Dec. 16, 2009
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:
SRU expands exchange agreement with South Korean university
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University has approved an expanded exchange agreement with Kangwon National University in South Korea that will bring up to five Korean students majoring in business to SRU annually, beginning next fall.
"It's a great opportunity to engage some students from another culture in our culture," said Bruce Russell, SRU dean of the College of Business, Information and Social Sciences. "At the same time, it will allow our students to get the business perspective from another culture as well."
Signing the agreement Tuesday at SRU were Russell and Jong Yoon Choi, dean of the College of Business Administration at KNU. Kimoon Cheong and Byung Ahm Sohn, professors of economics at KNU, traveled from Korea for the occasion.
SRU and KNU created an exchange program in 1988, but this is the first time both institutions have specifically targeted business students for exchange.
Cheong, who taught at SRU in 1989, said an international experience benefits Korean students because so much of business involves international relations.
"When I taught at SRU in 1989 as an exchange professor, I came to realize that one of the most significant things that KNU and SRU share was their approach to teaching and care for their students. When our School of Business decided to purposefully pursue an international academic and cultural experience for our students, I knew that SRU was the place where it would work."
Cheong said an international experience builds leadership skills. "Students can study business anywhere in the world, and we're happy to have them do so at KNU and SRU," he said. "But it's the other things like coming to understand a new culture, making friends and developing as leaders that our students need most to fully round out their degree."
Pam Frigot, SRU director of international service, said she expects the agreement to seal a lifelong friendship between the two institutions.
"SRU is delighted to expand our partnership with Kangwon National University so that even more students are able to benefit from a multi-cultural experience," she said. "For students coming here, their immersion in U.S. academics and culture will likely be the most significant experience in their university studies. The opportunity for SRU students to interact with them in classes, residence halls, clubs and field trips will continue to foster their intercultural and communication skills, which we know are highly sought by employers."
Russell said graduates need grounding in international relations to remain competitive for jobs. "Our new emphasis in the School of Business is to have several international business courses. We have embedded them into the curriculum," he said.
Kangwon National University, founded in 1947 in Chuncheon, is one of 10 South Korean national universities. Originally an agricultural college, Kangwon is a comprehensive institution that recently launched a medical degree program and law school.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.