Being selected to pursue a Master’s or a Ph.D. at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management is a dream opportunity for students all over the world. The experience of learning and acquiring knowledge focuses on policies and international issues and facilitates the transformation of mid-career professionals into leaders of their respective fields.
KDI school had an abundance of research and resources particularly from experienced and competent professors as well as from the Korea Development Institute (KDI), the nation’s leading economic think tank, sharing Korea’s unique development experience with the global community. In addition, global students want to experience the wonderful life in South Korea and cherish a culture that is totally different from own countries.
Nevertheless, the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in the way we live, do business, and study. Millions of students, teachers and professors from all over the world have had to change their class methodology from physical spaces into virtual spaces. Professors and administrators are doing their best to ensure that students are on track and gaining the best outcome in these difficult circumstances. Even worse, the new in-take if KDI Students who are from outside Korea are unable to enter Korea due to security, safety, and preventive measures taken by the Korean Government to combat COVID-19. Thanks to technology progress, students all over the globe still manage to gain knowledge and information through virtual classes.
This is not about complaining about the obstacles but rather to inspire others who are facing similar challenges. In this article, three (3) students provide their optimistic perspectives about online classes. The students are Juliet Darkoah Amoabeng (MPP 2020 Fall) from Ghana, Khash-erdene Purevsuren (MPP 2020 Fall) from Mongolia, and Elmuhammad Sodik Ugli Okboev (MPP 2020 Fall) from Uzbekistan. Here are their views and thoughts on the situation:
1. The entrance restrictions to Korea will be enforced until further notice. Please share with us how you feel about this.
Juliet: It is undeniable, I felt sad when I received a notice about the entrance restrictions. Since South Korea is in Asia, I have always dreamt of coming there and having the experience of studying abroad. I also look forward to knowing more about the culture and cuisines there. I still hope for the best and that the entrance restrictions will be lifted as soon as possible.
Khashaa: I think that the Korean development history has had a significant impact on me. In particular, the history of world famous companies like LG and Samsung to become globally competitive as well as the growth of its chaebols were interesting to me. The moment I was selected for my further studies in KDI School I was extremely thrilled. I truly understand that the entrance restrictions measures are necessary to prevent the pandemic from becoming worse. I hope I can come to Korea and physically be in KDI School soon.
Ell: Studying abroad is a golden opportunity for any student especially to learn about the new culture, cuisines and to live there. Although I am still in my home country, I hope I can be there and gain experience about KDI School’s environment, the professors, and even other students besides my classmates.
2. What are the challenges do you face when studying from your home country instead of in-person in KDI School? How do you keep your positive momentum?
Juliet: The time difference is my major problem. As the wise men always say “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”. The time difference between South Korea and Ghana is 9 hours. For instance, when a class is at 10 AM Korean time, it is 1:00 AM here in Ghana . Nevertheless, since I really do hope to gain as much knowledge and information from the classes, I consider myself an active student, and, regardless of the time, I’m the class.
Khashaa: So far, I don’t feel like these are challenges but moments to ask myself what I can do to overcome this. It is undeniable that the time lag and the internet connection do irritate me, of course! Personally, I would love to be physically in the class. But this is the best option, for all of us, to fight this pandemic. As long as I am communicating well with my professors and my classmates in the class, I think I am fine.
Ell: I am a friendly type of person. Among the challenges that I have faced is that sometimes with the online courses, I feel a psychological distance from everyone else. Studying from my home country does affect my motivation and learning progress. But thanks to the rapid technological advancements, I still can browse and obtain other references through the KDIS virtual library. Still, I need friends to have group studies to score good grades here.
3. What are your hopes once the entrance restrictions are lifted?
Juliet: I cannot wait to be in Asia. South Korea is the third country I will be visiting apart from China and Dubai. I want to experience the School’s facilities such as the online seating arrangement, e-attendance, and the library system, since I heard from seniors that the facilities are great and efficient!
Khashaa: I want to be in South Korea as soon as possible! There is still hope, since I will only complete my masters by December next year. Hope I to not only gain knowledge from the KDI School, but also spread my wings and feel out my own South Korean adventure.
Ell: As soon the restrictions are lifted, I want to take the first flight there. As mentioned earlier, I am eager to know more about the professors and my new friends there. I also heard that the facilities provided in KDI School are marvelous and efficient. I wish I could experience that in person as well.