What is your plan for the summer? Although going on a trip or having a part-time job may provide an unforgettable summer, doing extra-curricular/international activities, or in Korean, “대외활동’ will bring you the great joy that you would not have expected. Finding an appropriate extra-curricular activity may seem difficult; however, the readers of this article do not have to worry. There are two types of extra-curricular/international activities: School-related and non-governmental organization- (NGO) related activities. This article will introduce the activities provided by Kookmin University, and even the activities sponsored by non-government organizations. April is the right season for students to prepare early for an unforgettable summer.
▲ Kookmin University Exchange Student / Source: www.kookmin.ac.kr
I. Kookmin University’s ‘Language-Study Abroad’ program:
Kookmin University provides language-study abroad programs every vacation. The school has made sisterhood relationships with many schools abroad including the University of California, Davis, The University of Florida, Royal Roads University, and The University of Winnipeg (some sister-universities may change or have changed for this summer). The four universities mentioned above are the universities where Kookmin University students can study a foreign language during the summer break. The summer language-study abroad program is a great opportunity for students because it is a 4 to 6-week program that gives 2 credits and even a scholarship after completion.
▲ Sungkok Global Frontier / Source: bizon.kookmin.ac.kr
II. Kookmin University’s Sungkok Global Frontier’ program:
Sungkok Global Frontier is a program where students can research a specific country or place they would want to investigate regarding their market system, the way their certain universities deal with foreign students, et cetera. The Sungkok Global Frontier program is only available to students from the Business Department. Sungkok Global Frontier or SGF is a program that helps students to develop planning and proposal-making skills. Furthermore, it allows students to learn about their topics of interest by physically going to the country with a professor and making a report afterwards. The school aids the students to go overseas with SGF scholarships.
III. Kookmin University’s ‘Sungkok Global Exposure’ program:
Although it has a similar name to SGF, Sungkok Global Exposure or SGE is a program which is available to students from the Social Science and Global Liberal Arts Departments. It is a combination of language-study abroad and exchange-student studies. SGE provides both types of programs for the selected students for a semester in universities in China, Mongolia, Europe, et cetera. However, unlike the SGF program which focuses on a specific topic that students have proposed, SGE covers a wider range of topics to help students gain a wider perspective.
▲ Sungkok Global Frontier / Source: bizon.kookmin.ac.kr
The program sponsored by the school is more scholastic and academic in a sense. However, if you are a student looking for more enjoyable and fun activities such as relic restoration, house building, cultural exchange programs, and volunteering overseas; here are some other programs organized by various companies and NGO’s.
Hyundai Motors has an overseas volunteer program designed for university students: ‘HappyMove’, which is sends students to various countries such as China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, India, Ethiopia, et cetera. There are different types of voluntary services they provide: House Building Group (where you can help build classrooms, homes, shelters, or wells for those in need) Environmental Protection Group (where you can help prevent desertification, clean water, save coral reefs, et cetera.) Transportation Safety Education Group, which teaches young children to play safely, Engineering Education Group, which teaches students engineering so that they can reveal learn their talents, and Cultural Exchange Group, which is about exchanging cultures and learning differences to be able to understand and accept others. HappyMove sends 500 university students overseas for free. Therefore, students who are willing to do volunteer work and wish to make more connections with students from different areas and backgrounds are recommended to apply and join HappyMove.
During the last winter vacation, I was able to participate in the HappyMove program; as a HappyMover which is the name for its participants. The group I was in did historical site restorations in Qufu, China, where Confucius was born and raised. The experience of HappyMove gave me an opportunity to see China in a different way, from the local or Chinese point of view. I learnt about their dining, working, and living culture. The experience was precious and I recommend it to my friends as well.
▲ Happy Move Logo / Source: www.hmgjournal.com
II. Global Workcamp
Global Workcamp is another international volunteer program. The range for participants is very wide: from students to full time workers; anyone with a desire to help others or restore historic sites can join. In Korea, students can either apply for the program through “Better World” or KIA Motors. Better World is a NGO in Korea that sponsors Global Workcamp’s Korea base. At the same time, Better World organizes the Workcamp in Korea and sends campers abroad. The only problem for students is that Workcamp does not give any financial support. However, that is where KIA comes in; KIA Motors recruits university students for Workcamp. The difference between normal Workcamp and Workcamp through KIA Motors is regarding financial support and KIA Workcamp is sometimes done with UNESCO. If students join Workcamp through KIA Motors, they do not have to pay for their membership and activities.
▲ WorkCamp Logo / Source: www.seoulnpocenter.kr
III. World Friends ICT Volunteers
World Friends ICT Volunteers is also an international volunteer program. It is designed to teach people how to use the Internet and teach Internet Technology to students in developing countries in order to lessen the information gap between countries. Unlike Global Workcamp and HappyMove, ICT Volunteer is sponsored and run by the Korean government. It sends about 560 university students every year to twenty different countries between July and August. Students are organized into groups of four members: 2 people responsible for IT education, 1 person for translation and 1 person for cultural exchange. Every team of ICT Volunteers teaches students to use a computer, to use the Internet, to repair a PC and networks, to make their own websites and mobile applications, and also about the IT human resources and networking systems of Korea. Flight tickets, activity costs, insurance, the activity equipment and even the IT equipment are all supported by the Korean Government.
The programs introduced in this article are all application based. Depending on what program you do, you might have to write personal statements or cover letters and even have an interview to be accepted as a participant. Therefore, it is crucial to do your own research to enjoy the summer and make it worth more than just about resting. The six programs introduced above are just a few of many ways to enjoy the summer vacation. To find more about the extra-curricular activities and international activities, visit websites such as www.all-con.co.kr or download an application named “Campung”. Both are great sources of information because they don’t only give information about the volunteer services or overseas programs but they also give information regarding the supporting companies; their idea contests, internship opportunities, and company recruitment.
April is the month when most of the applications become available. Thus, it is very important for students who want to join these programs to be ready and aware. Be the early birds to catch the proverbial worms provided by many companies, NGOs and the government to enjoy the summer vacation as university students.
▲ World Friends Logo / Source: http://postfiles5.naver.net
Kookmin Review Reporter