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SeoulTech student Soojin Jin attends LU

Soojin Jin Since the department was established, the Office of Study Abroad has been instrumental in furthering the education of students around the globe by sending Lamar students abroad to learn unique lessons in exciting locations, as well as by inviting students from a number of foreign universities to spent time at Lamar and immerse themselves in the university both socially and academically.

During the Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters one such student Lamar has is Soojin Jin, a senior from Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech).

Jin is a majoring in English Literature, and explained that her interest in spending part of her educational career studying abroad came partially from her choice of major.

According to Jin, SeoulTech has an array of opportunities for students from variety of majors to have an opportunity to study abroad. In her case, Jin wanted to have experience in a predominantly English speaking country in order to increase her fluency and comfort with the language.

“When I was in high school I studied hard so I could go to a good university. I wanted to experience a lot of things when I entered the university,” said Jin. “I think this experience will benefit me in my career by providing a good overall influence. I also wanted to experience the American university life and traveling.” 

Despite having spent years learning and practicing English as part of her major, Jin said there have been instances where the language barrier is noticeable, laughing as she recounted one particular instance from when she first arrived on campus. “A friend and I went to the rec center and asked if we could walk around even though we didn’t have IDs yet. The staff said yes and a guide showed us around. The guide told me that they had a pool in the rec center, so I asked her if I could wear a bikini and she laughed. I thought she meant a swimming pool, but really she meant a pool table,” said Jin.

When asked about the differences between classes SeoulTech and Lamar, Jin explained that the two schools are very similar. According to Jin, Korean classes were traditionally low on interaction between the professor and their students. Students would sit in the classroom and write down what the professor said, with minimal communication with either the professor or other students. Today, though, there is much more interaction in the classroom in a way that mirrors that of an American classroom.

However, while there may be academic similarities, Jin pointed out a distinct social difference. “One big difference between America and Korea is that is that in America people complement each other a lot. Even though I don’t know someone, they’ll come up to me and say ‘Oh, I like your outfit.’ I think it’s a good culture, because in Korea we don’t do that,” said Jin.