Difficulties Living at POSTECH in Professors’ Views
Difficulties Living at POSTECH in Professors’ Views
  • Reporter Kim Sung-hwan
  • 승인 2011.10.12 19:31
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Wherever there are human interactions, there will be unexpected or unintended troubles. POSTECH is not an exception. As an educational institute, POSTECH envelops thousands of scientists and engineers who construct a little society of POSTECH. Each of them is from each different stratified world. The hometowns of the constituents vary from Seoul to Iran to the United States. Cultural conflicts, which count not only for foreign-to-foreign or foreign-to-national relationships but also for national-to-national relationships, might occur. The Postech Times randomly picked several professors and asked if they had any difficulties working at POSTECH.

Almost all professors who received requests from The Postech Times were mostly satisfied with life in Pohang. Some of them were very content, even refusing the interview, for they asserted to have no difficulties at all. I assumed POSTECH was a well-established institute. Then with some conversations, some hidden troubles inside the utopian shell began to stream out.

The article cannot handle everything professors said. Some common issues were cut out and some were shortened.



Bongkoo Kang (EE) - Parking system needs improvement
“[The] parking system has to be reshaped. This is the only disorderly part in POSTECH. Because there is not really a parking system, anyone parks a car in any place. This causes a chaos. Anyone who drives in POSTECH would agree with it.

Requiring in-campus residences walk to school rather than driving would be good. Making each different lot for professors, personnel and students would also work. Because there is no space to park, drivers park and cram the cars by road or part of footpath. Some means has to be made.”



Scott Steel (HSS) - Housing problems will reach the threshold
“I have never had any real problems. Before, I used to live in the [faculty] apartment. But it became too expensive and I moved off the campus. Some other foreign professors are doing that now too. The building is getting old, and some of the professors renovated the apartment on their own. Also, culturally,  in the building like that, people share the heat, but I turn my heat off. In North America, we do the individual payment instead of group payment. It is cultural. If you don’t like it, you move out, so I chose to move off campus. More people are going to move off the campus. Housing crunches are coming as the school’s accommodating more and more professors. Sooner or later, more and more apartments will be needed. Housing problems will reach the threshold.”



Andreas o. Bender (Math) - Housing; Changes are open and on track
“The only thing which I don’t see as an advantage is that they can only give me a very tiny dorm apartment to live in. If I had a choice, I would move to a bigger place, but I don’t want to move out. Then, I’m not two minutes away from the campus. I prefer to stay where I am.

One thing I like to have is a good bookstore with foreign books. I think that within a next year, there will be something like that in Pohang.

I often use the library here. The library was always happy to acquire books by order. There are definitely enough English books to read in the library. For a non-professional, the collection is already good. And it will be improved as some recommendations are made to the library.
I went to an Italian restaurant downtown here in Pohang. It was among the best I’ve ever had. The food and desert were not in question to compete with ones served in Italy. In my impression, things are definitely moving in a good direction.”



Jacobus H. Koolen (Math) - Businesses are less foreigner-friendly
“Because I have my current VISA, they would not give me certain things:Credit cards and certain things, even though I am a professor. I once tried to get a credit card in Hyundai department store, and they said “no, you have this kind of VISA.” Also, I had two or three months of a fight to get a Galaxy S in same condition as any Korean.”

What was in common was that professors were generally satisfied with the community and the school. But everyone agreed that the housing definitely has a problem. In that, some moved out from the campus; some just live with it. Other than this, the school might have some other problems in living, which are hard to be handled officially. The school needs more personal and careful approaches to solve unsaid problems for the better living condition of faculty members and other constituents of the school.