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VSU to welcome more exchange students

 Eighteen students from a South Korean university are currently enrolled at VSU through a new program. Next spring, that number could increase to 120.

 “Students want to come here, and we’re happy to have them,” Lauren Braun, International Student Advisor, said. 

 For the past three years, VSU and Dongguk University in Seoul, South Korea, have been working on the 1:3 program, where students take English and other freshman classes for one year in Korea and then transfer here to complete their remaining years, said Dr. Ivan Nikolov, director of International Programs.  

 While the university has hosted other South Korean students, this is VSU’s first semester implementing the arrangement with Dongguk University. Eighteen students are currently enrolled here through the program.

 “This semester was the ‘trial run’ so to speak of the program,” Braun said.

  This year, Dongguk University has accepted 120 students into their part of the program; however, that does not mean all of them will end up coming to VSU.

 “Our partner has just admitted new 120 students in the second year of the program, a great indicator for the success of this joint international education project,” Dr. Nikolov said. “The students from this group who qualify will be enrolled at VSU in Spring 2012.”

 After their one year of study at Dongguk University, students have to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL, exam in order to be accepted to VSU.

 “Those students who qualify by the VSU standards are admitted to our regular program,” Dr. Nikolov said. “Students who need more English as a Second Language (ESL) preparation to measure up to the TEOFL standards continue their studies at our English Language Institute (ELI) or in Korea.”

 Other bars on admission involve the student’s ability to pay for tuition and get their student visas, Braun said.

 Most of the current Dongguk University students are housed in Centennial Hall, said Thressea Boyd, assistant to the president for communications.

 The International Programs is preparing for the vast wave of expected students next spring.

 “We’re working diligently with the administrative offices who handle new student orientations, campus/off campus housing, academic advising, etc to put the mechanisms in place to serve them when they arrive on campus,” Braun said in an e-mail. “It’s a collaborative effort!”

 Soeeun Lee and Jin Do, two sophomores with undecided majors, are enjoying their time here.

 “People are kind,” Do said. “We (are learning) many things here.”

 Lee agreed, adding that their plans are to stay at finish their degrees at VSU.

 Lee said, “We plan to graduate from here.”

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