• Updated : 2019.6.26 수 18:21
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“To Sir, with Love”
Alvina Joanna 객원기자  |  tribune1968@cnumedia.com
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승인 2017.05.12  15:32:23
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn

International students share their opinions on the anti-graft law in South Korea and the teacher-student relationship in their countries. - Ed.

▲ International students posing for a picture after sharing their opinions on the anti-graft law in South Korea and the teacher-student relationship in their countries

    From our teachers in kindergartens to universities, we have a lot to thank them for and be grateful for their contribution to our lives. In light of the Teacher’s Day celebrated on May 15 in South Korea, we are reminded of our own teachers and all that they have done. However, one of the dark sides of the Teacher’s Day has been that it was used as a day when wealthy students give lavish gifts to their teachers, bringing to mind the Anti-Graft law, so called Kim-Young-ran Law, which puts a limit on the value of presents in order to avoid conflict of interest or manipulated evaluations of student’s work. A Tribune reporter spoke with a group of international students on their opinion of the law and their country’s culture of the teacher-student relationship.

Q. What are your thoughts on the Anti-Graft Law? Do you have any similar laws or restrictions in your country?
Rebecca Irene Barnett (USA)
I think that this law is good, even though it may have pros and cons. In the U.S, each job has a different salary and some people have families that depend on them. Think that they would have to put a budget towards trying to get in the good books of those on top when the money can go towards their children. This law is in place. I am not aware of the laws in the U.S.

Elizabeth Janna Kléybeuker (Netherlands)
The law may not change anything because I think this is a traditional thing and people may continue doing it since they have grown up with that idea. In the Netherlands, there is not much corruption. In talking about the practice of professors treating their students to food or drink, usually one person from the group that goes out to drink (professors or students) will pay and then everyone else pays their share of the amount. So, the Dutch pay the Dutch way.

Q2. What kind of relationship do professors and students have in your country?
Elizabeth Janna Kléybeuker (Netherlands)
For me, a professor is almost like a student and almost like a friend with whom you can talk about many things and have beer with. Our professors encourage critical thinking and challenging the things that we are learning. We also play sports and even some card games with professors during the lunch break. We have an open and friendly relationship to foster better learning.

Otabek Mamajonov Abdulhay Ogli (Uzbekistan)
In Uzbekistan, there is a saying that means, “Your teacher is as great as your father”. That implies that you respect your teachers as much as your father. Historically, there is a story of a great writer called Ali-Shir Nava'I who showed consideration to his teacher by lending his horse while journeying home. This is a model picture of the culture and relationship that we have with our teachers.

Q3. How do students show their gratitude to their professors?
Pappim Puangsereekul (Thailand)
Thai people consider their teachers to be the third most important person in their life after their father and mother, and due to this we respect them a lot. We usually pay our respects to our teachers and professors on the Thai teacher’s day ‘Wai khru’. Every year, we make a pot filled with flowers that have special significance and give these pots to the teachers. We then ask for forgiveness for anything that we may have done wrong and come clean with our teachers.

Otabek Mamajonov Abdulhay Ogli (Uzbekistan)
My teachers told me that if we want to show our gratitude, we needed to become good and great people. This is because she believed that her students had the potential to grow into people with influence. Therefore, people show their gratitude through good results and becoming people with a good conscience. We also show our gratitude by being attentive in class since our teachers spend so much time and effort to teach us.

Rebecca Irene Barnett (USA)
When we were younger in school we bought our teachers small presents like candles or other small little gifts, since most of them were women. However, now there are not many students who actually respect their teachers. Some teachers go to great lengths to teach us and personally, I show gratitude by walking up to my teacher and thanking them for teaching me.

Q4. After graduating and getting a job, do many students visit their professors?
Pappim Puangsereekul (Thailand)
Usually most students visit their teachers and professors on holidays even after they graduate. Even after I had graduated and began studying in another country, when I went home I visited my teachers and give some gift that is helpful to them as a kind of repayment for all that they have invested in us over the years.

Jose Flavio Augusto (Brazil)
Unless we are very close to a professor or teacher, we won’t make efforts to meet them outside certain events where we may run into each other. For example, my former advisor was going to visit Korea for a few weeks and informed me about it after which I went and visited him. So, it depends on whom you want to stay in contact with.

Let Gratitude Be from the Heart
Even though each country has their own way to show respect and gratitude to their professors, the fact remains that we need to appreciate teachers and professors for their passion to teach. It is saddening to see how some people misuse tokens of gratitude as tools to gain extra points from the teacher or professor. This Teacher’s Day, we hope that all of us can take a moment to send a word of thanks to our teachers in some way. Thank you teachers everywhere, for all your love and devotion!


International Students:
Rebecca Irene Barnett, Business Administration (USA)
Elizabeth Janna Kléybeuker, Horticulture (Netherlands)
Otabek Mamajonov Abdulhay Ogli, Business Administration (Uzbekistan)
Pappim Puangsereekul, Business Administration (Thailand)
Jose Flavio Augusto, Korean Language Student (Brazil)

By Alvina Joanna, Guest Reporter

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