Highlighting Students of Experiential Global Learning: Amy Chen

Highlighting Students of Experiential Global Learning: Amy Chen

Inform us a bit about your expertise in South Korea. For starters, why did you select Sojang College?

My main in International Research required me to review overseas in my regional focus space, so I knew I had to decide on a rustic in East Asia. I studied Korean for 2 years at UConn earlier than deciding to use to review overseas. After finishing the ultimate degree of Korean provided at UConn, I made a decision that one of the best ways to totally immerse myself in studying each the tradition and the language was to review overseas. I discovered a bit about Korean tradition by way of my Korean classes and Korean leisure however I wished to expertise the tradition firsthand.

General, I’d say my expertise in South Korea was actually nice. Regardless of some strict COVID-19 guidelines, Sojang College remains to be doing its finest to supply an immersive studying expertise for college students whereas residing on campus. In comparison with the usual of residing in America, the prices in South Korea had been cheaper and I feel they had been of higher high quality. Our lessons had been on-line resulting from COVID-19 however my mates and I made positive to remain immersed within the tradition by organizing time to journey and make mates. I made mates not solely from South Korea, but in addition internationally.

What did you acquire from the expertise?

From learning overseas, I can say that I’ve gained a bunch of experiences. Personally, I undoubtedly grew as much as be extra unbiased. I used to be born and raised in Connecticut, so going to UConn wasn’t an enormous step for me. Nevertheless, touring overseas for almost six months actually opened my eyes to the world. I feel I’ve discovered the way to face issues higher and keep organized.

Whereas overseas, there was at all times the dilemma of exploring South Korea or staying to review. The benefit of COVID-19 was that we had been capable of journey outdoors the capital as a result of we did not need to attend lessons in individual. I undoubtedly grew to become extra open throughout my journey in South Korea.

Listening to Korean and different worldwide views from the individuals I met has taught me to develop into extra open. Coming again, I felt much less afraid of attempting new issues. Learning overseas in Korea made me need to return to South Korea once more to study extra about its tradition, language and society.

Professionally, I additionally discovered many issues. I discovered the way to assume creatively and talk higher. Whereas learning overseas generally issues do not at all times go as deliberate. So, I needed to rethink the way to deal with conditions to adapt. This is a vital ability to have as knowledgeable as a result of surprising issues might come up that require you to assume outdoors the field.

On high of the journalistic expertise I already possess, I discovered the way to talk extra effectively as a result of I met individuals from everywhere in the world. Generally there might be language obstacles, however I used to be capable of overcome them with the correct of downside fixing. As well as, flexibility and an open mindset have develop into the norm all through your examine overseas journey. All these experiences contribute instantly or not directly to the event of my private {and professional} expertise.

What distinctive experiential world studying alternatives have you ever encountered throughout your time?

Throughout my examine overseas expertise, I used to be capable of volunteer with the Seoul Police. Due to COVID-19, Seoul Police wanted volunteers to verify individuals put on masks and social distancing successfully. I volunteered with the station to attempt one thing out of my consolation zone and was curious to see the place that might lead me.

So, all through October, 3 days per week, some volunteers and I’ve been strolling round Seoul asking individuals to keep away from society and placed on their masks. Though it appeared like a trivial exercise, I used to be capable of get to know the cops and make mates.

I feel it is a actually rewarding expertise for college students to mix examine overseas into honors and educational experiences since you study and see issues outdoors of what you are used to. It is an ideal expertise to take honors-level lessons and analysis initiatives by way of the UConn Honors Program, however it’s a complete completely different expertise to do one thing outdoors your consolation zone and problem your self professionally and personally.

I can verify that I’m not the identical individual I used to be earlier than I went to review overseas and I imply that in the absolute best manner. I feel I am actually beginning to perceive the way to method life extra thoughtfully and with larger appreciation. If you’re an honors pupil, at all times take the chance or at the very least generally to problem your self with completely different experiences with the intention to study from them. That’s the reason I extremely suggest learning overseas.

What are your most memorable moments from the journey?

I feel probably the most memorable second of my journey must be from the HUG Mates Program organized by Sojang College. Earlier than coming to Korea, I used to be fearful about not making many mates resulting from restricted interactions with COVID-19. I assumed it might be laborious to make mates particularly with on-line lessons.

Nevertheless, the Mates program is designed to pair a Korean pupil with an alternate pupil. Because of this, I used to be capable of make mates and study extra about Korean tradition in a extra in-depth method.

I feel due to COVID-19, there was a hindrance to attempting sure actions, however the Korean guys did their finest to rearrange area journeys and lunches for individuals to get to know one another. To this present day, we’re nonetheless in contact!

Different memorable moments can embrace journeys outdoors of Seoul. The journeys outdoors of Seoul had been the place I used to be capable of observe extra of my Korean and discover a completely different facet of South Korea. In my view, individuals had been additionally friendlier.

How has experiential world studying helped you perceive and recognize the sphere of examine of your program?

UConn is a good faculty, however I really feel that some majors are extra distinguished than others. For my particular person diploma in International Research, I felt there wasn’t a lot selection within the programs I may take at UConn, however by learning overseas I used to be capable of get extra particular programs associated to my space of ​​focus, which is East Asia.

I discovered rather a lot about Korean historical past, politics, worldwide relations, philosophy, and globalization/growth whereas learning overseas. I undoubtedly grew to become extra fascinated about my main world research by learning overseas. I felt that the programs I took had been solely the start when it got here to studying about South Korea.

Throughout my time overseas, I may hear how the dangerous COVID-19 virus has affected South Korea’s home financial system. This sparked my curiosity much more to study extra about points in South Korea. In fact, mates and websites I visited additionally left unforgettable impressions that impressed me to make visiting South Korea once more a aim.

Is there any recommendation(s) you’d give to future college students collaborating in a program or those that are simply beginning to think about an expertise?

I’d say attempt to take the entire course of piece by piece! I bear in mind being very confused at first however as soon as I discovered which faculties matched my main and which nation I wished to go to, I felt extra comfortable. I feel reaching out to former college students who’ve studied overseas will assist as a result of they will reply particular questions on their expertise.

I’d additionally say do not be discouraged by the dearth of accredited programs for each Honors and Abnormal UConn college students. Lots of the programs I wished to take weren’t pre-approved so I needed to manually approve them, however the credit switch ended up high-quality. In my state of affairs, I organized my very own lessons in order that I’d not need to take honors programs within the semester I studied overseas. My advisor was very versatile in listening to my requests for approval of my programs.

Additionally, whereas learning overseas, I attempted to focus my honorary thesis analysis on South Korea. Sadly resulting from COVID-19, not many sources had been obtainable for my analysis. Nevertheless, I used to be capable of join with among the individuals I spoke with personally and contributed to my analysis. I imagine that if you’re an honors pupil, planning your honors thesis in your examine overseas journey will lay an fascinating and distinctive twist on each your examine overseas expertise and analysis. I feel making a spreadsheet with laid out steps/packages on a sheet of paper to slim down the faculties could be useful.

Relating to residing in a brand new nation, I additionally suggest fixing issues as they come up and stepping in, as it may be complicated whenever you overthink or stress, which does not clear up any issues. I’d encourage a powerful assist system at house to assist overcome issues like homesickness. Personally, I used to be high-quality to be overseas for therefore lengthy as a result of I’ve traveled earlier than. Nevertheless, for individuals who haven’t traveled earlier than, I can perceive why it might be tough to dwell in a brand new nation. I at all times tried to replace my family and friends from time to time once I was overseas. Assembly mates overseas may assist with the homesickness which will happen.

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