|▲ Changwon University International Exchange Center
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has begun, worldwide outbreaks have affected dispatch plans of CWNU students, who were originally chosen to study in foreign countries as exchange students. Students, who were already abroad, had to return to their home country in a hurry. There were even students who attended non-face-to-face exchange programs with online lectures in their home country. The situation of universities around the world was much more serious than that experienced in Korea, so campuses were closed and foreign students were evicted, or quarantined from dormitories. In expectation of a better situation, CWNU International Affairs, have proceeded with recruitment of exchange students, providing priority to students who were already selected in previous recruitments. However, there were no students who could leave until the first half of 2021. Students, who had been studying languages and prepared for life in foreign countries during their busy university life, had to wait for another chance.
Currently, vaccinations are actively taking place in many countries, and even though the number of cases of infection remains high, the mortality rate of COVID-19 has decreased significantly. Due to the economic depression that has occurred because overseas travel and trade are blocked, “With Corona,” is required worldwide. The atmosphere within the campus is expected to resume the Student Exchange Program beginning in 2022. After the second shot of the vaccine, there is currently no difficulty in entering major European countries, such as the UK and Germany, and the U.S. In the case of Japan, where many students are scheduled to enter, also actively introduced the, “With Corona,” policy under the direction of Prime Minister Kishida from October, after the long-standing National State of Emergency was lifted. The number of confirmed cases also decreased, which used to be over 20,000 cases a day in August, has fallen below 1,000. Inconsideration of the changing situation, issuing student visas for Japan would not be difficult at the time of dispatch next year.
In the first half of 2022, 10 students from CWNU are planning to go to China’s Northeast University, Peking Institute of Technology, Chengdu Institute of Science, and Southwest National University. Three students will be sent to Germany’s Munich Ludwig University and Darmstadt Institute of Technology. One student will go to the U.S.’s Youngstown University, and 12 students will go to Japan’s Nagasaki University, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Soka University, Osaka University, and Yamaguchi University. With the cooperation of CWNU’s International Affairs Office, the selected students are in close contact with their desired university for the preparation of necessary documents for their departures next year. Although the Student Exchange Program was more active before the COVID-19 pandemic, as there were many more countries and universities with open options, international exchanges are expected to become active again with the resumption of student exchanges.
Meanwhile, CWNU’s Student Exchange Program is mostly a year program to help students gain sufficient experience overseas, unlike other universities, which have a short dispatch for a semester. Instead of paying tens of millions of won in tuition fees for overseas universities, exchange students of CWNU are paying tuition fees to CWNU, which can greatly reduce their expenses of studying abroad. In order to be selected as an exchange student, foreign language certificates, such as TOEIC or IBT are the most important, followed by academic performance, and interview scores. The required language abilities and terms are different depending on the desired country and school, so reviews of the outline in detail before applying for the recruitment are required. Students wishing to become exchange students can report to the recruitment held in March and September by the International Affairs Office. Candidates should prepare a studying plan and a language ability certificate, and fill out the required application forms.
It is very unfortunate that while many selected students of CWNU prepared to study abroad, they had difficulties leaving the country due to COVID-19. Congratulations to the students selected for the dispatch of exchange students for 2022. It is hoped that there will be no disruptions to travelling overseas, thanks to a better global COVID-19 situation. CWNU’s Foreign Affairs Office is also hoping to actively support students to be dispatched in these circumstances, and expand exchange programs with more universities in various cultures, to give more experiences to students who study abroad.
By Park Hyun-jong, reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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