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|KNU student of the Month - Gayoung Joung|
While most education systems in Asia still prefer the traditional teacher-centered approach to education, educators in Europe and the United States often apply “student-centered learning” techniques, an approach in which the teacher takes a step back and allows the students to teach themselves. Kyungpook National University Education Major Gayoung Joung experienced this kind of student-centered approach as an exchange student at Vilnius University, Lithuania.
She explains, "One of the main reasons why I decided to participate in an exchange program was to experience different education systems and acquire new perspectives on education. As a student who majors in Education, I strongly want to contribute to our society by developing effective education policies and curricula. That is my goal and ambition."
Having already visited two universities to learn and experience how culture is closely related to education systems, Ms. Joung found the Natural Science and English Philology courses at Vilnius University highly valuable in that regard. Her favorite part was that instead of a test, student participation carried the most weight in class. "At first it was really hard for me to join the discussions and give my opinions in front of many foreign students. But thanks to my Lithuanian classmates and professors, I finally gained the confidence to participate in debates and make presentations on my research. There were no absolute answers for questions. Everyone could answer freely and every student respected the different opinions."
Aside from her academic life at the oldest university in the Baltic States, Gayoung found time to participate in student groups. She joined the “Han-Vilnius Club" and have some good chances to exchange Korea and Lithua culture. During her school vacation, she had the opportunity to travel throughout Europe. Her most memorable travel experience was enjoying the exotic scenery of Lanzarote, Spain with her Lithuanian roommate.
To prospective exchange students, Gayoung Joung offers this advice: Take the challenge. "During your exchange student program, you will have plenty of opportunities, and these opportunities will lead to more chances in your life. Everything that you experience in foreign countries will be challenging, but it will be worth it…Whenever I experienced anxieties and frustration, I took confidence knowing that I was a representative of Korea and KNU. Thanks to this exchange student program, I found my real ambition and I am one step closer to making my dreams come true."
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