Nwaeze Offor Afam
(KOREATECH-KOICA Global Techno-HRD Program)
To study in another country is an extraordinary and fantastic opportunity as well as a great challenge. It does not only mean the acquisition of knowledge at the university, but also constant self-improvement, fast adjustment and many other things to help you manage in exciting and more or less complicated situations that you may come across in a new environment.
Going to a new place for studies like the Korea University of Technology and Education can, at the initial stage, be overwhelming and maybe challenging, depending on what part of the world you come from. Cultural shock, difficulty in adapting to foods, extreme weather conditions (very hot and humid summer as well as winter that can be extremely freezing), serene different environment (serene), faces of people that though are different, you find difficult to distinguish because they all look alike; unlike your home country where you know the system, your friends and family are close by and you are used to the surrounding environment.
Comfort and fear are the two main obstacles stopping us from meeting new exciting challenges. It is much easier to make choices when you know in principle what lies ahead and have to change your habits relatively little.
Coming to study in South Korea would mean something totally different, and is usually accompanied with significant rearrangement of your life. This is all part of the process, and if you have a little bit of will and enthusiasm, most of the obstacles can be overcome, and they will definitely turn out to be not all that significant as compared to all the positive experience in Koreatech.
Studying in Koreatech enhances your ability and skills to manage in difficult situations, based on the development of social skills and the great assistance/advice from Professors, students affairs team and other students. As most of your course mates are new to you, you have to find your place among them and try to get to know them. It is quite common that your co-students come from different corners of the world, which means that they have a very different cultural and social background, making your experience more enriching; you have an opportunity to hear other viewpoints and look at the world from someone else's shoes. At the same time, however, all the students have something in common – they are adventurous, open-minded, brave and believe in never-ending self-improvement.
The advantage of studying in KOREATECH does not lie only in the acquired knowledge base but also in the experience of managing on your own, in the ability to adjust to a new environment, and in social skills. This all tends to be left aside when your university studies consist of mostly hunting for theoretical knowledge from the books. All the positive things you get from your studies give you a competitive advantage and a solid foundation for great success in your future.
Consequently, as a prospective foreign student wishing to study in KOREATECH, you should endeavour to:
Set high personal and academic standards for yourself, and live up to them - Listen to that little voice inside you that says, “I can do this.” Believe in yourself. Realize that school is work; it’s not play time. Settle for nothing less than your very best. Willingness to accept anything less than the very best too often becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Strive for an “A” in all your courses. If you fall short of an “A”, you might earn a “B”. Strive to understand . Don’t merely memorize; increase your depth of understanding. You need to attempt to fully comprehend what you need to know and be able to do as a result of your education.
Remember that grades count - The best jobs with the best pay most often go to those with the best grades. High grades imply intelligence, personal excellence, and dedication to seeing a job well done. High grades can make all the difference in landing the ideal job or getting into graduate school at the institution of your choice.
Get to know a wide range of people – faculty, staff, and student - Networking is important. It is often true that who you know is just as important as what you know. Use your acquaintances to advantage, but don’t take advantage of them.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today - Work should come before pleasure. Manage your time effectively; set up a timeline for getting word completed in each of your courses. Set aside adequate time for assignments, study, sleep, and work. You need not always finish every task all at once. Remember, you can write at 365-page book every year if you only write one page per day.
Be involved in physical exercise - Sporting activities enhances your mental as well as physical wellbeing.
Food - Always ask question about food and its composition and where to buy stuffs at pocket friendly prices; you will be surprised to always find good foods that may complement your traditional meals
Language - Koreans, especially the local market setting will like you the more when you understand and are able to express yourself in Hangul (Korean Language). Try to get familiar with the basic expressions and be as friendly and polite as possible as well as accord the deserved respects to everyone especially the elderly citizens.
Break your large tasks down into manageable subtasks - Large jobs rarely can be completed at one setting. Tackle small parts of a large task each day; avoid cramming. Remember the fable of the tortoise and the hare; slow and steady is often better than jackrabbit sprints.
Your health - Always take issues relating to your health very serious. Promptly seek medical attention whenever you think you have needs for it. Health they say is wealth – without it, you may not achieve your academic aspirations.
Chose your friends carefully - Friends can support you in your efforts to maximize the benefits of a university education. Friends too set on having a good time at the expense of a good education can be seriously detrimental. Get to know people who express high social, academic, and personal values.
Honesty is the best policy - Avoid cheating in all its forms – collusion, plagiarism, copying, etc. Students who cheat seriously fail to learn what is oftentimes important, and this doesn’t help them in the long run. Sometimes the only things they do learn – after getting caught – is that cheating doesn’t pay.
Don’t ignore or deny your personal and academic problems - Problems will often get worse if they are not directly addressed in a timely fashion. Procrastination in any of its many forms can lead to a small problem getting much worse. Get help when you need it. Speak to your course instructors, your advisor, or your parents.
Don’t make important decisions based on second-hand information - Jumping to rash conclusions based on incorrect information can cause you significant personal and professional problems. If you are uncertain about something, check it out before you decide.
Take responsibility for yourself - When some students begin university life their sense of personal responsibility seems to disappear. Parents or guardians are not longer “cracking the whip” making certain that everything is getting done correctly or on time. That work is now the responsibility of the student. Failure to recognize this fact has resulted in even some of the best high school students failing as university students.