2018 Yonsei University Spring School concludes (4–24 March 2018)

17 May 2018

      From 4 through 24 March, nine KyotoU students took part in the 2018 Yonsei University Spring School in Seoul, South Korea. The opportunity was offered by Kyoto University as a 2017-2018 short-term outbound "multicultural collaborative learning" program, with the participants selected from various academic years and majors. The School was comprised of language lessons, cultural activities, and opportunities to interact with participants from other countries.

      The language lessons were provided by Yonsei University's Korean Language Institute (KLI), where, the students from Kyoto studied side-by-side with peers from across the world. Grouped by proficiency, the students learned Korean at the country's leading institution while getting to know people from varied cultural backgrounds.

      As in previous years, the program included a Joint Student Seminar, organized in collaboration with Yonsei's Underwood International College (UIC). Participants from Kyoto presented on topics selected in advance by UIC students, and vice versa, before discussing them together. The KyotoU teams delivered their presentations entirely in Korean while using English and Japanese in parts of the discussions. Topics included regional cultural differences, political climate, job-hunting, and trends in family relationships.

      The Spring School was implemented with full support from Yonsei University and other partners, after careful evaluation of the developing situation on the Korean Peninsula.

      It is hoped that participants will continue to apply what they learned in Korea to their future endeavors.

      Report form a participating student

      Natsuko Kondo
      Group leader for the 2018 Yonsei University Spring School
      Third year, Faculty of Education
      (Report presented at a debriefing held on 29 March 2018)

      It is a great pleasure to share what I felt and learned as a participant in the 2018 Yonsei University Spring School.

      We studied at Yonsei's Korean Language Institute (KLI) for three weeks, learning the language at our respective levels of proficiency. There were six levels, each comprised of around 10 classes. We became classmates with other students with very similar levels of proficiency, which inspired us to actively learn from each other. In addition, coming from different cultures while sharing a desire to become proficient in Korean, we used the language for most of our classroom conversations. I found that spending three weeks in this kind of environment can be an extremely enriching experience.

      Another thing I liked about the KLI program is that for some levels, the curriculum included weekly elective classes, each focused on speaking, reading, listening, or writing, allowing us to work on our respective areas of weakness.

      The joint seminar with UIC students also proved to be an incredibly powerful learning experience. It was centered on student presentations, where participants from Kyoto and UIC addressed each other's questions that were shared several months in advance. Topics ranged from hot springs, otaku, and other cultural phenomena, to Japanese and Korean attitudes toward politics and English education. Our wide-ranging and profound discussions yielded many intriguing insights, revealing aspects of Korea that we had never been aware of. The occasion also helped us hone our language skills, as we delivered our presentations entirely in Korean.

      I feel that the Spring School helped me make significant progress in language skills, cross-cultural awareness, and many other areas.

      I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to all who contributed to making this wonderful program possible.

      In front of the Yonsei University KLI

      Presentation during the joint student seminar

      A KyotoU student following a presentation

      Joint seminar participants with UIC Dean Taeyoon Sung (back row, fifth from the right)

      About the KyotoU short-term outbound multicultural collaborative learning programs

      Each academic year, Kyoto University sponsors seven short-term study-abroad programs (to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia) as opportunities for its students to hone their foreign-language and international skills as well as to interact with participants from other countries.

      The 2017-2018 programs were funded by Japan Student Service Organization (JASSO), the KyotoU Asian Studies Unit (KUASU), and Kyoto University (under its priority action plan), with the host institutions covering the tuition fees.

      Details on the 2018-2019 opportunities are provided in Section 2 of the following:

      2018 Yonsei University Spring School concludes (4–24 March 2018)
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