|▲ BEAT (Be ready to travel together)|
|▲ Neu Young Na Young|
International Affairs at Changwon National University hosts a variety of programs every year to encourage cultural exchange between Korean and international students. During the second semester of this year, International Affairs recruited teams to participate in the “Beautiful Korea” program to explore Korea’s cultural history with international students and Korean students. The purpose of this program is to explore and learn about Korean culture and history. The program was held on the autonomous schedule on 10/18-11/24 for each team. The results of the program were reported in a meeting held on 11/28 to produce and present a tour and UCC video for each team. A total of 10 teams participated in this program, which consisted of four students, including one Korean student and two or more international students. As the program promotes and supports business, the fund for each team was 600,000 won. The teams went to various tourist attractions and historical sites found in Gyeongju, Jinju, Busan, Seoul, and Gwangju. Each team had meaningful experiences learning about Korea and Korean history. Here is a closer look at two of the ten selected teams.
1. Team BEAT
Team BEAT chose to go to Gyeongju. They chose this destination because it is not that far from Changwon, and it is the capital of the old Silla kingdom. Gyeongju is a city with great historical significance where many historical artifacts and historical sites are well preserved. It is also easy for Korean students to be guides as they go on school trips to Gyeongju in high school. They visited Cheomseongdae (designated as Korea's National Treasure No. 31), the Cheonmachong Ancient Tomb (a tomb in Daereungwon), Seokguram (a man-made grotto that houses a Buddhist shrine, designated as Korea's National Treasure No. 24), and visited more of Korea's representative sites including a famous restaurant.
Kim Da Hyeon from the Department of International Relations, said, “Our team went to Gyeongju with three Korean friends and two Chinese friends. One of the Chinese students was a friend I knew through the International Affairs One-To-One Program through, and the other was a friend who came as an exchange student. It was good for the Korean students to guide foreign students on this trip. It was especially enjoyable when everyone flew kites together, which is a traditional Korean activity. We also had a barbecue party in the evening, and my Chinese friend said that it was memorable to have a party like this since she had only seen similar parties in Korean dramas. It was a meaningful experience to interact with each other's cultures by eating together and talking with each other. Everything was perfect, but the international student friends were a bit restrained. So, for the next program, it would be nice to include a meeting so that everyone can get to know each other before traveling.“
2. Team Neu Young Na Young
The Neu Young Na Young team consisted of two Korean students and two Vietnamese students, who selected Jeju as their destination. Neu Young Na Young's name is from the Jeju dialect, which means 'you and I' in Korean. Jeju has a unique volcanic landscape, and has a beautiful cultural heritage that is recognized around the world. On the first day, they had a mandarin picking experience at a tangerine orchard. In addition, they visited Brick Campus, a gallery that displays the history of Korea, including Jeju Island, with lego. Through their backpacking trip, they saw Jeju’s beautiful nature and Jeju's native culture such as house structures and hills. The next day, they visited Udo Island. Udo is a lava plateau and a fertile flatland where major agricultural products such as sweet potatoes, garlic, and peanuts are produced. The team explored Udo's history including the search of dolmens and the Haenyeo resistance, which were massive women's protests in the Japanese colonial era (Haenyeo are female divers in the Korean province of Jeju).
Bae Yun-bin, from the Department of English Language & Literature, said, “International students in our team lived in Korea for about three years and have been exploring various cultural sites in Korea. So, after several meetings, we selected Jeju Island and planned a few special things. We made our own travel flag, a team slogan, and a representative symbol. It was nice to leave our own logo in each place we visited. In particular, it was unforgettable when we visited the Haenyeo Museum and learned about the struggles and efforts of the Jeju Haenyeo resistance for the liberation of Korea during the Japanese colonial era. On the last day, we planned to go to Vietnam on our next trip, which is where the international students on our team are from. I hope that students at CWNU can have meaningful experiences through this program.”
By Lee Yeon-ju, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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