25 Jun Team Enderun Goes to South Korea for an Immersion Trip
Jackie Faust and Jessica Salvador from the Admissions team take us on a journey to understand South Korea’s village policy that led to their economic boom.
Excitement was an understatement after receiving the news that we were chosen to be a part of the cultural trip and leadership training program for Saemaul Undong in Yeungnam University, the new academic partner of Enderun Colleges for the Economics degree program.
The purpose of this trip was to visit cultural sights and showcase the rural transformation and economic development in South Korea inspired by the community engagement of Saemaul Undong Movement. This movement was responsible for the modernization of Korea after being devastated by the occupation of the Japanese. The idea was to infuse the “Can-Do” Spirit and cooperation of each and every individual from the rural villages to urban areas which gradually revived the resources and beauty of South Korea. The movement also instilled the idea of putting “We” before “I” for the common good.
Upon reaching the arrival exit, the first thing that greeted us was the cold breeze of Seoul. We were transported by a 40-seater bus all to ourselves; this was our main transportation as we went around Seoul and Daegu. On the way to our hotel, we noticed the vast greenery and smoothness of the road. On our first night, we tried eating at one of the famous small tent street stalls called, Pojangmacha which means “covered wagon.” They sell a variety of raw food like clams, shrimps, heart, squid, and fishes. It is popular for late night snack or drinks. We wanted to try everything Korean while we were there!
The important part of the trip was to attend the lectures and seminars. We went to Yeungnam University, founded by Park Chung Hee, who developed the Saemaul Undong Movement.
Yeungnam University, which is one of the largest universities in South Korea, is beautiful. It is huge that most people drive from one building to another. If you can’t drive, there is a bus that will take you around the campus. The lectures were held at the top floor of a building that oversees the entire campus. We were welcomed with study materials, name plates, name tags, and welcome presents.
Did you know that South Korea has the 13th largest economy in the world? After being one of the poorest countries in the 1950s during the Korean war, it is the only nation to transform itself from an aid recipient to an aid donor in a span of 50 years. From a country that was destroyed, deprived, poor, frustrated, and hopeless to a country that was able to rise up and develop better ways of living. The Saemaul Undong Movement is the biggest factor that led Korea to what it is today.
After the lectures were the cultural trips. Our first stop for the cultural trip was the Gyeongbokgung Palace which was located at the heart of Seoul. This palace was restored to its original form by the Korean government after it was destroyed twice during the Japanese occupation.