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International Students Start a New Semester at KAIST
(International students during a campus tour) The 2017 fall semester began on August 28 and new and returning students are filling the campus. Our international students are one of the reasons the campus is becoming more dynamic and energetic. It was easy to see groups of smiling international students walking around the campus. Every semester, KAIST welcomes hundreds of students from around the world to give them the opportunity to study at a world-leading university in science and technology. This semester, approximately 150 students in degree-seeking programs and 220 exchange students from a total of 74 countries, including Germany, the United States, and France entered KAIST. (Frederik Hansen, a student from DTU) Frederik Hansen is an exchange student who came to KAIST this semester from Copenhagen, Denmark. He completed the undergraduate program at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and is now pursuing a master’s degree. He decided to join KAIST because he felt the university is up-to-date with subjects in his field of interest. Frederik, who majored in mechanical engineering, looks forward taking classes related to robotics and solid mechanics. Noting that it’s his first time visiting Asia, he hopes to experience and learn about Korean culture. In an effort to help foreign students’ soft landing in KAIST, the International Office held a series of orientation programs over three days. The buddy program provides international freshmen with an opportunity to make Korean friends for a more successful life at KAIST, while giving domestic students a chance to learn about different cultures and perhaps build on the global capacity required for becoming a global leader. Information sessions also provided educational information that can support international students living in KAIST. Finally, the counseling program gives information about the KAIST counseling center and ISSS (International Scholar and Student Service). It provides a psychometric test service to those who wish to take it. If you are interested in pursuing academic programs at KAIST, please visit the International Office via http://io.kaist.ac.kr/index.do .
The 2017 International Food Festival
The savory smell of exotic dishes filled the main plaza of the KAIST campus on May 26. Exotic music reverberated throughout the campus. The KAIST community took a break together on a breezy early summer Friday afternoon sharing food with their friends and family. KAIST international student body, KISA (KAIST International Students Association), installed white food tents and prepared their country’s favorite dishes at their 13th annual International Food Festival. The festival was co-organized with Chungnam National University and the University of Science & Technology (UST). At the festival, students from 18 nations cooked about 60 dishes and sold them to the public. Foreign students’ performances of traditional dance and music on the stage livened the atmosphere. KISA President Sanzhar Kerimbek of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering said, “We are so glad to show the diversity of KAIST and its rich culture. This is a big opportunity to get together with neighboring universities, CNU and UST and say thank you for their participation and support." Valentin Porcellini, an exchange students from France in the School of Computing, said, “We are so excited to have people taste our crepes, ratatouille, and other dishes.” Associate Vice President of the International Office Jay Hyung Lee also said he was glad to see so many people joining this festival. While congratulating the students on the success of the festival, he said the festival will serve as an opportunity to better understand each other by sharing the food and culture. (Photo caption: Paricipants stop by the Indonesian booth to purchase the food at the International Food Festival on May 26.)
Year-End Party for the International Community at KAIST
The International Office at KAIST hosted a year-end party for international students and faculty at the main auditorium on campus on December 2, 2015. The party featured music and art performances by international students and offered various ethnic cuisine and drinks. Sung-Hyon Myaeng, the Associate Vice President of International Office at KAIST, said, “About 788 international students from 88 different countires are currently studying at KAIST. We also have 163 international faculty members from 31 countries working at the campus. These figures have grown steadily over the past years. KAIST will continue to attract more students and professors from the global community, making the campus a vibrant place where diverse cultures and global views are exchanged and shared.”
KAIST International Food Festival
The KAIST International Students Association (KISA) hosted the 2015 International Food Festival in front of Creative Learning Building, KAIST, on May 22, 2015. This was the 11th International Food Festival for KAIST where international students introduced food from their home countries to strengthen cultural exchanges with Korean students. This year’s festival was the biggest international festival in Daejeon in which around 500 students and staff from KAIST, Chungnam National University (CNU), the University of Science & Technology (UST), and the public participated. KAIST’s President Steve Kang opened the festival with a welcoming speech, followed by congratulatory speeches by CNU President Sang-Chul Jung and UST President Un-Woo Lee. The first section of the event was the food festival where around 40 kinds of food from ten countries including Kenya, Kazakhstan, India, and Turkey were presented. Students from each country offered cooking demonstrations in booths, and participants purchased the food. Cheryl Wanderi, a Kenyan student who recently received a Master’s degree from KAIST’s Department of Bio and Brain Engineering last February said, “I am delighted to introduce Mandazi, a Kenyan donut, to not only Korean students but also other international students.” The second half of the event consisted of cultural performances from different countries. There were eight teams performing including an Indonesian traditional Saman dance team, a Kazakh group that performed on traditional instruments, and an Azerbaijani K-POP dance team. Sung-Hyon Myaeng, the Associate Vice President of KAIST’s International Office, said, “Despite their busy lives, students from three different universities planned this event to get to know each other. I hope international students and Korean students can come together and enjoy the festival.” Edrick Kwek, the President of KISA, said, “This food festival is an event showing the cultural diversity of KAIST in the most splendid way.”
KAIST Sees an Increase in the Admission of International Students
The Admission Office of KAIST has been recruiting prospective international students, and as part of their efforts, they have been visiting such regions as the Americas, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Africa. In 2014, the office focused on nations in Africa, visiting Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The visiting KAIST representatives, consisting of faculty, international students, and staff members, hosted an admission conference for high school students in those four nations, offering information on KAIST education and research, as well as introducing Korea. As a result, a total of 37 African students (5 undergraduate and 32 graduate students) were admitted to KAIST for the 2014 fall semester. Among them was Gemechu Bekele Tolossa (picture below) from Ethiopia, who received the highest score at the Ethiopian college entrance examination in 2013. Tolossa had enrolled in a medical school at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, and was at the top of his class, but he left the school in order to apply for KAIST. When asked about his plan, Tolossa said, “I would like to study engineering and brain science at KAIST. KAIST offers me an excellent environment for learning and research, and I would like to make the most of it.” KAIST accepted 206 international students this year (45 undergraduate and 161 graduate students), brining the number of international students at 540, approximately 5% of the students enrolled at the university.
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