By Chung Hyun-chae
The State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego has been actively seeking to attract more Korean students by forming partnerships with Korean schools and institutions.
So far, the school has formed partnership ties with 12 institutions and universities in Korea to boost exchanges, research, and other activities.
"I read recently that Seoul is the No. 1 city of origin for international students in our country, which makes sense for us to be engaged with recruiting relationships in Seoul, both through schools and with recruiting organizations that have proven valuable," said Debora F. Stanley, president of SUNY Oswego.
"Korean students together compose an important component of our international and out-of-state enrollment, which we want to continue to grow," she added.
SUNY Oswego currently has about 80 Korean students out of over 250 international students in its campus, making Koreans its largest international student body. The international students are of various nationalities including Brazil, Canada, China, India and Sri Lanka.
"Qualified students from Gimpo Foreign Language High School entering SUNY Oswego as undergraduates will contribute to internationalization of a SUNY Oswego education," said Stanley.
"All of our graduates will become part of our strong, successful alumni. Whether they come back to Korea, stay in the U.S., or go elsewhere, we have a growing national and international presence beyond New York, and they will be a part of that."
She saw many other mutual benefits of signing a "sisterhood" agreement with excellent Korean schools.
"First, SUNY Oswego graduates can come to Korea to teach English. But we will also welcome students and teachers from Gimpo Foreign Language High School to come to our campus during their breaks for student camps and teacher professional development," she said.
One concrete initiative Principal Bong and SUNY Oswego President Stanley agreed to was a special scholarship program targeting a special few of the high school's top students.
"Based on their high achievement and recommendations, we will award the top graduates he recommends with our highest scholarship, the Presidential Scholarship, significantly reducing their cost of attendance at SUNY Oswego," she said.
The recommended students will go through an assured admission process of SUNY Oswego and will also receive scholarships.
"The scholarship would significantly reduce their cost of attendance at SUNY Oswego," added.
They will not be required to take the SAT or TOEFL exam prior to admission, according to the president.
"We seek excellent school partnerships so we can identify sources of students who we know will enter our institution well prepared and who will succeed academically and culturally," said Stanley.
She also participated in the Education Abroad Recruiting seminar held in Seoul to meet with prospective students and their parents. Under the Education Abroad program, Korean students can get accepted at SUNY Oswego while they are in Korea.
When they are accepted at SUNY Oswego, they attend an opening ceremony to receive an acceptance letter. Then they will spend their first year in Korea for academic English and general education courses. After they complete their first year, they will be welcomed to SUNY Oswego to continue their studies and fulfill their academic goals.