Extra! Korea

September 16, 2009

Seoul National University seems to only give lip service to “globalization”

Filed under: education, expatriates, multicultural society — extrakorea @ 2:08 pm

Seoul National University is Korea’s most prestigious university. It has 936 international students from 65 countries. However, a lot of them seem quite dissatisfied with the university’s ability to provide help and services to them. Yavuz Selim Kacara, a 24-year-old Turk who majors in economics, has quit as president of the university’s international student association.

“Although SNU talks about globalization, the reality can’t be further from the truth. We cannot even communicate well with the only official in charge of foreign student management.”

[ snip ]

SNU President Lee Jang-moo last month visited Harvard University. Foreign students in SNU, however, think it is nothing more than propaganda.

“We have difficulties in even registering for classes as our school doesn’t offer an English Web site,” said a student from a Southeast Asian country.

A Western student complained that some departments don’t provide English classes for their compulsory courses, making it difficult for foreigners to graduate.

The university scrapped this fall semester’s “SNU Buddy” program, which was set to help foreign students acclimate themselves to Korea.

Some students from Islamic countries have requested the university to provide a prayer room, but the school rejected the proposal without any convincing reasons.

They also appealed to the school cafeterias several times for a Muslim diet but not a sign of change has been shown.

Some lecturers prove to be insensitive enough to say things derogatory about non-Korean students.

“When a lecturer was irritated with a board marker that’s not working properly, he openly said, ‘It must be made in China’,” a Chinese student said.

[ snip ]

Asked about its stance over the problems in a written inquiry by The Korea Times, SNU offered no response.

1 Comment »

  1. Ironically, Korean newspapers rush to mention every time an American university serves kimchi at one of its cafeterias.

    Comment by Teadrinker — September 18, 2009 @ 2:02 am

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