The UNIST Center for International Affairs organized the ‘2023 International Community Year-End Party‘ at the Kyungdong Hall in the Main Administration Building of UNIST on December 15, 2023. The event aimed to appreciate and recognize the dedication of international members who have contributed to their studies and research activities throughout the year. Additionally, it provided cultural experiences to deepen their understanding of Korea.
Compared to previous years, this year’s year-end event was larger in scale and featured a diverse range of programs. Over 300 attendees, including international students, researchers, and their family members, enjoyed engaging in traditional Korean games, such as Tuho and Jegichagi, as well as watching captivating performances. The event also included a special experience of Korean culture, organized in collaboration with Eonyang Hyanggyo, where participants had the opportunity to try on Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and participate in a tea ceremony.
The family of Satbek Abdyldayev (Ph.D. Program of Computer Science and Engineering, UNIST) from Kazakhstan, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to experience and enjoy Korean culture during the year-end and holiday seasons. They mentioned that this event helped them feel less isolated and more connected to the local community by stating, “This was the first time for us to be at the event with the university president and other officials, and we had a sense of belonging to UNIST.”
Intersteps, a student dance club composed of international students, received a great response for their exceptional performances to popular music, including K-Pop hits.
Furthermore, this year’s event coincided with the first ‘UNIST Korean Speech Contest,’ held on December 7, 2023, by the UNIST Center for International Affairs. Elizabeth Maria Clarissa (Combined MS/Ph.D. Program of Biomedical Engineering, UNIST) emerged as the winner of the contest with her captivating presentation titled “The Small Universe of Elizabeth.” Elizabeth, who had previously delivered an inspiring speech as the Class of 2022 valedictorian at the 2022 UNIST Commencement Celebration, is currently pursuing a Combined MS/Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Engineering at UNIST.
Dean Myong-In Lee from the Office of Budget and Planning/Public Relations and International Affairs at UNIST emphasized the university’s commitment to supporting international members in their successful adaptation to life in Korea. He further added, “We will actively provide opportunities for them to study Korean and strive to motivate talented science and engineering professionals, ensuring that language barriers do not impede their success at UNIST or force them to return to their home countries.”