On Friday, June 2nd a group of students from the Deokyeon High School in Yangju arrived to HUFS campus to attend a campus tour and meet some of our international students under the lead of GSA. The event was organized through cooperation between 2 Dokyeon High School’s teachers who are running their foreign language clubs, Mrs Lee and Mrs. Kim, Mrs. Lee from the OISS office and GSA’s President-Elect Jonathan Kammalle. The students arrived around 11:00 AM to meet the prepared welcoming team who would subsequently take them on the campus tour. In total, 32 students and 2 teachers arrived on our University’s soil that day.
Half of the tour was conducted by Jonathan, meanwhile I was translating into Korean with the teachers’ help (some students’ English ability wasn’t quite there to comfortably understand the tour’s content) and we successfully discovered HUFS Humanities building, namely the cafeteria, which raised a lot of interest among the students. Following was the Main Building, where we introduced some of the important alumni and ex-presidents of our University and took a breath in the shade of the building in it’s yard (the sun was quite scorching that day). After the introduction of the building of our Law department and the Social Science building, Jonathan had to run off to prepare the meet&greet with the international students that was on the program right after the campus tour, so I have taken charge.
The rest of the tour went quite quickly, as the students were a bit tired due to the weather, so after introducing the Library, the Cyber Building, the sports field and the Graduate schools’ buildings, we headed towards the building #2, where the tour were to conclude and the meet&greet would being.
The event itself took place in the room 409 and including me and Jonathan, 10 international students participated. Those were – Jonathan from Ethiopia, Simon from the Czech Republic, Erko from Estonia, Enrico from Italy, Ati from Turkey, Szofi from Hungary, Cansu from Turkey, Yuliana from the Dominican Republic, Bianca from Ecuador and Sharon from the United States.
When we arrived to the classroom, some refreshments were given to the students such as drinks and snacks purchased thanks to the generosity of GSA’s own President-Elect Jonathan. After taking a break, the international students introduced themselves and then were seated with groups of the high school students who asked them questions about themselves, their countries and their thoughts about Korea. Since the high school students were divided into a number of groups, the international students would rotate around after every 5-10 minute session, so everybody got to meet everyone.
After the meet and greet we took a group photo session, some of us exchanged photos and SNS details and the event came to a successful end.
I evaluate this event as a success, with benefits for everyone participating. Visiting Korean high school students got to practice their English and get some first hand experience with international cultures and people and on the other hand, the international students got to be a part of the local community and take a role of friendly educators.
In my opinion, the number of volunteer participants shows the eagerness of the international community to participate in the after-school on-campus activities and events and we believe that events supporting foreigner integration and global awareness in Korean students like this should be happening on a more frequent basis.