[Exchange Program in Finland] Ep.1 Why I participated in ISEP?

Written by Jin Na (Ewha GSIS Student) 

Hi everyone! My name is Jin Na. I am an MIS candidate majoring in International Trade & Investment (ITI) with a minor in International Business (IB) at Ewha GSIS. I am currently participating in the exchange program of ISEP (International Student Exchange Program) which is why I will be studying soon in the department of Turku School of Economics at the University of Turku, Finland from January to June in 2021. I guess you are not familiar with ISEP? So, I want to introduce this program and to share my experiences with you about how I got this opportunity. 

ISEP is a community for study, intern, and volunteer programs between approximately 300 universities and colleges in over 50 countries. With ISEP Exchange programs, students can go abroad at their home university’s tuition, room and board costs, including any scholarships, grants or financial aid they receive, while a student from an international university takes their place. Luckily, Ewha Womans University is one of the seven institutions in South Korea, that is participating in ISEP. (See www.isep.org)  

Ewha’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) works with various departments and research partners of the university in order to encourage student participation in study abroad programs and to enhance the campus’ global curricula. Therefore, I believe I am qualified to apply for this project, since I have completed the necessary steps, including the preliminary application and nomination process of the general application, in order for an applicant to be considered eligible to study abroad. If you are also interested in participating in exchange programs, you may visit the website of OIA, which contains various information regarding exchange affairs. However, please note that students who are on their second or third semesters (graduating students are not eligible) are allowed to participate, and they must register for more than 1 semester after returning home. (See http://oia.ewha.ac.kr/oia/index.do)

The main reason why I applied for the exchange program is to grasp the high-quality academic opportunities in different countries that I am offered and have another genuine abroad experience. Finland is considered one of the best education systems and has the most influential universities in the world. According to the Global Innovation Index (GII), Finland ranks at No. 1 for the third year in a row when it comes to the business environment. Moreover, Turku School of Economics is among the 5% of the business schools worldwide, which have earned the highly valued AACSB Accreditation. It is also one of the most popular business schools in Finland. As I am very interested in building a career in global business in the future, I wish to gain a better understanding of the economic foundations and the business environment in Europe. I would like to take more classes that focus on business creation, which would help me develop the mindset, skill set, and training necessary for ventures. More importantly, living in Finland will provide me with a wonderful opportunity to experience genuine and diverse local cultures, which is another reason I was more than eager to apply for the exchange program. Studying and interacting with students from multiple countries and different backgrounds can create a healthy community to share ideas, values, and opinions, which I think will increase my cultural flexibility and confidence. 

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, a lot of programs have been canceled and I was not sure if my exchange program would be one of them. Thankfully, I could have this great opportunity in the mid of uncertainty. I am very excited to take this new step in my life, although at the same time I know it will be challenging. However, I am determined to make the most of it and cherish this opportunity. 

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