For graduate students at Ewha GSIS, in order to obtain a master’s degree, we have to pass a short-term internship consisting of 160 working hours. This internship credit is a part of the obligatory Professional Training Courses, the courses that help prepare us for a career in international studies.
We had a great opportunity to interview Adolat Nurulloeva, a third-semester student majoring in international relations from Uzbekistan, who spent her summer break doing an internship at a non-governmental organization in Korea. Let’s learn about her experience at Ewha GSIS and PSCORE, an organization advocating for human rights in North Korea and helping defectors adapting to their life in South Korea!
What was your occupation before joining Ewha GSIS and being a GKS scholar?
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and worked as a reporter for 4 years back in my country. Actually, I applied for the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) twice and was rejected the first time, but because of my desire to study in Korea, I tried again and my second attempt was successful.
Why did you choose to study International Relations at Ewha GSIS?
International relations has always been very interesting to me as an interdisciplinary study, combining the fields of political and social sciences, economics, and history to examine topics such as human rights, global poverty, the environment, governance, international conflict, and so on.
When it comes to Ewha GSIS, first, I would say that Ewha GSIS offers the most varied and effective curriculum compared to other GSIS in Korea. Second, as the largest women’s university in the world, Ewha GSIS focuses more on building leadership opportunities and courses specifically for women leaders. Third, our school’s curriculum emphasizes a good balance between theory and practice. The internship is an important part of the curriculum. Students can undertake internships at domestic and international organizations and businesses. I had two internships, applying my theoretical knowledge into real practice.
How do you feel living in Korea so far?
It was much easier for me to adapt to Korean life, partly because of the close proximity of Uzbek and Korean cultures and even languages. However, Korea is more technologically advanced than my country. It is a bit difficult for me to learn about new applications and technologies.
But I must say that the Ewha GSIS family consists of culturally diverse people. You can meet more international students here than Koreans. The multicultural environment allows you to increase your creativity and productivity, and to learn about different cultures.
Could you explain about the organization where you had taken an internship? What is their main goal?
I did an internship at PSCORE, a non-governmental organization based in Seoul, from May to August. PSCORE stands for “People for Successful COrean REunification” and it focuses on potential barriers to reunification and assists North Korean refugees to adapt to their daily life in South Korea. PSCORE addresses the reunification of the Korean Peninsula through public exposure and programs involving mentoring, education, and human rights and democracy. Since 2012, it has held special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
What were your duties during the internship?
As I mentioned before, I had a 3-month internship at PSCORE and I could say it was a very useful experience for me. To be honest, I learned a lot from PSCORE, rather than giving to PSCORE.
Chiefly, I played two major roles in the organization. First, I was in the marketing and communication department, where I helped promote the organization online and performed SEO activities for the web page. Second, I regularly conducted interviews with teachers and North Korean defector students who participate in the PSCORE Tutoring Program. Other activities consisted of proofreading and posting the Russian version of PSCORE reports on the web page, and participating in the preparation of an online workshop. I also translated PSCORE website content into the Russian language and developed PSCORE’s Russian webpage, increasing the organization’s online presence on a global scale.
What experiences did you get from this internship?
I would say I gained lots of valuable experiences at PSCORE. First, I learned how to work efficiently in a multicultural team. It helped improve my creativity and productivity in general. Second, I obtained skills on how to organize workshops and seminars in a timely manner. Third, I got to know about useful software that can help create social media content and manage the account. For example, now I know the basics of web designing and online page creation through WordPress.
Can you give some tips for our friends who are looking for an internship position in Korea? What should they focus on when writing an application?
As we live in the era of the internet, any information, including internship opportunities, can be found online. The only thing you have to do is to search for them on Google:). Second, friends can be an important source in finding internship positions. Personally, I found this organization through my friend who was doing an internship at PSCORE. In fact, PSCORE has been working closely with Ewha GSIS for many years. Many of Ewha’s students have taken internship opportunities there. The most important thing is that when you find an internship, it should match your interests.
Proofread by Cynthia B.
You can check for new internship opportunities here.