One semester spent as an exchange student at Purdue Northwest in the USA was a dream for me. It was my long wish to study in a wider world as an exchange student, and I was so happy to be one of the PNW exchange students that I applied for the first and the last in my university life. The time at PNW, was not stressful on my studies even though I studied the major subjects in English and I could feel real happiness in my university life.
I would like to tell you three points for the students who would participate in the overseas training program in the future:
POINT 1. Enjoy all the benefits of Global Student as an Exchange student!
PNW has a Field Trip program once a week. This program operates for visiting students, but if there is room to spare, then exchange students can participate in various activities on a first come, first served basis. I had the feeling that I was living with American people enjoying various programs such as 'Medieval times', 'Dave & Buster's' and the 'Brookfield zoo' every week.
In the case of the Buddy Program, only friends who applied voluntarily matched with a buddy. It depends on the nature or type of buddy, but it is one of the ways to make friends quickly and easily. Also, because America is so wide that most of my friends have cars, I could go to many places to play together even if the location was far, not just in school.
In the case of the Personal Trainer (PT) program, I could get it free of charge by applying at the gym. Depending on my physical condition and exercise goals, a PT trainer organizes a program and coaches one or two times a week. The trainer is my friend too so that I could feel free to contact him and get advice.
If you have a chance to participate in any fair or activity among of the school programs, it would be better to join it without fear. It build more and more meaningful memories.
(* Do not just pass by the school bulletin board!)
POINT 2-1. Major _ Take a special class that you can’t take in Korea.
In my case, I could take classes for up to 12 credits, so I selected classes carefully. I took 'Creativity in Business (CB)' and 'Staffing Organization (SO)' at PNW.
In 'CB' class, brainstorming leads to problem-solving and thinking itself. So, there were assignments for finding out my troubles or problems then find ways to solve them. After that, I had to present it with artwork which made of wooden sticks in front of my class friends.
In the case of 'SO' class, it was a night class, so most of the students had practical experience. I could hear what they thought and experienced in their work. We also shared opinions and received feedback from each other. There was a club called 'SHRM' which is related to 'SO' class. At SHRM, through inviting an HR manager or manager who was in charge of the work, we listened to how they hire employees directly and receive some advice from their work.
POINT 2-2. Non-major _ Building my own memories!
The non-major classes I participated in were 'Acting' and ‘Astronomy’ classes. Before leaving for the U.S.A., I decided to take these classes that I could not apply for in Korea. Purdue is famous for aerospace, so I thought astronomy classes would be attractive. Unlike the liberal arts classes in Korea, I was a bit worried about my non-major classes, but I did not regret it.
In the case of astronomy classes, it was one of the major subjects in PNW, so I needed basic knowledge. It was really hard to take the exam and do the class work because I have only basic knowledge of the universe. However, I was able to solve the curiosity of the universe little by little, and when I saw the phenomena that I learned in class, I was proud to know it and understand its principles.
In the acting class, I participated in three performances including a monologue, a two-person play, and a group play. It was a challenge and an unfamiliar thing for me to act in front of a large number of people at first, but I enjoyed it and did it without fear over time. When performing the last play, I met and practiced with my friends and prepared the props. It became one of my eternal memories that I will never forget.
When you are going out to experience abroad, it is best to go with a purpose and will because you can do a lot of things that you haven’t experienced in Korea. You need more boldness than fear and worry. I spent an unforgettable time in PNW for one semester, and it was the happiest moment in my university life mentally and physically. If I get a chance to go back to PNW again, I will be shouting "YES!".
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Jung You Young
Dept. of Global Business Administration