To further bolster the internationalization activities and expand the internalization profile of the Faculty of Arts and Letters, five faculty members and 14 students recently participated in collaborative thematic seminars, special lectures, benchmarking activities, academic visits and meetings in Korea University, Catholic University of Korea, and Dongguk University.
On the first day of the visit, the UST group participated in a seminar at Korea University in which Dr. Leighanne Kimberly Yuh delivered a lecture on “Issues on the Possible Reunification of the Korean Peninsula.” This was followed by an academic meeting participated in by faculty members together with Korea University officials Assistant Director for International Cooperation Mr. D’Arcy Drachenberg, Regional Manager for Asia and Oceania Exchange and Study Abroad Programs Office of International Affairs Ms. Yunji Kim, and College of Liberal Arts – Department of Korean History Professor Dr. Leighanne Kimberly Yuh. In the said meeting, discussions centered on possible collaboration between the two universities in the area of collaborative seminars, research, faculty and student exchanges and participation in summer or winter academic programs.
At Dongguk University, which they visited on the second day, an orientation was given to UST students and faculty members by Office of International Relations Assistant Manager Ms. Sejin Kwon, regarding the conduct of their summer program specifically the Intensive Korean Language and Culture course to be given to the visiting UST students. This was followed immediately by the Korean Language and Culture classes.
Also at Dongguk University, the UST group participated in the grand lecture of a Visiting Professor from Seoul National University, Prof. Dr. Bo-hyuk Suh who delivered a lecture on “De-nuclearization and Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” The AB faculty conducted a meeting with Ms. Sejin Kwon and both parties emphasized the need to sustain the international collaboration between the two universities, considering that several activities have already been conducted since 2010 between the two parties.
On the third day of the visit, the UST contingent was welcomed to the Catholic University of Korea by Office of International Affairs Director Dr. Peter Seo, and Head of Admission Office Dr. Joon Suk Kim, a professor of the Department of International Studies. This was followed by a Collaborative Thematic Seminar participated in by faculty and students from both the Catholic University of Korea and University of Santo Tomas.
Lecturer-discussants included faculty members from the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters: Dr. Lino Baron, who discussed “South Korea: A Major Ally in Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth with the Philippines”; Dr. Augusto de Viana, who lectured on the topic “Mention of Korea in Philippine Textbooks: A Comparison of Textbooks from pre K-12 and K to 12 ERAS”; Dr. Milagros Arrevillaga, who shared insights on “Work Values and Reflectiveness as Predictors of Academic Performance”; and Asst. Prof. Alain Santos, who talked about the “Urban Forest Park as Eco Space for Liveable City: Arroceros Forest Park, Manila, Philippines.”
While in Seoul, the students visited the Korean War Memorial and Museum, watched a Korean Popular Theatre performance, actively participated in the Kimchi Culinary Academy and attended lessons on Korean Pop culture. The group visited the Joint Security Area of the DMZ area in Paju about 55 kilometers from Seoul where the famed Dorasan train station and the infiltration tunnels are located. These areas are just 2 kilometers from Pamunjeon, also known as the Demilitarized Zone, where the actual demarcation line between North and South Korea is located.
After the completion of the Korean Language and Culture program and academic seminars and lectures, the group proceeded to the ancient city of Gyeongju and the cosmopolitan city of Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, for the cultural and historical visits.
At Gyeongju, the group visited the Anapchi lake, the Pulguksa Buddhist temple Shrine, established 528 A.D., Gyeongju National Museum and the ancient temple grotto of Sokkuram, established 751 A.D. The Thomasians had a firsthand cultural and historical knowledge of what the students could only usually learn from books or instructional materials.
Gyeongju is the ancient site of the Silla Dynasty until the Unified Kingdom of Silla (57 B.C.E. – 668 A.D.) It was the seat of Ancient Silla during the Unified Kingdom of Silla (668-935 A.D.), uniting other main Korean Kingdoms of Koguryo (Goguryeo 37 B.C.E.- 668 C.E.), Paekche (Baekje 18 B.C.E. -660 C.E.), Gaya (42 B.C.E. -562 C.E.). These sites were the silent witnesses to Korea’s long and glorious history.
While at Busan, the group visited the Busan Fishing Village and Fish Port, the Haeyundae Bay and the Busan Haedong Yoggungsa Temple Shrines by the Sea.
The program consisted of 20 hours of Korean Language and Culture, 18 hours of Lectures, Collaborative Seminars and Academic Meetings and 20 hours of Cultural and Historical visits for a total of 58 hours of activities.
The student participants were: Jeremy Lance M. Ang, Jeremi Mae M. Arboleda, Maria Francine Therese S. Besinio, Karen Daryl L. Brito, Rya Joyce C. Catabas, Tricia Anne M. Clemente, Winston Francis S. Ilustre, Julie Euszel M. Jerusalem, Therine Joyce C. Navarro, Louie Llyod E. Octava, Merlissa Faye D. Respicio, Yanah Alexa F. Samson, Micaella Marie D.G. Soriaga and Mikaela Andrea O. Villanueva.
The faculty group, headed by Dean Prof. Michael Anthony C. Vasco, Ph.D., included: Assoc. Lino N. Baron, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Augusto de Viana, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Milagros C. Arrevillaga, Ph.D., Asst. Prof. Alain Jomarie G. Santos.