SIUC establishes relationship with Korean university

By Gus Bode

In an effort to increase international relations, SIUC signed a formal agreement with Chungbuk National University of the Republic of Korea in a formal ceremony this week to solidify a long-term relationship between the universities.

Christine Svec, associate director for International Development, said signing the agreement creates a connection for research and an exchange for students. It will also encourage more students to travel abroad and makes course transfers easier.

“One of the things that SIU wants to do is maintain its role as an international institution,” Svec said. “This means there is an opportunity for student, faculty exchange.”

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Svec said there is no comparison between Chungbuk and SIUC-Nakajo, the sister campus the University had in Japan. The University will officially end the relationship with the Nakajo campus in May.

“The campus that we had in Japan was actually SIU delivering SIU courses in Japan,” Svec said.

The University has simply established an official relationship with Chungbuk, whereas SIUC-N had a satellite campus, she said.

The relationship between the Chungbuk and SIUC began with the College of Liberal Arts, Svec said. Discussions on expanding have already begun with the College of Engineering.

She said international relations bring a taste of the world to Carbondale, link the University to professionals around the world and offer different perspectives to students and faculty.

Marilyn Rivers, director of the Center for English as a Second Language, said the relationship with Chungbuk officially began in January 2003, when several students came for an eight-week English study program with the center.

That was when Chungbuk faculty realized the compatibility of the two universities and began talks with SIUC to establish an official relationship, Svec said.

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“It’s a very good opportunity for both universities,” Rivers said.

Sanjeev Kumar, a professor in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, served as an official representative for the University during the process.

Kumar said the agreement could facilitate student and faculty exchanges, research collaboration and cultural education.

“All those things really help with professional development and really make us international,” Kumar said.

In terms of research collaboration, he said the new relationship with Chungbuk will ensure what the University does is not limited to Carbondale, the state of Illinois or even the United States.

Reporter Laura Teegarden can be reached at [email protected]

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