biggest perk of being affiliated with KOCHAM is that due to the nature of my work, I get to meet high-ranking managers of Korean businesses, and the American counterparts from the private/governmental sectors that they interact with. KOCHAM has regional offices in Michigan, Georgia and Washington aside from the headquarters in New York, and its main function is to advance the trade and business relations between Korea and the U.S. by way of managing a complicated network involving corporations, financial institutions, non-profits, and the governments of both countries. So the work demands a lot of careful attention, and there is no compromise regarding even the slightest errors. But it’s very interesting and exciting.
What kinds of difficulty did you experience while engaging in this work?
The application process and requirements for working in an American company (or a Korean entity located in America) is very different from working for a company in Korea. If you desire to go abroad for employment, I suggest you consult with people and organizations that have had previous experience.
It may seem unclear where to start, but there are many people who are willing to help students if only they have the enthusiasm to dedicate themselves in these endeavors. There are of course, various contingencies involved, many of which are beyond your control.
It certainly is a risk to allocate your time and energy in trying to go abroad, and there is a considerable chance that you may not succeed, despite your best efforts. You also need to take into account the requirements for relocation, tasks such as obtaining a visa, long-term accommodations, a local bank account, which are just a small sample of the numerous things you have to prepare. So if and when you consider a career path such as mine, I would say the most important difficulty would be making sure you have a lot of options, to arrange a plan B and C in case your most preferred course does not work out. Consult with your professors, your fellow students, your department office, private agencies, and others. It’s important to avoid having all your eggs in one basket.
How did DIS major help attribute to your career?
The Division of International Studies is, in my opinion, vastly unappreciated compared to the considerable potential it can have to its students. For me personally, the DIS significantly improved my command of the English language, and provided me with the principle knowledge and insight required for an international career track.
One of the biggest advantages of the DIS is that its curriculum encompasses a wide range of different subjects, including politics, diplomacy, economics, management, marketing, law, and so many more. Though this broad spectrum brings with it the side effect that there is a limitation in the depth of education the school can provide to each subject, I believe the option itself, to be able to choose which field you feel more comfortable with after having the chance to explore them, is a privilege very few students have access to.
Of course, it should also go without saying that a background in International Studies gives a certain advantage in applying for positions and programs overseas. I have participated in short- and long-term programs for NGOs, diplomatic missions, the UN, and now the Korean Chamber of Commerce to the U.S., and these opportunities would have been much harder to seize had I not been a student of the DIS.
For those of you seeking tips on what kind of courses to take to advance your competencies in such a direction, I would recommend that you direct your attention to courses provided by Professor Ryoo, Professor Ahn, and Professor Saxer. Although all courses in the DIS are indispensable, I have found that the lectures from these professors have greatly enhanced my comprehension of management, economics, and political science respectively.
Any further recommendations for DIS students?
I would advise DIS students to never neglect the value of human networks and relationship management.
I am aware that networking is frowned upon by some people, and I myself belonged to that opinion for quite some time. I am not proud to admit this, but I alienated myself from fellow students and their community after finishing my military service. But all the experiences that I’ve garnered were made possible by what few people that I knew. Their opinions regarding my capabilities turned out to be very important. I cannot imagine what kind of accomplishments I could have achieved had I valued relationships at an earlier age.
I strongly recommend DIS students to make a constant effort to manage this intangible resource, to maintain a constructive link with the people you meet in your lives.
If there are any students who would like to consult with me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be my pleasure to help fellow DIS students in any way that I can.