Already a proven destination for students from abroad, Penn State Abington is hosting 33 South Korean students and two faculty chaperones from the University of Gyeongnam Geochang from Jan. 14-Feb. 13.
During their four-week visit, the students will engage in intensive ESL training and immerse themselves in American culture.
The Office of Continuing Education, with support from Dolores Rafter Arevalo, coordinator of the Office of Global Education and Engagement, has customized this non-credit international immersion experience to meet the needs and desires of the Korean contingent.
Armed with their laptops and cellphones, the students will take advantage of the college’s gym, library, and learning center each morning, followed by lunch with their Global Buddies, a group of Penn State Abington students tasked with working closely with global visitors. SGA President Charlena Frank will lead the group.
In the afternoons, they will attend ESL classes and enjoy special lectures prepared by José Rodriguez, the director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and others. More than half of the visiting students are majoring in nursing, health administration, industrial design, and management.
ESL Program Coordinator Jaehan Park and several Korean students from Penn State Abington will serve as interpreters and informal guides for the visitors, who will spend each weekend following their arrival at important historical and cultural sites throughout Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
In Montgomery County, they may visit Valley Forge, but they have already visited the H Mart Korean supermarket, Whole Foods, and Target.
In Philadelphia, they have seen the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Chinatown, the Penn State Center, and the Visitor Center, and plan to take in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other attractions.
Inspired by Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi), which specializes in providing quality home care to the Asian-American and immigrant senior citizen communities in Greater Philadelphia, the South Korean student visit is the latest example of how the Office of Continuing Education at Penn State Abington can customize a program to meet the needs of any group outside the traditional college experience.