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 Kang Hye-min
The Insufficiency of Interchange with Foreign Students
제 144 호    발행일 : 2013.11.04 



Although the number of foreign students who came to Chungbuk National University(CBNU) to study is increasing, there is little opportunity to interchange freely with the CBNU students. During the past three years, the number of foreign students has increased : 404 in 2011, 481 in 2012, and 545 in 2013. The programs for foreign students are increasing. There is a mentoring program, a tutoring program for international students and a buddy program for foreign exchange students. Even though these programs have different detailed objectives, a common idea is to provide opportunities for exchange between foreign students and Korean students.
  Because the number of foreign students is growing, Korean students can meet them more easily, but inconvenience still exists to interact with each other. Zang Chuan-ping(China) is a foreign student who was admitted into CBNU in September this year. She said, “I want to make Korean friends, but it is difficult. Most Korean students hang out with Koreans, so no one approaches me first.” Then, she added, “I could make friends with Korean students through the mentoring program.”
  The people who feel this inconvenience are not only foreign students. Kim Ji-yeon(’11, Dept. of International Business) has worked in these programs which help foreign students from last year. She said about her motivation to participate in these programs, “Korean students and foreign students take the same classes, but Korean students also have a difficult time becoming intimate with foreign students because foreign students and Korean students don’t spend time together. Therefore, I want to become a friend more easily of foreign students through these programs.”
  However, these programs also have problems facilitating interaction between foreign students and Korean students because the main purpose of these programs is not to create interchange. Wang Tian-guagng(China) who is doing a mentoring program said, “I applied for one of these programs to make friends and study with Korean students. However, these programs are not the way to become friends. I think that foreign students can meet Korean students through these programs, but people may not contact one another anymore after finishing these programs.” Also, he said, “I can meet Korean students if we have a task. Most students are busy, so I usually meet them when we take the same classes.” His case implies that exchanges between foreign students and Korean students are not achieved well.
  Thus, opportunities for interchange with foreign students are less in CBNU, but there is the ‘International Cafe’ to meet freely and interact with foreign students in Hiroshima University in Japan. There are chances to freely talk for foreign students and enrolled students. About this, Kim Heong-gyeom(’08, Dept. of International Business) said, “I think the idea of the ‘International Cafe’ is good because even though Korean students want to become friends with foreign students, Korean students usually don’t approach foreign students to be friends.”
  However, Hwang Sun-young, a staff member in the Center for International Affairs, said about offering chances to meet as a group for foreign students and Korean students, “In the case of mentoring program, it was made to help foreign students with Korean language, test scores, and university life. We don’t make programs related to Korean students. Also, I think interchange should occur naturally. Because all foreign students have their assigned majors, exchange with Korean students would occur naturally even if the Center for International Affairs didn’t have any role with helping foreign students.”
 

By Kang Hye-min l hm34@cbnu.ac.kr

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