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Adapting to Life at SKKU
Pham Vu Kieu Mai, International Student

Q1. Please introduce yourself.

Hello, my name is Mai, although everyone calls me May. I was actually born in May, so it is okay. I am a 22-year-old Vietnamese international student studying Global Business Administration at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU). I am also a bread lover; I especially like cream cheese garlic bread and chestnut bread.

Q2. Why did you choose Korea and SKKU?

After graduating from high school, one of my dreams was to visit Korea. I have always been interested in Korean culture and K-pop. Moreover, having spent my high school years in the United States, I wished to live in an environment that was culturally similar to Vietnam. Around the time I was applying to universities in Korea, I was recommended to check out SKKU and was informed about the “Samsung Global Sungkyun Scholarship.” It is a newly made scholarship for international students at SKKU, and so I applied for it. The people I met during the application process were very welcoming, and they left me with a favorable impression of SKKU.

Q3. How is your life at SKKU?

It is entertaining but also stressful at the same time. The best part is that I get to meet new people through team projects and student clubs. My university life was almost non-existent as a freshman due to the pandemic. However, a year later, I began to make friends by participating in various activities such as event planning and joining a band club, which were both meaningful experiences. On the other hand, a stressful aspect is the study workload, which is challenging to manage. The pressures were incredibly intense last semester due to the responsibilities I had to take on, but overall, everything turned out fine in the end. In 2021, I even made the Dean’s list!

Q4. Is there anything you would change at SKKU?

So far, SKKU has been excellent, but I believe there is one area where they can improve: SKKU should offer offline Korean lessons for international students. The school presently has basic online Korean classes, but it would be more beneficial if they opened opportunities for international students to learn Korean from teachers face-to-face. There is more to university life than classes, but they all involve knowing Korean. Of course, students can learn Korean independently, but it would be fantastic if SKKU could assist with this process.

홍은지  hongeunji129@g.skku.edu

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