[Journalism Internship] UAC offers new opportunities for students

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[Journalism Internship] UAC offers new opportunities for students

“The advantage of the University of Utah Asia Campus is that I can attend an American university in Korea,” said Youn Su-bin, a junior at the University of Utah Asia Campus (UAC), part of the Incheon Global Campus (IGC).  
IGC is a global education project promoted by the Korean government that aims to cultivate Korea’s next generation of global leaders to lead the nation’s education innovation, economy, industry, culture and art, according to the IGC website. The central government and Incheon city government allotted over 1 trillion won ($837 million) toward the development of a joint campus for 10,000 students, with the goal of recruiting 10 prestigious foreign universities. There are currently five such universities: UAC; Ghent University Global Campus; George Mason University Korea; and Stony Brook University along with the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), both of which are part of the State University of New York (SUNY Korea).  
Universities housed in IGC are not branch schools, but independent extended campuses or global campuses. IGC universities follow the same curricula as their main campuses and all courses are taught in English. All universities provide a total of 23 different major courses to their students.  
Among the five schools, UAC was recently award “The Most Trusted Brand Award by Consumers in 2022” in the Global Education Institutions category.  
he school said in a statement that it was also the first and only university to meet the quotas of undergraduate freshmen among the five universities in Incheon Global Campus in 2021 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to 2020, the number of students accepted for the fall semester of 2021 increased by 70 percent, while 20 percent of all freshmen came from eight different countries, including Australia, Russia, Brazil and China, the school said.  
UAC undergraduate students are required to spend three years at UAC and one year at the main campus in Salt Lake City, Utah. They graduate with a University of Utah degree.  
One of the biggest advantages often cited by UAC students it that tuition is generally much cheaper than universities in the U.S. Gregory Hill, UAC’s contract administration officer, said UAC is trying to provide much cheaper tuition for students to reduce their financial burden. According to the University of Utah’s official website, the tuition of the main campus in Salt Lake City is $29,000 per year, while that of UAC is $20,000.  
Furthermore, classes at UAC provide western-style learning and helps students build international connections. “The college experience is immersing yourself into the whole culture or the whole environment. And part of that is being engaged,” said Hill. “Students who engage in clubs, who attend events, who participate in different intercultural experiences have better all-around experiences as students.”  
Students in UAC can learn various cultures and languages. Korean students can learn about various foreign cultures, and foreign students can learn about Korean culture while living in Korea. UAC holds various programs about LGBTQ and offers pen pal connections with Salt Lake City students. Through such programs, students can learn about different gender identities and share their stories.  
Although UAC is a great option for Korean students who are planning to study abroad, there are some obstacles that both UAC and students must overcome. Though UAC offers education for a more affordable price compared to American universities, it’s still more expensive than many universities in Korea.  
Another issue that UAC students point out is that it is hard to make connections with international students. Many Korean students at UAC, including Bak Se-reum, explain that in their experience it is hard to first approach others when making connections with foreign students. Korean students must speak in English to communicate with international students at UAC, and communicating with others in English when it isn’t their first language may be difficult for some.  
However, there are moments when the language barrier between Korean and international students are broken. Chelsea Curl, an international student at UAC, said, “Sometimes [Korean students] are shy, but once I talk to them, they are all extremely kind and warm. One time during class, a girl I had never spoken to before unexpectedly gave me some chocolates with a friendly note. It’s the little things like that I’ll never forget.” 
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