Have you ever wondered who has been answering your email questions and assisting your study abroad journey? Every semester Chung-Ang University assigns exchange students a Student Advisor–your go-to person in Korea! Not everyone can take on such a role, but let’s get to know the person who can!
Q: Can you introduce yourself please?
My name is Lap Truong and I am Vietnamese-American, 20 years old, and I live in California. My major is Business, more specifically, Accounting.
Q: How long have you been in Korea?
I originally arrived in Korea in August 2016 to attend CAU as an exchange student for two semesters. Then, I started working here in the summer time – around June 2017 – and I will be ending my position in December of this year.
Q: How did you hear about the student advisor position?
Last semester I was actually here as an exchange student and I had received the Global A scholarship for working in the Office of International Affairs. One day at work, I was approached by Jeff, who was the Coordinator for the Americas and in charge of the Global B’s at the time. He saw that I was very hardworking and asked me if I would like to be the student advisor for the following semester, and I told him I would think about it. I eventually came to the conclusion that it would be a great learning experience and decided to take up the offer.
Q: What does your position entail (What do you do)?
I communicate with coordinators from other universities and incoming students from around the world. I send out emails to students asking them to submit documentation, answer any questions they have before arriving, and send reminders of important dates and deadlines. I also help exchange students get accustom to CAU once they arrive, and guide them throughout the semester as concerns arise.
Q: How has working at CAU impacted and developed you as an individual?
It’s a 9-6 shift every weekday, so the position definitely requires a lot of hard work and responsibility. I feel that working at CAU has made me more patient, more organized, and more responsible overall as an individual.
Q: Is there a memorable experience you had while holding the position?
The most memorable experience would have to be the orientation. It was my first time speaking in front of so many people – over 350 students. I remember last semester how I was sitting in the audience listening to Joseph, the last coordinator, giving his speech. This semester I was actually up there in front of everyone speaking, so it was really cool to experience both sides of the ceremony.
Q: What is the best part of your position?
The best part of my position is being able to meet a lot of new people and be able to work with them and talk to them. Unlike the typical office job where you sit in a cubicle in solitude for 8 hours a day, I am actually able to talk to coworkers and students regularly throughout the day. I’m even able to go outside the office to give campus tours to the exchange students and visiting university staff. So that aspect of the job definitely makes working here more enjoyable for me.
Q: Why do you think exchange students should come to CAU?
CAU has a lot of services to cater to exchange students. For example we offer many interesting and free CKEP events such as a baseball game, SM tour, temple food making, and kimchi making among many others. We also provide free airport pickup to incoming students which is awesome because coming to a new country can be pretty daunting, and knowing that you have someone there to guide you right from the airport is very relieving. The dormitory is also very cheap and conveniently located. It includes many different facilities such as the convenience store, cafeteria, ATM, laundry room, TV lounge, study room, and a fitness room. So basically, you have everything you need in close proximity. CAU also happens to be located in an area that makes it convenient to travel to places all around Seoul.
Q: What is your favorite CKEP event?
My favorite CKEP event would have to be the baseball game because they’re always very lively and the spirit of the crowd really pumps you up. Each playing team will have their own special team chants and cheers that the fans will deliver in sync. Even if you don’t know what is going on in the actual game, you can have a good time by just taking in the energy of the crowd.
Q: What are your favorite places around Seoul?
I like hiking. A great place for hiking would be Bukhansan. I also enjoy going to Hongdae because it’s very lively. There’s street performances every night and it’s a good place to hang out with friends. However, everyone knows Seoul is awesome and will be able to find great places around the city. What I recommend though, is that while students are here that they venture outside of Seoul and see other places around Korea such as Busan and Jeju island. A lot students that travelled to Busan and Jeju have actually told me that they liked those places even better than Seoul.
Q: What will you miss most about Korea?
First and foremost, I will definitely miss hanging out with all the friends that I made during my time in Korea. We go drinking, to pc bangs, karaoke, and even go travelling together. I’ve made a lot of great memories with them, and although we’ll stay in touch, it will be sad to leave them. Honestly, there are many things that I will miss but if I have to sum it up it would probably be the culture and the food. A dish I have really grown to love is called “kimchi jigae” which is basically a stew made with kimchi, scallions, onion, pork, seafood, and tofu. I eat it at least 3 times a week so I hope I can find a good Kimchi Jigae place when I get back home to California.
Q: What do you hope exchange students learn from their time at CAU?
An exchange ends up being a life changing experience for all students. By the time their journey here is over they will have ventured through many new places and made many new friends. I definitely hope that all students make an effort to travel around and experience as much of the country as they can. Also, I hope people make an effort to hang out with Korean people rather than just their own circle or only having interest in K-pop. There is much more to Korea than what’s depicted by the Hallyu wave. Overall, I hope they are able to experience and learn the Korean culture, the language, and the people.