Meet Susanna from the U.S.2016.12.02 Minseon Ku 1549
Future Naval Officer Enjoying Her Time at Yonsei
U.S Naval Academy
Having never experienced “ordinary”American college life, Susanna, a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, has found campus life in Seoul very fascinating. Furthermore, becoming an exchange student at Yonsei provided her an opportunity to travel and live abroad for the very first time. Both of Susanna’s parents are naval officers, so, for her, it seemed the natural choice to enroll at the Naval Academy and receive a highquality education while preparing for her career. “I have already figured out my educational and professional careers,”Susanna said, “but I believe that my time at Yonsei will positively contribute to my future in the navy.”
Before coming to Yonsei, Susanna was required to conduct research on Korea as part of her study abroad application. For this, she focused on South Korean security issues, especially those concerning North Korea. Soon after arriving in the country, she visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). “It was quite an alarming experience,” she explained. “I was actually in a country which technically is still at war. Yet, I found it interesting that the Seoul Metropolitan Area, only about 50 kilometers away from the division line, is densely populated.” Her advice to international students planning to study abroad here is “to get well-acquainted with the public transportation system in Seoul, as it can be dizzying especially for those who come from the suburbs.”
Susanna first heard about Yonsei from her advisor at the Naval Academy, which is partnered with Yonsei through the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). The Academy encourages its students to participate in study abroad programs in order to develop flexibility, effective communication skills, and an understanding of diverse cultures. Susanna believes that her experience at Yonsei is teaching her to be adaptable in new environments.
As she hopes to be stationed in Asia in the future, Susanna has taken a keen interest in Asian cultures and languages, minoring in Chinese at the Naval Academy. Along with a course in Compiler Design, Susanna is studying the Korean language and Pre-modern Korean history at Yonsei. And to stay fit and meet other Korean students, she has joined Yonsei’s judo club.
Before returning to the U.S., Susanna plans to experience as much traditional Korean culture as possible by visiting museums and attending performances. “My experience at Yonsei, being exposed to a new environment,” she said, “has enabled me to comprehend cultural differences more open-mindedly. I believe that this quality will help me become a better officer in the future.”