• Reporter Chung Sung-joon
  • 승인 2013.11.20 15:24
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In the beginning of every semester, all the students studying in POSTECH leave their home to stay in dormitories within the university campus. Most students find it rather difficult to visit their homes even during weekends due to heavy loads of quizzes and assignments that have to be handed in the week after. Feeling homesick is inevitable for every individual, especially exchange students who usually spend a semester in POSTECH. How do they feel about studying in POSTECH? Several international students were kind enough to express their opinions on homesickness.
A current exchange student from Brazil, Takeshi, said that he does not feel lonely at all studying in POSTECH. “I have lots of friends here from Brazil to hang out with and the fact that I can call my parents and my friends anytime and from anywhere make me feel at home. Frankly, I don’t miss Brazilian food at all.”, chuckled Takeshi, who frequently uses Skype to make face-to-face video calls. It seems that plethora of social networking services (SNS) such as Skype and Whatsapp play a significant role in creating a “hometown” ambience in POSTECH.
Adam, an exchange graduate student from Germany, highlighted that Korean students in POSTECH are very welcoming; he has never felt alienated. He also added that he is still able to participate in official gatherings in DICE (Dormitory for Exchange Students) even though he stays in an apartment for graduate students. “I really miss those days with parties every night in POSTECH in the beginning of the semester. It was truly awesome!” said Adam, who seems to be enjoying his life in POSTECH. According to him, there is a weekly program in DICE called “This is my hometown”. Every exchange student prepares presentation slides introducing their countries beforehand to share their stories and cultures with other fellow international students. Sometimes, traditional food is prepared in advance for students to taste.
Lastly, an Indian exchange student, Nijansh, stressed that he does not feel homesick at all, just like Adam and Takeshi. “Of course, I miss Indian food in my hometown, but I have never felt depressed or homesick because of that.” smiled Nijansh, who will be going back to India at the end of the semester.
International students do occasionally miss food and friends back in their countries, but it is definitely not up to the level where they start to feel homesick. Weekly programs and various parties hosted by DICE help international students become close to one another. They would overcome the language barriers and cultural differences they may face during the exchange program. Convenient SNSs allow them to keep in touch with those who are thousands of miles away.
Homesickness can always be avoided. Being proactive and open-minded helps one to see things from a different perspective and enables one to live university life to the fullest.