Sometimes the needs of our international students may be easy to recognize. For example, one might observe that the kiosks in the new cafeteria only have Korean menus. This is easily solved, and this one I believe is easily being worked upon. However, how can students use the kiosk when they have not even received their student identity / bank cards? The process from medical checkup immigration student cards insurance can easily take over a month for incoming international students. Thus, how can they pay with cash from money taken out with an overseas debit card. By the way, if you find students who have difficulty withdrawing funds from the ATMs on campus, please take them to the KB bank just down the road from Hanaro Mart. It is the only one that really accepts international debit cards.
While my first example is one that students have limited ability to make a change (things like student identity cards take time), the second example I will now give will reflect an important need that Korean students can voice an opinion to make a difference. This is the need of storage. I am always amazed at the beginning and end of the semester when truckloads of boxes arrive and depart campus containing the clothes and living supplies of our Korean students.
International students of course don’t ship boxes back and forth to home. They have two options. First, pay to store in the basement of one of the dormitories. With this option, students have to pay a fee for storage. While the fee is small, students have been hesitant to use this service because some students have had clothes and supplies water damaged. The school did not provide compensation to these students for their loss. A second option is for students to drag their boxes all the way to professors’ offices for storage. This is the most common option. However, for the professor who is teaching in the summer or winter term, these boxes can take up much space.
Thus, what is the solution? International students need a better place to store their belongings during break without having the burden to bring the boxes to professors’ office all over campus. If a room were to be found, this would also allow for a second function desired to begin service. A designated room would allow for exchange students at the end of their term here to donate goods (blankets, lamps, etc.) and clothes to new international students arriving the next term. This is important as we have actually ran out of blankets during orientation previously. Additionally, this would be a place for immediate supplies (soap, shampoo, and other basic necessities) for students who arrive just before orientation but don’t have a chance to go shopping until the end of the week.
It would be great if the Korean students could voice the needs of our international students to the appropriate places on campus. This would serve to bring our community closer together as we explore what it means to be a global university.
Prof. Alex Bishop