Review: CAMPUS: "ISSS, To Be a Bilingual Campus"
Review: CAMPUS: "ISSS, To Be a Bilingual Campus"
  • Lee Ha Ryung (ME 13)
  • 승인 2013.12.04 22:14
  • 댓글 0
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Making a True Bilingual Campus

The article “ISSS, To Be a Bilingual Campus” in the No. 61 of The Postech Times covered how POSTECH is making an effort to make POSTECH a better place to stay for the international students. The office responsible for this work is the International Scholar and Student Services office (ISSS). About 30 ? 40 foreign exchange students visit POSTECH every semester and the ISSS assists them by providing them with the information necessary to study at POSTECH and by inviting them to engage in activities to make them feel more at home at POSTECH.
Specifically, before the foreign students arrive, the ISSS contacts the exchange students, and makes sure that they have all the information they need to prepare what they need. After the students successfully arrive and settle in POSTECH, the ISSS offers programs that help the foreign students understand the Korean culture better, such as making songpyeon on Chuseok day. Foreign students can visit the ISSS, which is located in the first floor of the POSCO International Center, whenever they have any difficulties with adjusting to Korean life, such as making friends, feeling lonely, studying, etc.
Actually I participated in one of the ISSS’s programs that helps foreign students adapt to the school environment and Korean culture. The ISSS matches the foreign students with a student buddy who helps them get checked in to their rooms, and helps them adjust to Korean and POSTECH life well. I volunteered as one of the buddies to get to know and be friends with the foreign students. The program included showing the students around the POSTECH campus, Hyoja Market, Jukdo Market, and Kyung-Ju. While it was fun making friends with the students, I felt that there is still room for improvement on some aspects of the ‘bilingual campus’.
First of all, the administration processes, such as assigning the dormitory rooms, are quite inconvenient. Some students have been assigned wrong rooms and therefore had to stay outside for a long time. Also, there is no one who can speak English in the dormitory center, so it is not easy for the students to express what they have problems with to the dormitory center.
Secondly, it would be better if there were more programs where Korean students and foreign exchange students can meet and share cultural differences.There are some activities, but they are limited to a very few Korean people, living in DICE. Although the definition of the word ‘bilingual’ only involves being able to speak two languages,I believe that to be accepted as a true bilingual, understanding the culture of other countries is also necessary. Only being able to talk isn’t sufficient; one should know how to communicate in other’s language. From that perspective, to be a true bilingual campus, there should be more opportunities for both Korean and international students to learn each other’s cultures.
I felt that aside from offering programs for students, the ISSS functions as a means of communication, or linkage for the international students. Whenever they need anything, or someone to help them communicate with other people, they can always freely visit the ISSS. The ISSS is doing a wonderful job, and, withthe 2 improvements written above, POSTECH will be able to successfully realize a true bilingual campus.