“Students here address their lecturers far more directly, we’re just not used to doing things like that in South Korea”

All students from Ghent University Global Campus (GUGC) in Incheon, South Korea come to the so-called home campus in Ghent for one semester during their study programme. Solha Kang and Eunhey Choi both just finished their exams and are about to return home. We managed to catch up with them right before they hopped on the plane to discuss what they thought of their stay in Belgium.

Solha

Solha Kang: “My time in Ghent was so much more than I had expected”

““I study Molecular Biotechnology at GUGC. I’m especially interested in bioinformatics. Our university offers several study programmes covering this domain, which was really interesting for me. I was also particularly excited to be able to come to Ghent. My time here has been so much more than I had expected it would be. Eunhey and me were both really impressed with all the help and care that was offered to GUGC students. From taking care of visa requirements, insurance, room facilities in the student homes to all the support at the faculty itself: it made a real difference for us, so we’re very grateful."

The first thing I’m going to do when I get home? Eat chikin! That’s fried chicken. Let that be a tip for any future South Korean student coming to Ghent, eat as much of it as possible before coming over. Good chicken is rare and expensive here (laughs).”

Eunhey Choi: ““Enjoy yourself, experience things, meet people and keep an open mind in all things”

“I really enjoyed my stay at Ghent University. It was my hope that I could meet as many international students as possible, which would help me develop a more global view – in the literal sense – of my studies. This turned out not to be a problem at all. For me, it was the first time that I lived in a student home and had to take care of myself, which was an experience in itself (laughs). My favourite place at Ghent University was the kitchen at Home Groningen. This was the place to meet other international students to catch up on our days and our classes while preparing meals together."

"The biggest difference between studying in South Korea at the Global Campus and here in Ghent, for me personally, were the many group projects. I had 7 courses this semester, 5 of which involved group projects. This creates quite a workload besides the actual study work. And, due to covid measures, everything was also online, which created an extra challenge."

GUGC student
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"Another small thing, perhaps, is that students here at Ghent University address their lecturers a lot and they are very direct. This is something very unusual, coming from South Korea."

"If I had to give future foreign exchange students one tip, it would be to keep an open mind. Enjoy yourself, experience things, meet people and be open to everything.”

Ghent University Global Campus

Since 2014, Ghent University runs a South Korean campus, which offers three study programmes with a focus on life sciences and biotechnology. In 2022, there were over 500 actively enrolled students for the first time. GUGC students come to Ghent to study during the first semester of their final year. Additionally, a growing number of bachelor students from Ghent are starting to come to Incheon for an exchange programme. Due to it being a research hub for Ghent University in the region, GUGC functions as a go-between for Ghent University-affiliated researchers, local institutions and private companies, which makes it a place with a lot of potential for students on the lookout for interesting research opportunities during their study programme.

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