UMD explores study abroad options with South Korea

 The team from the University of Minnesota Duluth and Kyung Hee University after a two-day visit to explore ways to collaborate. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

The team from the University of Minnesota Duluth and Kyung Hee University after a two-day visit to explore ways to collaborate. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Four UMD staff and faculty members recently visited South Korea to investigate options for exchange programs for students and faculty.

Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Sue Maher organized the academic-focused trip to South Korea from Sept. 9-17, along with two faculty and one staff member. They visited Korea University and Kyung Hee University, two of the top colleges in the country.

Options for international exchange are being explored for students, as well as a new program called the UMD Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL). The COIL program aims to connect students and faculty at UMD with their counterparts in a corresponding class at the South Korean Universities. As of right now, a linguistics class is being considered for implementation into the program.

  UMD College of Liberal Arts  Dean  Susan Naramore Maher  lectured at  Kyung Hee University  on Thursday about her study of the writer Wallace Stegner in a talk titled "Literary Field Work on the North American Plains: Wallace Stegner and the Invention of the Deep Map Genre." Maher talked of her time at the  Eastend Arts Council / Wallace Stegner House  and showed photos of the landscape that inspired Stegner's work. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

UMD College of Liberal Arts Dean Susan Naramore Maher lectured at Kyung Hee University on Thursday about her study of the writer Wallace Stegner in a talk titled "Literary Field Work on the North American Plains: Wallace Stegner and the Invention of the Deep Map Genre." Maher talked of her time at the Eastend Arts Council / Wallace Stegner House and showed photos of the landscape that inspired Stegner's work. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Dean Maher emphasized the program’s focus on intercultural communication. The universities aim to start the program by linking the colleges of humanities, and then possibly move on to the college of education.

“The dean of Kyung Hee has been here, and really had the first thought that this would be a fantastic partnership between the universities,” Maher said. “We would start with COIL, and then have the conversation about other opportunities.”

 Celebrating UMD College of Liberal Arts Dean Susan Maher's lecture on the life of Wallace Stegner. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Celebrating UMD College of Liberal Arts Dean Susan Maher's lecture on the life of
Wallace Stegner. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Also on the trip was UMD Professor John Hatcher, head of the journalism department. He is considering trying out the COIL program with one of his courses.

Hatcher explained the core idea of the program:

“A course here in Duluth might partner with a course at Kyung Hee, and for a time the courses might intersect so that students might be studying alongside other students in Korea via technology,” Hatcher said.

Staff member Jason Davis assisted with infrastructure assessment on the trip, and evaluated any compatability issues that might occur with the technology used for the program. Davis found the technological groundwork to be impeccable, and emphasized that COIL courses could be available to students as early as the fall semester of 2018.

 Director of Information Technology Jason Davis explains how the tools of technology can serve as a bridge connecting learning across cultures and countries in a presentation to the Dean of Academic Affairs at Kyung Hee University. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Director of Information Technology Jason Davis explains how the tools of technology can serve as a bridge connecting learning across cultures and countries in a presentation to the Dean of Academic Affairs at Kyung Hee University. Photo courtesy of John Hatcher.

Davis encourages students to study abroad, and recommends the universities in South Korea.

“Study abroad is something that is increasingly expected for students, and I feel like I missed out on that when I was a student,” Davis said.

All of the faculty members who went on the trip emphasized the welcoming environment of Seoul, and feel as though it is a perfect place for students to study abroad. These programs are opportunities for increased partnerships between UMD and the South Korean universities, and could lead to more connections with other international universities and programs in the future.

 

NewsClare Cade