South Korean students are coming to see how northern B.C. students experience university.
UNBC has partnered with post-secondary institutions in South Korea for hands-on educational experiences. The results are already walking around our city. Twenty-six students are here to attend UNBC and gather in Canadian culture.
"The University had been approached by educational institutions looking to develop university relationships outside the Lower Mainland," said UNBC spokesman Matt Wood. "The Prince George campus saw 17 students arrive from Hanbat National University to study English and to get a feel for university life in Northern B.C. Another nine students are visiting from Hankyong National University and will wrap up a 12-week English for Academic Purposes program in April."
Hanbat and Hankyong have each signed a memorandum of understanding with UNBC to make more exchanges like this happen in the future.
"These students are energetic and bring a new dynamic to international education at UNBC," said vice-provost of student engagement Bill Owen.
"By bringing students in for short-term programs, we expose them to life in a different educational setting than the one they might receive in their own country. Beyond the students' experiences, these partnerships with overseas universities provide research collaboration and faculty exchange opportunities for UNBC as well."
There are already plans afoot for local students to travel to South Korea to help teach English to their Korean student peers.
"While at UNBC, the students have honed their academic English skills by enhancing their research, writing and presentation skills," said Wood.
"They were also allowed to audit various undergraduate courses, such as Dr. Karin Beeler's English 104: Introduction to Film, and Dr. Jason Lacharite's Political Science 100: Contemporary Political Issues."
Each year, UNBC welcomes exchange students from as many as 30 different countries including China, Denmark, India, Germany, and Saudi Arabia. In 2012-13, international students made up 11.2 per cent of UNBC's student body, up from 2.9 per cent 10 years ago. The 26 from South Korea represent the largest cohort to attend UNBC from that country.