Sung In Baek
The number of international students coming to pursue their higher education at HUFS has been increasing. Hankuk University of Foreign Studies has a significant number of international students that exceeds over 800 in total and this is just the number excluding the exchange students. International students have been increasing each year and by the end of 2017 we are looking forward to seeing the number over 1000; this is just only regular students in our University attending as a foreign student.
It is a tradition in Korean universities and colleges to have their own department’s unique jackets often representing their major and class year with the logo. This is powerful, yet unique method allowing students to be emotionally connected immediately as part of the school while exploring the part new Korean culture that only university students could experience. The design of the jacket is flexibly changed by colors, and materials each year while preserving the culture of the college. The most interesting and fun part of this is that these jackets can be customized by adding their names, symbols and much more on their left sleeve.
GSA has noticed that foreign students not only face difficulties with language but most of them have said they did not feel as part of the university. We considered this as a major problem and GSA found this as a responsibility to create an atmosphere helping regular international students to feel Korea as their second home. GSA started the survey and have noticed that most of the students failed to apply for the jackets. Due to the language barrier and lack of guiding information many international students miss the opportunity to get their jackets along with Korean students.
Even though we were few weeks late from the regular season of the order, we concluded to create GSA jackets, and give opportunities to all the international students who unfortunately missed the timing. This would not only help the students will have a sense of belonging as part of the school but also, we thought it is our first step of GSA to strengthen the new identity to the school.
The process creating our own jackets was a challenge, we faced difficulties as it was our first experience and lacked information, however, in the end, GSA successfully came out with a final design which was trendy, unique yet outstanding and promising; reflecting our identity, ideas and promising goals. GSA wanted our jackets to high light individual uniqueness as ambassadors in Korea. We went one step further, from the regular jackets by allowing students to attach their national flag on their right sleeve. After our first jackets worn by the students on campus, we got positive reviews with a noticeable level of recognition by the school.