POSTECH Microscope: an Exchange Student’s life in POSTECH
POSTECH Microscope: an Exchange Student’s life in POSTECH
  • Reporter Lee Seung-Joo
  • 승인 2018.10.10 18:33
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Hanno, an exchange student from Germany
Hanno, an exchange student from Germany


This semester, many foreign students have joined our life in POSTECH. Many remark that it might be the most so far. The question is: how are they in POSTECH? The Postech Times interviewed Hanno, an exchange student from Germany, to share his challenges as an exchange student in POSTECH. 


How is POSTECH for you as an exchange student? 

“First of all, I mostly like POSTECH. I like it that many courses are in English. It is more than my university in Germany since POSTECH is officially a bilingual university, unlike mine. But it is still not as much English as I would like it to be. Many of the professors speak English, but it is difficult to understand them unless I concentrate on each word they’re saying. I feel like I’m more concentrating on what they are saying than actually understanding the topics. Some departments have good English services, but most  doesn’t. Even if you go to talk at my ME department, there’s only one person who can speak a little bit of English, but even she uses a translator sometimes.” 


Were you rejected from any class?

“Yes. In my case, it was only once. There were actually more, but other students who already got rejected told me in advance so I didn’t need to go back to those classes. Once, there were five foreign students in the course, but the professor told us that this is core course and it is really important for the Koreans to understand. He could’ve announced in advance that the lecture is Korean. For me, it doesn’t matter what courses I take, but for other students, they had to check with their universities which courses they have to take and get grades for so that they can transfer credits. So when the professors suddenly say that it’s not going to work, then it’s quite a big problem for them.”  


Does POSTECH offer you enough extracurricular activities? 

“I know that there are a lot of clubs here, I think more than my home school. But we don’t get any English information directly. This time, there was an Excel file listing the clubs, but it was in Korean. One student was kind enough to translate most of it so that we can look and maybe ask if we can join, but it isn’t easy for us. Besides I don’t know if they will accept us. Especially if they know that they have to speak English and most of the students will just stay for a few weeks and leave. Among the exchange students I know, I don’t know anyone who joined any clubs. I know there were some that wanted to, but I don’t know if they did. I think if the foreigners have good connections with Korean students, you can join but if you don’t, I don’t think so.”  


Did POSTECH match your expectation? 

“It pretty well matched my expectation. But I did always think of POSTECH as a private university with a lot of money, so I expected better education. But actually, all money is spent on research, not in education. I feel like the professors are almost making no effort to classes. 

Germany was much better. The presentations are much well-made and they always offer a script. Here, we must always buy textbooks which costs up to a hundred dollars. Sometimes even the professor says that he doesn’t like the book, but I still need it to do my homework. I can’t even go look at it in the library since there are not too many copies. Some professors might really be good in their subjects, but not in teaching. I also was expecting a lot from small classes. I really liked POSTECH’s small community- everybody knows each other and gets to talk more with their professors. But actually, the professors don’t even stay after lectures for questions. They are the first ones who are leaving. In Germany, professors always stay after lecture for questions. I feel like I don’t learn anything during the lecture, so I basically have to study everything by myself. 

Also the homework, we never get them back for some courses. We want to know whether we did it right so that we can study for the midterm. If we can’t get them back, I don’t see the sense behind homework. Plus, the homework is too much. It takes too long if I want to understand every single topic and then do the homework.  

Lastly, most are disappointed with the housing. Everything was extremely dirty. There were cockroaches, furniture looked bad and we couldn’t choose your roommate either.”