What is it like to study in Denmark and South Korea?
Interviews with a Danish Student abroad and a South Korean Student at AAMS. Anders, a Danish student currently studying at Korea Maritime and Ocean University, and Aileen, a South Korean student currently studying at AAMS, have both answered 3 questions about their exchange. This is what they answered.
What has been the best thing about studying in South Korea/Denmark?
Anders: “Generally, the best thing about the exchange is the many possibilities you get. The semester in Korea is, with the help of our professor, very closely connected to the real business community. That means that visiting companies and interacting with them have a high priority. During these visits, we have a chance to get close to the companies and network at the same time. This also means that it is much easier to get an internship in Korea, if you are interested in that. I think we have a company visit, a conference, or an excursion at least once a week, which is a great supplement to the teaching.”
Aileen: “There are lots of presentations and discussions. Pages in a presentation are very simple. They only focus on the content that they want to emphasize. In Korea, they prefer beautiful material and layouts, so when I give a presentation, I spent much more time making presentations with special visual effects. The most awesome thing is the autumn break in the middle of the semester. This way students can refresh for a short period or relax.”
What has surprised you the most about South Korea/Denmark or the South Koreans/Danes?
Anders: “The many experiences we get down here have surprised me a lot. On several occasions we have been asked along to VIP parties and dinner parties after conferences and company visits. At these parties, we can network as the only students among company leaders and owners, and they are indeed interested in who we are. These possibilities are due to our professor who knows just about everyone and who gladly displays us and creates contacts.”
Aileen: “They are very kind. When I lost my way they gladly help me. They do that even though I didn’t ask anybody for help, but maybe I look like I need help. They took me to ‘Den Gamle By’ (red. The Old City) and The Queens Castle to walk around and they also provided helpful information about transportation. In addition, the women who I met on the bus to Aarhus kindly explained the way to find my new place. It really impressed me. They are very generous and gentle but not used to express their real emotions. The Danes enjoy eating pickled fish and crashed meat on the bread. I already knew that they usually eat bread instead of rice, but it was new to me that they always eat bread, especially ‘Rugbread’ which I haven’t seen in Korea.”
What are the biggest differences or similarities between South Korea/Denmark?
Anders: “I have to say that the food has been a big change for me. Down here they are very fond of sea food. That includes among other octopus and different kind of fish with skin and bones. Therefore, the food at the school cafeteria has sometimes been hard to swallow. However, there are many other food options outside campus. The way of teaching is also different from Denmark. Down here they focus on real cases from the business community – although you have to prick up one’s ears to understand their English sometimes. But everything is in the powerpoints, so there is always a chance to catch up. Korea is a nation with a very large maritime sector and this is also something that Denmark can boast of. Besides, I think we can learn a great deal from South Korea because they give a high priority to offshore and alternative fuels within the maritime industry.”
Aileen: “In class, every assignment is group work. They always use laptops instead of books and pens. Every process of course is computerized so the examinations and reports are handed in on the internet. They can call the teachers by their own name not status like “teacher” or “professor” because they have a horizontal relationship compared to hierarchical Korean culture. They don’t hesitate to ask questions in class. They don’t call the students’ names before starting the class because students are responsible for their own work. In Korea, teachers check the presence of students in class and they scold them if they don’t concentrate in class. Most shops close the door before 6 pm compared to Korean shops and they open the door normally around 10 pm on weekends. Transportation is crazy expensive including the prize of parking fees. That’s why the Danes usually ride a bike.”
Anders: On this picture we are attending the World Ocean Forum where big business leaders share their experiences form the maritime sector. This includes topics such as self-directed ships, design of coastal areas and alternative propulsion methods for ships. The sign means “love” in Korean.