FSB Global Studies students take in culture, food in South Korea

March 2018

Jay Murdock

After two weeks of volunteering at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, 20 Farmer School of Business students are now getting down to work at Yonsei University for the semester, a welcome move in the wake of the previous hubbub.

“After the Olympics, we were sort of burned out from not having a ‘home’ of sorts. Since we were hopping between Beijing, Shanghai, and Seoul, and finally Wonju, we were in need of a more permanent bed,” sophomore marketing major Michael Reimer pointed out.

Kate Allred, a junior marketing major, said that the 13-hour time difference between Korea and the eastern U.S. means that she typically spends her mornings in a coffee shop talking with friends back home.

“After class, I have a one hour tutoring session with students in our Global Village Program. If it’s a Wednesday, I spend the evening with my mutual mentoring session group, consisting of four Miami students and four Yonsei students,” she said. “Last week we had a typical Korean meal followed by bowling!”

“My normal rhythm is waking up early enough to catch either a Blue Jackets game or a Cleveland Cavaliers game that we can stream on our laptops over a bowl of cereal. It's pretty surreal watching sports first thing in the morning!” junior finance major Daniel Schleitweiler said.

In their free time, the students have been taking the opportunity to get out and experience the attractions and culture of the nation.

“A bunch of the guys were also able to take in a professional basketball game, where it is one of the most interactive atmospheres for fans I have ever been a part of,” Daniel said.

“The atmosphere is much different than it is in the USA. The fans are loud the entire time, each fan gets ‘clappers’ to make extra noise, and the entertainment throughout the breaks in the game was top-notch --dancing, fan contests, giveaways, singing,” sophomore finance and accountancy major Collin O’ Sullivan recalled.

“Every weekend, my friends and I want to explore all that South Korea has to offer. Last weekend, we explored the longest walking bridge in South Korea and this weekend we will be going to Seoul Fashion Week,” Kate remarked.

She interned at Vanity Fair Corporation in Hong Kong last summer, so she said she “especially can’t wait to immerse myself in the fast paced world of runway fashion.” She hopes to return to Hong Kong this summer.

The students said they’ve found the food in South Korea to be to their liking.

“As a self-proclaimed “foodie,” I have absolutely loved being in South Korea. My favorite meals so far include kimchi pancakes and bibimbap! Never one to turn down a meal, I am most excited to try some live food,” Kate said.

“You may be surprised that it can be a bit hard to eat healthy here especially when you go out with the Korean students as they love to take you for fried chicken,” Daniel said. “From bibimbap to Korean barbecue, it is all really good.”

“The cost of living here is significantly lower than in Oxford, almost dangerously so!” Michael said. “I can order two large pizzas to the room for $15 with no tipping or delivery fee. We end up eating delivery food twice or three times a week as a result since it's both cheap and easy to do.”

Daniel noted that the students do get some cravings for Chik-Fil-A and Chipotle, but that they’ve found a local place that they visit on Wednesdays to get a taste of home - pulled pork.

But there are aspects of their life back home that they miss.

“I certainly miss the people, but I also miss the atmosphere. Here, almost all of the students leave on the weekends and Oxford always has plenty of activities on the weekend!” Daniel said.

“Not seeing my friends, professors, and coworkers in FSB Student Services has been the hardest part. Luckily, technology has been a great tool to catch up with them,” Collin said.

“Even with missing my friends and peers, this has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have made new friends, both Korean and American. The opportunities we have been able to participate in have been incredible,” he remarked. “My biggest takeaway is the world is a big place, and it is such a special opportunity to interact with another region of it. Whether it is learning a new language, food, tradition, or culture norm, this trip has exposed me to a larger perspective.”

For her part, Kate stated, “I have had an unforgettable experience this semester!”

To see more photos from the semester so far, visit the Farmer School of Business Facebook page.

Miami and Korean students at dinner FSB students in a South Korean forest Michael Reimer standing on the Great Wall of China Miami and Korean students at dinner Miami FSB students group photo outdoors Collin O'Sullivan in Korean greenhouse Miami and Korean students pose by cartoon bear statue