Two month, thousands of priceless experience. My time with Korean people has been incredible. Words cannot express the richness of experiences I have had here. During the Exchange Student Program, I decided to complete my field experience hours at Gimhae, Seoul, and other parts of South Korea. My decision to go was one of the best decisions that I have ever made in my life including my decision to be the leader of biomedical engineering students for the program. There are too many valuable and unforgotten things to be shared.
I was passionate about development work, but I am also highly interested in studying their culture. At the first time I came to my lab, I saw beds, clothes, hair drier, and a dining table occupied the room other than the experimental devices and equipments. The room is more than a lab. It is also a home, where you can sleep inside, having meals with friends, taking bath, meeting and studying. They spent most of their life in the lab. I don’t think they need the punch card to ensure the punctuality of the research assistants every morning. I bet they never had the transportation problems to go and back from their home. They enjoyed their life doing the works and experiments. I always think this is a good work nature and motivated work style that must be a life long practice.
My laboratory experience has certainly diminished my own misconception of the Korean people. I am so thankful to have had this eye-opening opportunity. The thing I am trying to say is the attitude. Everybody knows Korean people having problem in using English. I found the communication difficulties at the beginning when they speak to slow. But then I learnt to appreciate them because they tried to entertain and welcomed me although they know their ability in using English. It made us close to each other. It is so amazing to be welcomed into the homes and lives of the families we build with. The friendships made bring more joy to my heart than words can express. I learnt so much more than I had expected.
To be a group leader of biomedical engineering students also gave me opportunity to be closer to some CEO and executive director of big companies in South Korea. LISTEM, Mediana, Medison, and Bit-Computer Company were the places we went for industrial visit. I didn’t really care how far they could go but what made me impressed were the stories behind their glorious achievements. Most of the people I met experienced a series of challenges. They never give up and till now, they show the world their ability and contributions in medical engineering field. They really motivated me to try new things that sometimes impossible. Now, I can see my educational track clearly and I need to plan my future seriously.
President of AKIUM 2008/09