International Students at KAIST are running a program called “KAIST ONE” (Overseas Networking Exchange) in order to promote an active exchange between students and to present their cultures.
Originally an international cultural activity at the ICU (then the Information and Communications University) in 2007, the program changed its name to “KAIST ONE” and was continued after the merging of the university with KAIST. Students of about 40 different countries have participated to date, and each annual event attracts more than 150 students.
Over 700 international students from 70 different countries around the world spontaneously organize and manage the KAIST ONE program, which is run five times this semester, every other Thursday from 7p.m. to 9p.m. at the KAIST International Center.
The 11th of last month and the 1st of this month witnessed an enthusiastic response from about 150 participants who joined the Columbian and the Saudi Arabian students in introducing their cultures, presenting traditional cultural performances, and sharing traditional foods.
The next in line are Danish, Ugandan, and Cameroonian students who are set to have their turns on this month’s 15th, 29th, and next month’s 6th, respectively.
Also notable is the active attention and support from foreign embassies such as the participation of Tunisian, Brazilian, Pakistani, Azerbaijani, Thai, and German ambassadors in the program since last year to provide food and introductory guides to cultures.
The director of this year’s program, Karim Charfi (Tunisian, 3rd year Electrical Engineering) said, “During the selection stage of each semester, everyone competes for the chance to present their country,” and “KAIST ONE has established itself as a unique and exotic cultural event at KAIST since it networks about 40 of the relatively less known countries such as Uganda, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Chile and the people with diverse cultures.”
The supervisor of the program, Chang Dong Yoo of the Office of Special Projects and Institutional Relations said, “KAIST ONE is an opportunity for international students to acquaint people with their cultures, and it is also a site of cultural exchange and of building friendships among KAIST students and international students,” and “we plan to extend the event such that not only the KAIST members but also the local residents can join in.”
The program welcomes KAIST students as well as the general public.