July 22, 2010

President of Foreign University Seeks to Strengthen Partnership

 

VALDOSTA -- Dr. Chung Whan Byun, president of Daegu Haany University in Daegu, the fourth largest city in South Korea, recently completed a three day trip to Valdosta State University.

Since 2007, students from DHU have spent time with VSU’s English Language Institute learning about the American culture and language. The program’s success has inspired Byun, along with VSU International Programs Director Dr. Ivan Nikolov, to discuss options for strengthening the collaborative relationship and extending study opportunities.

Nikolov recently traveled with colleague David Starling to the partner university in Daegu to discuss possible expansion of the program. Byun said he would like to see VSU students spend time at DHU learning to teach English as a second language and experiencing the rich Korean culture.

Although no specific decisions have been made, both sides agree that the partnership is positive for students at both universities. Students have an opportunity to experience ideas and practices from a different country, while growing academically as well. Nikolov said interaction with students from DHU is especially beneficial to those in pre-medical fields because of the South Korean school’s foundation on traditional Asian medicine.

“Merging innovative Western research with traditional Asian practices is a new, yet popular approach within the American medical community,” said Nikolov. “DHU started in the 1970s as a medical school, but they have grown into a complex academic institution with over 9,000 students and five colleges. Dr. Byun wants the collaboration between our universities to bridge tradition with modern practices and open doors for new academic experiences to students and faculty from both countries.”

A cardiovascular specialist by trade, Byun is the founder of Daegu Haany University. He and his wife spent three days with faculty and staff from VSU, during which time they toured the campus and discussed the future of the American-Korean collaboration.

For more information about Byun, visit www.dhu.ac.kr/new_home/eng/president.html

For more information about the English Language Institute, visit www.valdosta.edu/eli