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Notes from Abroad: South Korea

Ohio Northern University students are experiencing college life on the other side of the world this summer. Eight students - two from each undergraduate college - are spending four weeks in summer studies at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea, followed by one week in China. This is the second year of the exchange agreement between Hanyang University and Ohio Northern.

Representing the College of Business Administration are Chris Corrado, junior marketing major from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Beth Thornton, senior accounting major from Wapakoneta, Ohio. Jenny Rowe, senior language arts education major from Waldo, Ohio, and Elizabeth Okrutny, junior forensic biology major from Tipp City, Ohio, are students in the College of Arts and Sciences. From the College of Engineering are Nathan Gannon, junior mechanical engineering major from Fostoria, Ohio, and Adam Hamman, sophomore civil engineering major from Bloomdale, Ohio. Valerie Hall, fourth-year pharmacy student from Mentor, Ohio, and Patrick Schmees, third-year pharmacy student from Fairfield, Ohio, represent the College of Pharmacy.

Dr. David Smith, associate professor of geography in the department of history, political science and criminal justice, will accompany the students to Seoul. As part of the exchange, Smith will teach at Hanyang University again this summer. ONU currently hosts two Hanyang students. Four students are expected from Hanyang for the 2008-09 academic year.

David R. Smith

ONU students are not the only ones documenting their South Korean experience with journals and photos. Dr. David R. Smith, associate professor of geography, keeps track of his daily life as a professor at Hanyang University, where he teaches a course entitled “Model UN.”

In this journal entry, Chris Corrado, recaps his first week in South Korea.

Chris writes:

We just finished our first week of classes at Hanyang University and dove head first into the Asian culture in Seoul, South Korea. When we arrived at the university, we were given the unique opportunity to live with a Korean family for the first five days of our fellowship. These families opened their houses to us so we could experience South Korean culture. These "home-stay" families showed us their favorite parts of the city, made us traditional home-cooked meals and provided insight into the culture and the city, including how to navigate the subway lines.

We started classes on Monday; we are each taking two courses, which range from Korean Language, Korean Mind and Korean History to Understanding International Business and Meditation. Aside from our demanding class schedule, we find time to tour Seoul at night with our fellow Hanyang students.

As we become more comfortable in our new setting, we're learning how to communicate and function in this foreign city. Beth Thornton and I traveled to a small market about 30 minutes from the university - our first trip alone after arriving here just one week ago. We were able to communicate with the non-English-speaking restaurant and order what they refer to as "street food" - fried squid, crab, sweet potato and eggs mixed in a hot sauce with rice cakes. Our first successful excursion left us eager to continue placing ourselves into this new and intriguing culture.

We've already finished one week of classes, leaving only three weeks in Korea to learn about the culture, history and language, as well as comprehend how our worlds are so diverse yet so similar.