CAH: What were the differences between UC and CSU, which made you to choose CSU?
Lim: There are some famous Universities in UC. However, Davis is the only university, which is related to CAU. You cannot attend a lecture like regular students in Davis. You have to meet professors, and be admitted by permission to every lecture you want to attend. In addition, I prefer CSU to UC for some other reasons. The number of students in a class at UC is similar to that of Korea. Generally, it is over 40. However, in case of CSU, they ruled the number of students in a lecture under 30. Therefore, it is much easier to get along with native students. Unless you are doing something mean, there is no problem to become a friend with them. Because of the number of students, the relationship between professor and students is very close.
California State University (CSU)
There are 23 state universities in California. All of them, California State University East Bay (CSUEB) has one of the most beautiful campuses. The campus is located in Haward, which adjoins San Francisco and Berkeley. It takes within 30 minutes by Bart Train.
CAH: What was the reason that you chose CSUEB?
Lim: First, I chose California because I loved the mood of California that is recreational. Is it not exciting to have a campus life in nice weather? In addition, I expected to enjoy other things not just studying. There are many tourist resorts near by the campus.
It also has a good TESOL (Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages) course. Because of this, many students in the College of Education go to East Bay to attend the TESOL course. CSU East Bay is the only one that has the course and a relationship with CAU. The course is scheduled for six months and the program is good. There are practical training opportunities like giving a lecture in English.
CAH: Tell us about the credit system.
Lim: I took 18 credits in my major. Before that, the term system of CSU is different from that of Korea. In California, it is not semester but quarter. There are four quarters, three quarters, and a season quarter. I took two quarters, 22 weeks. It is little longer than one semester in Korea.
In case of grades, you get grades like A or B in CSU and then in CAU, your grades are changed into Pass or Fail. It is not counted when counting your total grades. It would be easier to understand that the system is like Open Cyber University (OCU) in Korea.
CAH: How about ABEEK (Accreditation Board for Engineering Education of Korea)? Is there any problem to take credits from CSUEB to CAU as a major subject?
Lim: I was in the spring semester of my senior year when I went to East Bay. The subjects I learned were the same things in courses at CAU like Internet Protocol or Communication Engineering in spring semester of our senior year. You can make a plan under the consultation with a chairperson of each Department or Faculty in CAU. Before I go to East Bay, I met the chairperson of Electrical & Electronics Engineering and asked which lecture in CSUEB I can attend to complete my courses in CAU. In addition, there was absolutely no problem to continue my next fall. I am not going through the ABEEK course, but there would be no problem with exchange students to complete the ABEEK course as well. Because there is ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) system in U.S. and there are other Accreditation Boards about engineering for each country. ABET is like ABEEK in U.S. and it was started earlier than ABEEK.
CAH: Many students in the College of Engineering feel that it is difficult to study major subjects even in Korean. Was it hard to follow the lecture in English?
Lim: Well, it could be. Nevertheless, I felt it was much easier to understand the subjects compare to those in Korea. In all classes, the lecture was given laying stress on practical training. Not only explain the theories or principles, but also followed with practice. Therefore, it was less puzzling and very effective to understand theories especially for Engineering and Technology. In addition, thanks to the small-scale class, it was much easier to ask a question immediately when something was hard to understand. In addition, I think Korean students are better at solving operations or calculating.
In addition, the course of study for subjects was good to follow systematically. There was homework for every lecture and it helps to understand and to review every time after each lecture. In addition, the examination is different from that of Korea. In Korea, midterm and final exam are given a great deal of weight of your grade, but unlike that of Korea, in East Bay, everyday homework is much more important than examination in the view of sincerity.
CAH: What did you do other activities except studying?
Lim: As other universities, CSU East Bay also has many programs for international students.
Fun Trip: This is a program only for international students. There is a chartered bus to take students to some hot places around Haward and San Francisco every Saturday. The trip was literally fun and it is a good chance to know other international students from different countries.
Speaking Partnership: You can meet native friends by introducing them to CSUEB. For the native partner, the partnership is a voluntary work for school. Your partner will be helpful to improve your English in many ways. Your partner will come about once a week. Your partner invites you to their house, and we talk at the table and sometimes study English together.
International Student Fellowship (ISF): In ISF, there are people who can help your living. Every Friday, you can go shopping or on a trip with them. In addition, you could do voluntary work. Some people go to a construct site that builds houses for poor people to help constructing or go to asylums to help homeless.
Dormitory: If you were going to live in a dormitory, there would be lots of fun for resident students. There will be Resident Assistant (RA) for each floor that is going to help you in many ways. In addition, you can enjoy the party for your floor and dormitory party!
CAH: Is there any racial discrimination?
Lim: Absolutely not! California is the safest state for racial discrimination. In addition, I could not feel any segregation during my time there in school or other places. Therefore, you do not have to worry about that. People were sweet.
He added some tips for would-be international student.
Lim: First, the most important thing is your confidence and challenge. Please, do not be afraid before trying it. I think the exchange student program of CAU is well prepared, but many students are so indifferent to international students or too afraid of applying. What for? Compare to the full regular number, the number of application is not much.< 저작권자 © 중앙헤럴드 무단전재 및 재배포금지 >
Secondly, be easy. You do not need to feel some sort of pressure. Maybe you do not need to pay for foreign language institute. Instead, I recommend the programs of Division of International Cooperation. You can go to English Lounge to talk in English, be a partner of international students in CAU, and attend study group for exchange student.
Lastly, enjoy your living as an international student! It would be unforgettable experience to your campus life.