중앙데일리

Program at Pukyong U. builds a cultural bridge

July 30,2008
Students at Pukyong. Clockwise from front left: Jasmine Brell, Cassandra Daniells, Shane Kennealy, Jo Hyeon-seong, Kweon Hyun-jung and Jung So-young. By Kim Han-soo
Growing interest in Korean culture among expatriates and demand for English practice among Koreans are being fused in a mutually beneficial way through a cultural exchange program at Busan-based Pukyong National University.

The three-week program that ended last Thursday served well its purpose of teaching expatriates Korean culture and helping Koreans learn English, according to a school official in charge of the program.

Kim Young-chan, head of the Office of International Relations at Pukyong, said many of the 38 foreign students who came from five foreign universities have been sending positive feedback about the program.

The program featured tours of famous sites in the southern port city and the surrounding regions. The foreign guests learned Korean traditions including calligraphy and how to prepare Korean food and green tea.

The exchange students were from the University of South Australia, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology, all in Australia, as well as from Penn State University in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States and Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. All the schools have a partnership with Pukyong.

During the three weeks, each exchange student was helped by a Korean buddy, who was a student volunteer from Pukyong.

Cassandra Daniells, a participant from the University of South Australia, said the time with her Korean partner was enjoyable.

“I found it great to be matched to a buddy who was similar to me. I felt comfortable asking her lots of questions, and she helped me to learn some Korean words too,” Daniells wrote in a letter to the school.

Daniells said the Korean students, including her buddy, Kweon Hyun-jung, 24, already spoke very good English. And staying with their foreign guests helped the hosts speak English more fluently.

“After speaking in English with Cassandra for three weeks, I am now more confident about talking with a foreigner,” Kweon said. “I would have been more so if the program had been longer.”

The school plans to expand the program.

“Given the positive feedback from participants, we will raise the number of participants and extend the program period as much as the budget allows,” Kim said.



By Kim Han-soo JoongAng Ilbo/ Moon Gwang-lip Staff Reporter [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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