• Updated : 2018.11.16 금 19:33
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What Does Student Culture Mean To You?
Nguyen Huong 객원기자  |  huonghn1504@gmail.com
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승인 2017.09.12  15:10:33
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    Student culture plays a crucial role in forming the collective identity of and the integration within a campus. It speaks volumes about a school or university as well as embodying the habits and values that the community embraces. Unlike a national culture, culture created by students is an ever-changing entity that still has the power to surprise us no matter how long we have been on campus. The Chonnam Tribune asked international students about their views on this social system along with their insights about Chonnam National University (CNU)’s student culture as well as that of their own country.

1. What does the word “student culture” mean to you?
Yuhan Sun (China)
Student culture is a kind of culture that only students can create and it reflects students’ own way of lives, values, and customs. I get influenced by the student culture of my university and I am also one of those who build it.

Zyno Afonso (Mozambique)
I think student culture means freedom of speech, a way of thinking and multicultural involvement.

Kyle Clyde (USA)
To me, student culture is the mutual lifestyle and common overarching themes present throughout the student body.

2. What is student culture in your country like?
Ernie Warsanah (Malaysia)

What is interesting to me is that Malaysian students regularly organize events by themselves at their universities. Those who live on campus would have annual dinner, which is fully organized by the students, and during the dinner event, they would have an award ceremony to choose the best program/event of the year, the best director of the program/event, etc. Compared to CNU students, students in Malaysia seem to be busier in a way. For instance, written assignments for Malaysian university students would be at least 10 full-pages (usually more) and an individual presentation should last for at least 20 minutes. The longest written assignment I have ever received at CNU was four pages and most presentations take me a maximum of five minutes.

Hussein Aljawad (Iraq)
The student culture in my country revolves around clubs, like music club, theater club, and so on. Also, universities in my country often organize a big trip annually to another city for four-five days for each faculty’s students. These trips are genuinely appreciated by the students because it is really fun and helps the students grow their social circle.

Zyno Afonso (Mozambique)
Student culture in Mozambique, especially at the university I went to, is pure and rich. Because it is a public university located in the capital city Maputo and hosts students are from everywhere in the country, with different culture and ethnic background. So, for me, seeing the transformation of those students makes me think of the freedom of speech, way of thinking, multicultural involvement, and the way beyond. The common thing it has with CNU isthe co-habitation of students from around the world.

3. What was your first impression of CNU’s student culture?
Yuhan Sun (China)

The large number of its entertainment events and that CNU represents democracy. Students are open or shy. You may find students who like making foreign friends, and others are usually shy and quiet (in terms of speaking English or just expressing themselves in class). Moreover, CNU cares for international students and provides opportunities to help them learn about Gwangju.

4. Is there any trait of CNU’s student culture you find weird or interesting which does not exist in your country’s student culture?
Hussein Aljawad (Iraq)

Definitely campus drinking culture. I mean it is not only different from my country where drinking alcohol is prohibited on campus, but also in Ukraine, where I studied my master’s degree.

Ernie Warsanah (Malaysia)
Too many couples on campus and the fact that they publicly go on a date on campus. Even though in Malaysia there are couples dating on campus, they do not make it obvious on or anywhere near campus.

Yuhan Sun (China)
Besides the drinking culture, the thing I like about CNU is that students are not afraid of postponing their study to go abroad for an exchange semester or internship. Korean parents who benefited from Korea’s rapid growth or the Han River Miracle are more likely to be supportive of their kids’ decision on this in comparison to Chinese parents.

5. CNU is becoming an increasingly global campus with a diverse group of international students admitted to the school every semester. How would these changes affect CNU’s student culture?
Kyle Clyde (USA)

Hopefully it will allow Korean students more opportunities to interact with foreigners and disprove many stereotypes that may exist about foreigners. I have spent my past two years here trying to correct incorrect stereotypes about Americans, and hopefully other international students are doing the same.

Ernie Warsanah (Malaysia)
I think it isnot going to change much because from my perspective, Koreans are very rigid about their system and Korean students seem to just stick to their usual way of their campus life. So, it is most likely that international students are the ones who will get influenced by the CNU’s student culture instead of the other way around.

Hussein Aljawad (Iraq)
Having students from all over the world will create the perfect environment for every student to realize the beauty of the different cultures in this world. It will also help them realize that it does not matter how much they know about the world and that there is always more to discover.

Student Culture Speaks to Us about Ourselves
As CNU is forever praised as the historic place where students unified for democracy in the 1980s, it is now cultivating a unified culture of students in a multi-cultural context in the 21st century. Needless to say, there will be challenges to tackle but more importantly, through those challenges, CNU’s ever-growing student culture will help us understand the ideas, underlying causes, connections, and values that are created by us as a community and as individuals when we are at the university, hence rendering us the opportunity to understand ourselves.


 

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