University of the Ozarks has entered into a student-exchange agreement with Hannam University in Daejeon, South Korea, according to Ozarks Provost Dr. Daniel Taddie. The two universities are expected to begin exchanging students as early as the 2012 Fall Semester.
Like Ozarks, Hannam is a Presbyterian-affiliated university. Established in 1956 by American missionaries, Hannam has approximately 18,000 undergraduate students, 1,500 graduate students and 375 full-time faculty members. The private university offers more than 2,000 courses per semester in its 49 departments. Daejeon, located in the center of South Korea, has a population of 1.5 million and is considered the science and technology capital of the country.
According to Dr. Bill Eakin, professor of philosophy and German and director of the Ozarks Abroad program, the agreement with Hannam was initiated through the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.
“They approached us to see if there was an interest, and it fell into place,” said Eakin. “The program will work for our students in ways that are similar to our current Irish-American Scholars Program.”
Like in the Irish-American Scholars Program, students apply and are selected to study for a semester or a full year in South Korea. The agreement will include fall-spring student study as well as summer program study. Students pay their regular tuition at their home university, and must pay for their travel, room and board in the country they are visiting.
Eakin said one of the colleges at Hannam University, The Linton Global College, emphasizes global communication and culture and global business, as well as general education and language courses. All of the courses in the Linton Global College are taught in English.
“It’s really a win-win situation for our students,” Taddie said of the agreement. “The students from Ozarks who travel to South Korea will have a wonderful opportunity to learn and experience a new country and take a number of different courses that they wouldn’t be able to here. The students here at Ozarks will get the increased exposure of a diverse culture from Korean students who take part in the program.”
Under the five-year agreement, up to two students per semester from each university can participate in the program.
One positive aspect of the new South Korean exchange program is that many of the Ozarks students’ financial aid packages can be utilized in the program.
“In a lot of cases the financial aid package stays in place and that’s going to help students afford this great opportunity,” Taddie said. “These types of study abroad programs can be life-transforming and a tremendous growth experience, so we’re excited about being able to offer it.”
Taddie said at least one Ozarks student has already expressed an interest in studying abroad in South Korea. He also added that the agreement between Ozarks and Hannam offers the opportunity for possible faculty exchanges in the future.
In addition to the Irish-American program, Ozarks also has study abroad agreements with Mexico and Australia.