Monday, March 31, 2014

Learning more about Korea: Sarah

Good Morning from Connecticut!

Mother Nature has seen fit to give us another round of winter weather before March is over, so not only did March come in like a lion, it is also going out like one too.  I can't believe we are only about 3 months away from our trip to Korea!  I am very excited to go and experience a completely different country on the opposite side of the world.  Since we are going to be headed to Seoul National University for part of our trip, I decided to look into learning more about SNU.

I was surprised to see when I looked up with course work available at SNU, that the College of  Agriculture and Life Sciences was a totally separate college from the College of Veterinary Medicine. The College of Veterinary Medicine appears to absorb undergraduates majoring in Pre-Veterinary Medicine as part of their student body, instead of being an exclusive Graduate Program.

I took a look at the course catalog for the College of Ag and it was interesting to see the variety of courses offered, including one on Medicinal Plants.  It also appears that depending on what college you attend, your tuition varies.  Compared to the US, where no matter the major, you pay the same tuition, I thought this was unique, but also made sense based on materials fees and the cost of running certain programs.

In the spirit of NCAA March Madness (Go UConn Huskies!!!), I was curious to see if SNU had any symbols or sports.  It seems that their school bird is the crane, as they embody longevity, and the ability to experience peace, even when surrounded by turmoil. Interestingly enough, the Crane has done very well in the DMZ, even flourishing!  Smithsonian Magazine recently covered an article on the crane in the DMZ: Smithsonian Article on the Crane

In addition to the crane, the school also has a school tree, the Zelkova Tree.  According to the SNU website, "Zelkova trees have strong immunity against diseases and have clean leaves and stems that were considered to represent scholarly qualities in the past. The longevous and generous characteristics of zelkova trees resemble Seoul National University’s fundamental beliefs: the determination to embrace the entire world’s wisdom as an academic leader and to carry on this determination forever. The school respects the sublime values of a scholar akin to the solid and bold branches of the tree and is prepared to embrace ideas of the world like the wide canopy of the zelkova tree’s branches."

Here's a link to the SNU page on their symbols and what they mean.


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