Summer semester in South Korea expands cultural and educational horizons

November 15, 2015

Lane and friends at the North Seoul Tower

Two undergraduates in the Bachelor of Science in Information Science (BSIS) program, Ana Grace Lane and Aaron Wan, studied this summer at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), located in Seoul, South Korea. They enrolled in a four-week program called the International Summer Semester (ISS), which enabled them to take courses at SKKU alongside students from South Korea, as well as students from several other countries, including France, Mexico, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Indonesia. 

Lane, an information science major and Asian studies minor, said her favorite part of the program was the cultural immersion. “It really tests your ability to adapt and navigate an unknown land,” she said. “I learned a lot about my capabilities” Wan also enjoyed experiencing South Korean culture first-hand. “The food, activities, and social environment were amazing,” he said. “I was also able to learn a bit of Korean to communicate with people I met along the way.”

Both students credit the program with providing a new outlook on their studies. “I think this experience will help me as an information science major because it exposed me to a new perspective on technology and information use,” Lane said. 

Aaron Wan at the Mural Village

Wan highlighted a class taught by Jevin West, a data scientist from the University of Washington, which exposed him to a variety of new concepts of data science and helped shape both his educational and career goals.  “The experience has pushed me to have more motivation and more direction in my schooling,” Wan said. 

SKKU is one of six schools with which SILS has established formal study abroad agreements. The other schools are: 
Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
National University of Singapore: School of Computing
Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2015 SILS newsletter (pdf).