GSA hosted its very first symposium on April 5, 2017 in collaboration with the OISS in which it was aimed at engaging students as well as professors in an intellectual discussion over different aspects of communication on higher education at HUFS that brought together university officials, academics personnel and other staff. First, the Vice President of HUFS and the Dean of International Affairs gave a powerful speech stating the importance of the student association and re-assuring continued support for the growing number of international students. This was followed by a short talk from our key note speakers who touched upon the core elements of the symposium. Lastly, the audience had an opportunity to forward their questions to the speakers and engage in a discussion with them.
This symposium represented an opportunity for international students to voice their concerns and worries about their student life and their interaction with professors while being incorporated in the Korean university community. It managed to accomplish its main objective of starting a conversation with the authorities of HUFS such as the Vice President and Dean of International Affairs as well as international professors, who promised to take into account what students mentioned during the Q&A session. Even though this forum was the first official event of the Global Students Association, it will act as a foundation for the recognition of international students as well as future events.
Following are short summaries of what our keynote speakers spoke about during the symposium:
- Professor Byoung Joo Kim spoke on the significance of teacher – student interactions and its role in creating a better community on campus. He mentioned that there are challenges caused by cultural differences but both students and academics should take a step in resolving these issues.
- Professor Chris Larsen talked about the importance of English as a medium of instruction as it is the most commonly used language in various publications. He acknowledged the hiccups international students were facing regarding courses that aren’t taught in English. Also, he mentioned they should be brought to attention to the university administration.
- Professor Shaun J. Manning emphasized on the use of technology in aiding higher education. He said that technology could be beneficial in supporting students in their learning process. However, he also added that this tool should be utilized carefully.
In conclusion, it is important to acknowledge that the work that has been done by the GSA and the Office of International Students Services cannot be counted as a complete success without the participation and action of the International Students at our University.