Introduction Week at Kyung Hee University (경희대학) - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Introduction Week at Kyung Hee University (경희대학)

My first week at Kyung Hee University is over, and I must say it's been an interesting week in many ways.
One of the statues at campus
I came here through Ritsumeikan University's Double Master Degree Program, and Kyung Hee's Graduate Institute of Peace Studies (GIP) will be my new home for the coming year. The campus is really beautiful, with a lot of statues, and the buildings are all in classic greek style. Although I have to say that I had hoped that the school would have been a little bit closer to Seoul: It actually takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to the city from the campus.

Also, all of the other students gets a scholarship which means they get everything covered from the school, including tuition fees, books, free accommodation in the school's dorm and three meals a day. So out of all the 40-or-so students staying at the campus I am the only one actually have to pay Kyung Hee for my stay here, and this comes in addition to the tuition fee I pay to Ritsumeikan University (Which including the scholarship I received as a DMDP-students equals about 6370 US dollars for the year in Korea). When all the other newcomers received their scholarship on our entrance-ceremony I have to admit that I felt like being considered an "outsider", or "less worth" then the other students. Even my entrance letter to the school stated that "all GIP students are awarded a scholarship, removing the normal financial burden of tuition and accommodation expenses that can be an obstacle to intelligent students seeking a graduate education". Although I understand that I have entered the school on different premisses I would have liked to believe that I still fall under the category of "GIP student", especially as it is written in my acceptance letter. Anyway, I'm still happy for the chance to be here at Kyung Hee.
Kyung Hee University
Besides this minor issue I believe that my year at Kyung Hee will be a good one where I can learn and grow a lot, both when it comes to academical performance and also as a person. It is a quite strict environment, with mandatory meditation every morning at 7 am led by the senior students, where we even do a daily recitation of the GIP creed. Formal wear is also mandatory during lunch and classes (but this is something that apparently depends a bit on the different professors). This week we have had a leadership program where we had a variety of different courses intended to inspire us to hopefully become good leaders in the future.
Our dormitory
Formal wear at lunch
Korean style lunch
Formal wear in class
Meditation training with a monk from the temple outside the GIP
The real courses starts on Monday, and I'm looking forward to begin working on the classes I have chosen. I managed to avoid Friday classes, which means that I have more time to go travelling in weekends. As I'll be attending the job fair in Boston in October I was a bit afraid that I would loose a class, so I was pretty happy about this. Although one has to be careful not to miss too many meditation classes; apparently there is a penalty if you fail to show up more than 4 times.
Anyway, I've already met a lot of nice and inspiring people, and I hope I'll have a great year here at Kyung Hee. I'll definitely do my best.

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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  1. Hello, I am thinking about applying for the Kyung Hee Peace Studies Grad Program. Would you recommend it? Also, do you feel it sets you up for international careers? Any feedback you could provide I would greatly appreciate.

    1. Hi Ben!

      If you're considering an international career in for instance the UN then taking your master at the GIP is definitely a good way to go, because Kyung Hee is well-known for their peace education within the organization. The campus is in an environment that is really good for studying since it is in a quiet area with a peaceful environment (our closest neighbor is a buddhist temple) so it can a great place for improving your academic skills.
      You also get the chance to improve your leadership skills; there is for instance one person from each batch who are appointed batch leader, and you also work as a teacher's assistance, work in the schools library, or gain the title as campus president. All of which comes with a great deal of responsibility, but also a great experience.

      One of the best things about the campus is that you get the chance to get to know many amzing people from all over the world (last semester we had students from Korea, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Philippines, Russia, Kazakhstan, Poland, Australia, Sweden, Norway and Finland). My fellow students are all great in their fields, and many of them are aiming to work for the UN or as diplomats in the future. You can thus learn a lot about different cultures and countries, because all of the students are very interested in what is going on in their home countries and on the international scene. We are not that many students at the campus, and since you'll be stuck there for a large chunck of your time you get the chance to build some strong friendships too.

      You have to do an internship during your master studies, and many students take a semester of to do their internship abroad in an international organization. However, if you want to stay in Korea for just one year you could always try to apply for the Double Master Degree Program which enables you to go to Ritsumeikan in Kyoto (which is my home university) or to Hiroshima to take a second master degree there. You have to be efficient though; since both universities requires a thesis you'll only have a year per thesis.

      On the downside I have to mention strict school rules; for instance that we have mandatory participation in meditation every morning at 7 am, and formal wear at lunch and some of the classes. We also have some required courses that not always are as good as we would like them to be..
      Also, there is not that much to do in the area besides studying, and it takes one and a half hour to get to Seoul from the campus. So it is not the best place if you want to learn Korean and experience Korean culture on a daily basis during your stay..

      Please let me know if there is anything you would like to hear more about! :)

  2. oooh! i finally found someone, who's studying at Kyung Hee! I was wondering about tuition fee...:/ i didn't find anything on their website about prices, but i'm really curious. I really want to study in Kyung Hee. Although I want to study International Business. But i don't think the prices would differ much. What's the tuition fee for GIP program? If it's not top secret info, of course :D

    1. I can't help you with the tuition fees for Kyung Hee's other campuses, but the GIP is fully covered by their scholarships, so you actually don't have to pay for anything! That even includes books, food and the stay in the dorm. The programs offered at school are
      1) Peace and Global Governance,
      2) Asia-Pacific Studies and
      3) New Politics and Future Governance (all master programs)!
      So there is no direct major covering business, but you are free to take classes at the main campus as you'd like so it would still be possible to take business-related subjects! ;)


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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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