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My Exchange Student Life; Made Better by Helpful Systems of ASU미국 애팔래치안대의 교환학생 지원 제도
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승인 2016.05.16  14:07:56
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

▲ In front of the White House. OEID Washington DC trip with international students

     When you think of life as an exchange student in the United States, what comes to mind first? It might be a crowded party culture or free talking with American friends in English. However, the reality is that most exchange students suffer from difficulties in adjusting to different conditions such as how to get to the classroom on the first day of class or even how to pay for food in the dining hall. In retrospect, my exchange student life at Appalachian State University (ASU), these kinds of obstacles continued almost every day. However, I could adjust relatively well and enjoy my daily life because there are many systems for international students. Among them, I will introduce some helpful and practical systems that helped in my transition here at ASU and in the U.S.

Appal CART System
     ASU is located in Boone, North Carolina and it is a pretty rural area surrounded by high mountains. When I first came here, the most inconvenient thing was that there is no regular public transportation system comparing with the pretty well constructed Korean transportation system, such as the subway or bus. For this reason, if I need to go to a market or other places near the off-campus area, it takes a long time to get there on foot. Actually, there is a ride sharing group page on the web, but the easiest way to get somewhere near campus area is using Appal CART, which is the transportation system crossing inside and outside the campus covering all around the county. ASU introduced this system as its official public transportation system since 1981 not only for off-campus area students but for all local residents. There are several routes, including main buildings in the campus area, students’ apartment complexes, and the market or mall area. Here, I mainly use the Gold Route or Express Route to go to the Wal-Mart and Bank of America to manage my bank account.

▲ Students getting on a bus of Appal Cart bu at ASU campus

University Writing Center
     Basically, the grading system here is somewhat different from Korean universities. Most of the classes that I took here required mandatory research papers related to the course that we covered during the class time. Moreover, some professors gave an extra credit opportunity if I attended special events or watched movies closely with the course curriculum and submitted a reflection about it. However, whenever I had a chance to write something to submit, myself and many international students, who are not native English speakers usually have problems during the writing process. Especially, most of the students including Korean students like me who are unfamiliar with citation styles following the MLA, APA or Chicago style. Also, some grammatical errors in terms of punctuation (commas, periods) or articles (a, an, the) are very common in the draft. For people who go through these kinds of difficulties in writing, there is the University Writing Center (UWC) offering free services to students, faculty, and the staff at ASU and community members in the university area. The UWC is located in the basement of the library building and anyone who makes an appointment on the UWC website can use the convenient one to one mentoring service with consultants to improve their first draft or presentation project sheets. In addition, the center not only provides the service of editing drafts at a sentence by sentence level but also dealing with creating topics for the paper with students, giving some advice about how to organize the contents and more. Thanks to the UWC, I got fairly good scores in my courses that I took this semester.

▲ Internationals’ party at ASU

The Office of International Education and Development
     Lastly, there is the Office of International Education and Development (OIED) which is the same concept as the Office of International Affairs at Chonnam National University. When I first came here, they conducted a three-day International Student Orientation, providing basic information about the university and promoting cultural exchanges among domestic students and internationals. The most impressive thing for me is that all of the staff always welcomed international students when the students had troubles even if they were trivial concerns. They considered all the internationals including exchange students like me as real members of the ASU. Thanks to the helpful systems that I mentioned above and the careful help of OIED, I really have enjoyed my time at ASU and I have experienced a lot of things than I never could have expected.

By Oh Hee-soo, Overseas Correspondent

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