One could say the sun never sets on a Clemson University educational opportunity.

Sophia Petrille wearing traditional Korean garb

Business student Sophia Petrille dons a traditional ‘Hanbok’ dress while in South Korea.
Image Credit: Submitted

Two College of Business students are among the first to expand their horizons by taking advantage of a new global study abroad partnership in South Korea. It’s one of a myriad of international study and intern opportunities available through the college’s Office of Student Enrichment and the university’s Clemson Abroad office.

Raven Walton, an economics major, and Sophia Petrille, a pre-business major, began their spring semesters in mid-February at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea, and will wrap up their study abroad at the end of this month.

“South Korea is a great experience for students in that it broadens their global awareness, and in Seoul, they are living and learning in one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan cities,” said Gaby Peschiera, Student Enrichment’s assistant director of global engagement. “South Korea enables students from diverse backgrounds to examine a culture totally different than theirs.”

In 2018-19, there were more than 340 College of Business students studying or interning in nearly 40 countries from Europe and South America to Asia and Africa.

Raven, a senior from Greenville, said her adjustment to living in South Korea has been smooth, and believes the experience will benefit her both personally and professionally.

Raven Walton in Korean attire

Raven Walton immerses herself in Korean culture, wearing traditional attire.
Image Credit: Submitted

“By being outside familiar surroundings, one is forced to go beyond their comfort zone. This experience is giving me the opportunity to learn about another culture firsthand and gain different perspectives, which is critical in the business world,” Raven said. “It’s important to understand business relations whether it’s with co-workers, supervisors, or potential clients. Aside from the relationship aspect, it is a great opportunity to become more independent, develop skills and meet new people.”

South Korea is a recent addition to the college’s stable of study abroad venues. Students spend a semester studying at the renowned Korea University through a partnership Clemson has with The Education Abroad Network (TEAN), a third-party provider specializing in Asia-Pacific learning opportunities.

Students studying in South Korea can take courses preapproved for credit transfer, as well as other classes of their choosing. Eighteen business-discipline classes are preapproved for credit transfer and all are taught in English.

Business majors can apply for financial assistance to aid in travel and tuition expenses. Travel aid from $300-$1,000 is available in addition to $1,000 in academic scholarships per semester.

Raven Walton in kitchen scene

Raven Walton learned to make Korean rice dish bibimbap in a cooking class.
Image Credit: Submitted

Sophia, a sophomore who hails from the Philadelphia area, said she’s always wanted to visit South Korea and with her best friend being from Seoul, she was well prepared for what to expect.

“I learned about the South Korea program through a study abroad fair, and found the process for applying easy,” she said. “The partnership Clemson has with TEAN is well organized and the communication between TEAN and the Student Enrichment office helped make the application process easy.”

In her global engagement role, Gaby is charged with expanding international learning avenues for students through internships, research, service learning and study abroad programs. She said like other international options, the South Korea experience sharpens students’ awareness of others and their diverse lifestyles.

“Studying abroad prepares students to be comfortable and familiar with working in business and cultural settings very different from what they are used to,” Peschiera said. “By offering this South Korea learning opportunity, we are adding to Clemson’s international options for student growth, which ultimately enhances their employment marketability.”

For more information on the South Korea program and other College of Business study abroad and intern opportunities, contact Alex Hazleton, global engagement coordinator, at 864.656.3644 or hazleto@clemson.edu.

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