School of Arts and Humanities News

Korean Students Get the American College Experience

Three Korean student interns at The University of Texas at Dallas have since returned home, but their memories will last a lifetime. The students were the first participants in the new Global Communication and Leadership Institute (GCLI), which plays a key role in the development of a global humanities program designed to foster international understanding.

On December 7, Seungeun Lee, Yeonggyeong Park and Heechan Song returned to Seoul, where they are students at Hanyang University, after spending the past two semesters at UT Dallas under the watchful eye of Tom Lambert, senior lecturer in the School of Arts and Humanities.

In addition to attending classes and conducting research at the University, the students took part in a program of communication and cultural activities with Lambert, who explained, “The program is based on a need to prepare students for a global work environment, one in which the need for skills intercultural communication is increasingly commonplace. The intent is to expand this to other universities in other countries.”

With Lambert’s guidance, the Korean students took advantage of the resources available to them at UT Dallas. Lee took courses in electrical and computer engineering, Park studied biology, and Song focused on management and philosophy. Though their coursework differed, they all agreed that the biggest lesson learned came outside the classroom, meeting people from other cultures and backgrounds. “Having grown up in Korea surrounded by a single ethnic group, I was eager to meet people from different cultures and experience diversity,” said Song. “They say America is a ‘melting pot,’ and it’s true! My roommate was from Turkey, and it was very good learning to communicate with him. There is lots of diversity here, especially at UT Dallas.”

Park added that “based on this experience, learning a new language and meeting new people, I decided I want to be a doctor. I have two more years in university, but will then go to medical school.” She said a UT Dallas biology course, “Human Anatomy and Physiology,” helped make up her mind.

Lee and Song also have big plans for the future, as both intend to return to America for graduate school – perhaps at UT Dallas. Lee in particular wishes to pursue electrical engineering and thinks UT Dallas might be the place for him.

And they would certainly be welcome. Arts and Humanities Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education Shelley Lane said, “These three students are the first among what I hope will be many more to come at UT Dallas.”