Yonsei University, South Korea visited BPSU in January 2017 for a cultural exchange activity. BPSU Student Affairs Office and the International Affairs Office headed the said activity with the theme “Linking into Learning”. Twenty (20) students from Yonsei University and 45 from BPSU Balanga Campus joined the cultural exchange.
According to the International Affairs Office, “Linking into Learning” is a double-edged approach of BPSU to creating relevant learning experiences for university students. First, it is an activity that aims to bridge BPSU and Yonsei University students by allowing them to participate in various learning experiences and to actively contribute to the discussion of topics such as cross-cultural understanding and the benefits of building multicultural communities. This opens an opportunity for local and foreign students to engage themselves in a conversation where they can explore the role of internationalization in widening their view about education in particular and about the world that they live in in general. Thus, the activity links the students into learning. Second, it is an activity that aims to turn cross-national relationship into partnership for learning. It realizes one of the goals of establishing deeper and stronger connection between academic institutions, that is, paving the way for cutting-edge learning. This activity head starts the academic partnership between BPSU and Yonsei University in order to strengthen the two institutions’ potential to offer quality education on a par with international standards.
The program started with some messages coming from the Main Campus Director, Dr. Flora D. Canare, the Director of Student Affairs, Dr. Perla Estrella, the OIC of the International Affairs, Associate Professor Rowell de Guia and the Associate Dean of the College of Government and Business of Yonsei University, Dr. Sang Han.
Cultural presentations from the two participating institutions brought color to the opening of the event. K-pop dance was performed by the Yonsei University students followed by the Muslim inspired dance presentation by the BZ legs.
The participants engaged in several activities that aimed to connect the Filipino culture with the Korean culture. The first was “Sharing of Cultural Knowledge”. The aim of the activity was to introduce the foreign visitors and the local participants to the different cultural icons in each participating country and discuss their signific ance to the life and identity of the people. The participants were divided into 10 groups. Each was handed with a photo that showed food (Kimchi and Kare-kare), leisure (Jimjilbang and Karaoke), transportation (Subway Train and Jeepney), clothing (Ham-bok and Bahag), and places (Gyeong -bok Gung Palace and Mt. Samat). The activity highlighted the uniqueness of each participating country and as well helped the participants recognize their similarities.
Another interactive activity that the participants engaged in was the “Building Your Ideal Community”. The aim of the activity was to encourage the participants to be part of building their ideal community. The activity opened ideas about culturally diverse community, cross-cultural awareness, and concern for others. Using some poster making materials, each group illustrated the image of their ideal community. The members of the group then orally presented their work.
Mikhaela Baluyot, BSE major in English student of BPSU Balanga Campus, facilitated the group activities and hoped that the participants were able to foster love and respect for each other’s culture through the event.