University graduation can be academically rewarding as well as emotionally painful. This has been the case when nine students from Latin America received their certificate of coursework completion from KDI School. The day was observed on 21 June 2018 at the Ambassador Hall of KDI School. Presiding over the event the newly appointed dean of the KDI School Mr. You, Jong-Il acknowledged the challenges of the academic journey while sharing the joys of graduation with the students.
“Completing a master’s degree from KDI School is not easy given the demanding and intensive nature of the academic requirements and the fact that you have made it through deserves a big round of congratulations from us,” remarked the dean for whom the event was the first formal function as the 8th Dean of the school.
Professor You then reminded the graduates that, “You have a greater role to play once back to your home countries in bringing the world together especially Korea and Latin America.”
Graduate speaker, Shevon Moore, from Guyana said her 18 months at KDI School has dramatically empowered her to a great height that she would never have achieved anywhere else. For her, Korea has been her second home.
“The completion ceremony is a bittersweet moment for me. Bitter because I have to leave such a beautiful place which gave me so many memories. And sweet because I have accomplished a Master’s degree,” she said. It was an emotional moment for her as she broke into tears while giving her graduation speech. “KDI School has given me the comfort of a home when I was sick and hospitalized,” she confessed tearfully. “It is difficult to bid goodbye to a place which has given me so much,” she added.
Graduate Mario Lubin from Haiti thanked the school for all the experience and opportunities he had been given, and for giving students like him a place to find their true self.
“Ever since the first time I crossed the threshold of KDI School I’m truly fascinated by all of the amazing people coming from different backgrounds, bringing along not only their unique culture and personality but also their aspirations and desires. Here I found out that people were just like me, looking for their better self, and constantly trying something new,” he said proudly.
He also hopes that the scholarship will be continued which will go a long way in contributing to the world peace and development through learning.
Lidice Gonzalez from El Salvador puts it as a moment of self-fulfillment and says she has so much to take back home. “Ever since I have been here, I have come to admire the way Korean people have worked towards the development of their country; I want to take that spirit back home with me. I want to teach my people that we can accomplish many things if we commit as a nation.”
The graduation ended with the students receiving certificates in the fields of Public Policy Management and Development Policy. All the graduates availed the scholarship to pursue their studies.
The Korea-LAC Scholarship Program is an initiative of the Korean Government aimed at public officials from 22 Latin American and Caribbean countries to improve their capacity to design, implement and evaluate successful public policies.
The graduation event was attended by officials from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), professors and staffs from KDI School and families and friends of the graduates.
Tshering CHOKI (2018 MDP, Bhutan)