UW-River Falls links to South Korea
December 8, 2022
Eleven students from South Korea are currently studying here at UW-River Falls; they make up between 20-25% of UWRF exchange students. These students are part of a variety of programs throughout South Korea that bring in both short-term exchange and long-term degree-seeking students. Not only do many of these students travel to River Falls, but UWRF students also have the opportunity to study at Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea.
Five of these 11 students are part of high school cooperative agreements with South Korean institutions. UWRF has had a long-lasting tradition of maintaining strong relationships with these institutions through various UWRF faculty members and the UWRF English Language Village.
UWRF Study Abroad Coordinator, Bryan Holzer, often travels to South Korea to meet with prospective students and their families. Holzer was once an exchange student himself, having spent time in Australia, Turkey, Japan, and Costa Rica in his undergraduate years.
He tells anyone considering studying abroad, “Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone and take on a new challenge. That’s what studying abroad is all about.” Holzer went on to say that most students adjust over time and settle into a new culture. He could not recall any student who has regretted studying abroad.
Having studied abroad numerous times, Holzer advocated that despite misconceptions, studying abroad doesn't delay degree progress here at UWRF and it is not as expensive as it sounds. Most of the time, when attending a partner institution abroad, the tuition is equal to that of UWRF.
Many of the students from South Korea reported that the lack of public transportation in America was one thing they did not expect. However, most of them appreciate the small, community feel of River Falls and the campus. The Korean Student Association is a student organization at UWRF that aims to promote cultural traditions and values on campus and in the community while helping international students adjust to life at UWRF.
Partnering with other student organizations and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging, the Korean Student Association hosted a “Holiday Hangout” event on Dec. 7. The event was filled with games, food, and gifts to celebrate the end of the year while allowing students to embrace new cultures and people.