Where in the World is Miami Wednesday: Meet an International Student from South Korea

Three male students wearing their home country flags

By Fatimata Ndiaye & Halie Best

In this week's, Where in the World is Miami Wednesday, we meet Woo Suk (Alex) Kwon, a senior international student from Seoul, South Korea. He's majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business Analytics.

Alex has immersed himself into on-campus activities and organizations since he first stepped first on Miami's campus 4 years ago. This involvement, combined with the Liberal Arts-based education he's received at Miami have provided a well-rounded and seamless experience studying abroad in the United States. He has already secured a job as an IT Analyst in Miami, Florida after graduation.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Woo Suk Kwon. I also go by Alex here in the United States. I was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. I lived in Hong Kong for 2 years when I was in middle school and have been living in the United States for almost 4 years now. I am a senior at Miami University majoring in Computer Science with a Business Analytics minor.

How did you get to know about Miami University and what made you choose it?

I first heard about the school through my dad. My dad knew this school because his college professor graduated from Miami. My dad remembered it so well since it was odd to hear a school named Miami University located in Ohio.

Students in the Fusion dance organization perform

What has been your most memorable experience at Miami?

There are a lot of experiences that I want to share, but Fusion was the most memorable experience out of them all. Fusion is an annual multicultural performance show hosted by the Asian American Association. The show consists of three main elements: dance, skit, and fashion show. I performed in the show for three consecutive years, because I love stage performance.

Moreover, during my third year in Fusion, I became the Fusion Chair, who organizes the entire show. I was in charge of the whole development of the show, which includes planning, designing, recruiting, funding, advertising, and performing. It was a year-long challenging preparation, where I had to lead and work together with over 70 performers and staffs. However, it was totally worth it! The turn out was very successful. Over 500 audiences attended and we heard so much laughter and joy from the crowd during the entire show. The experience of being a Fusion Chair gave me the fulfillment of accomplishing something remarkable and the motivation to keep trying.

What has been the biggest difference between your home country and the U.S.?

Personally, the biggest difference for me is living alone abroad. I have been living with my family for 20 years. Getting out of that nest and landing to a different country was a huge step for me. I started to see myself considering many things that I did not use to when I was living with them. In other words, it showed me how dependent I was back home. Living in the U.S. made me become a stronger, independent person. However, living by myself made me appreciate my family and home more as well.

What has been the biggest similarity between your home country and the U.S.?

It is definitely the people. I still remember the fear I had when I first arrived in the United States. I was so worried about living abroad all by myself. However, that fear miraculously disappeared very quickly. That was because of the friends I made in school and the professors that I became close with. In a short time, I realized that people are still people. They may look different from me and have unique cultural backgrounds, but we still laugh about the same things, we hang out in the same way, and we care about each other.

What organizations are you involved with on campus, and why?

Student organization involvement has been a big part of my life here at Miami University. I have been in several executive roles for multiple student organizations. I have been an executive member for the Asian American Association, Miami University Blockchain Club, and the Korean American Student Association. What motivates me to be involved in student organizations is the personal development I gain while serving an important role. In addition to that, it is an easy way to find good friends, since the people I meet in the organization already share an interest in common.

What does Love & Honor mean to you?

Love and honor are two very powerful values that are fundamental when it comes to living together with different people, groups, and society. I am happy that this is our school code.

What do you like to do for fun?

I usually hang out with my friends Uptown to get good food, or we spend time together in my friend’s apartment. I also play soccer regularly in Cook Field, either with my friends or through the intramural soccer league.

Alex poses with his soccer team

What is your favorite place to eat on campus?

My favorite place to eat on campus is Bell Tower, because they make the best quality stir fry

How has Miami’s focus on a liberal arts-based education helped you?

Even though I am a Computer Science major, liberal arts-based education allowed me to take courses that might be irrelevant to the major, but that could develop me into a better person. For example, I have been taking interesting courses outside of my major such as international studies, social justice, public speaking, and many more.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing their education at Miami University?

Do not hesitate! Miami University has one of the strongest undergraduate education programs in the United States. I can definitely notice that by the small class sizes, experienced instructors & professors, and the numerous opportunities for undergraduates that are not common in other schools such as undergraduate research, teaching assistant, and other on-campus jobs that can help your career. Come to Miami and the school will support you in becoming successful!


Catch us next week as we continue to travel around the world to feature the amazing opportunities that Miami students are taking and the experiences our alumni have had since graduating!

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