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International student meetings 2020: experience and friendship

During the first few weeks of November, the GSIS office and the international students from various countries had a chance to gather and enjoy the meals and casual conversations together, bringing back the relationship among Ewha GSIS members, after the health concerns under the pandemic had been lessened.

Students from each country met with the GSIS office’s representatives, Ms. Soyoung Kwon, the manager of the GSIS Office, Ms.Seong Hee Oh, the administrative staff, and Mr. Jinwon Song, to spend time together discussing their student lives, their difficulties, and suggestions for the improvement of Ewha GSIS.

The Taiwanese students spent their dinner time on November 3, 2020, with Ms.Kwon until late at night. Ruby Ju-Ting Chang, a third-semester IB-majored student shared her experience that evening with us,

“I enjoyed the dinner with Ms. Kwon and two other Taiwanese friends, Evelyn and I-Ting on Tuesday night. We had chicken ribs (닭갈비) for dinner and tea for the second round. They were wonderful! Ms. Kwon has always been very caring for all the students. She shared lots of useful information and encouraged us to explore our students’ lives more in Korea and Ewha GSIS. We had an amazing time!” 

Taiwanese students and Ms.Kwon

On the same day, three Thai students met Ms.Oh for lunch at a Thai restaurant in Sinchon. I am one of them. During the meal, she asked us about various issues to get to know more about Thai students and what life is like in both the GDIS and GDKS departments. This is a great opportunity for me to spend a casual conversation with her in the last week of her duty as the GSIS staff and my internship supervisor, before going to continue her academic path. Chanamas Phengsomboon, one of the Thai students in the TKFL major, also introduced the Facebook page of Thai Ewhain to Ms. Oh and promised to help promote the admission and activities of Ewha GSIS on that page.

Thai students and Ms.Oh

For the students from the Philippines, they had lunch with both Ms.Kwon and Ms.Oh. This is a message from Rizza Cervantes, a second-semester student from DC major about their lunch.

“Leaving home and moving to a foreign country can be really hard and lonely so being with fellow Filipinos always brings a sense of comfort and belongingness. The GSIS office recently organized a lunch meeting with the Filipino students in the department. We were served with different kinds of food such as Nagasaki champon, seasoned raw beef, and beef with aubergine. The warm meal complimented the warm atmosphere in the meeting. Everyone is comfortably sharing their own experiences in Korea, perceptions of the university, and things that they dearly miss back home. Most of my Filipino friends are part of the KOICA program and they are graduating soon so it is really nice to have this chance to get together and have a pleasant conversation.” 

Filipino students and Ms.Kwon

The biggest group gathering is, unsurprisingly, Chinese students, where eight students participated.

“For those who live abroad, move to a new country comes with a host of challenges. Especially when we live in such a fast-paced life, plus during the Corona pandemic, it is hard to get to meet even the few people I know from before. Luckily the last Friday, I attend the Chinese student gathering that let me finally able to connect to classmates from my country. During the lunch meeting, we shared the experiences, exchanged confidences, and had constructive and insightful discussions. We very appreciate this event hold by the GDIS office.” Jin Na, a third-semester student in the IT major, told us.

Chinese students and Ms.Kwon

“I participated in the Chinese Student Meeting last Friday. It was my first time to participate in the gathering only for Chinese students in GSIS. The prepared lunch meal was delicious, and the atmosphere was also active and great. We introduced ourselves to each other, and then shared our experiences and feelings with friends. I can also feel that the GSIS department does care about our feelings and lives during the COVID-19 period. I think this Chinese Student Meeting was a great experience for me to know my Chinese friends.” Dai Yue, a fourth-semester student in the DC major, expressed her thoughts about this event.

The international student meeting for Ewha GSIS students from other countries is still underway, including the Vietnamese group on this Monday. I hope everyone will enjoy making new friends and having a good conversation with our GSIS staff!

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Published by Khing Amatyakul

Thai, Working at SuperPlanet, IR grad from Ewha GSIS | @khingamat

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