WCU’s First South Korean Cohort Completes 10-Week Exchange Program

(From left) Shinhwa Ro, Kibbume (Joy) Seo, Juhyun An, Hyeonji Lee and Ahrim Kim pose with their WCU student ID badges at the Los Angeles campus.

West Coast University said goodbye to its first group of South Korean exchange students the only way possible — with pizza.

On June 6, 2015, the five CHA University students gathered in the same room at WCU Los Angeles they had completed orientation in more than two months ago, but instead of introductions, paperwork and pizza, this time they shared goodbyes, email addresses and pizza.

Ten weeks ago, the students — Hyeonji Lee, Juhyun An, Kibbume (Joy) Seo, Ahrim Kim and Shinhwa Ro — began a program of instruction and simulation education experience at WCU. The students also gained hands-on experience at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, as they learned about nursing within the context of the American health system. The CHA students were also paired with a group of peer mentors — fellow WCU students with an interest in international public health — who helped them explore and enjoy the Los Angeles area during their stay.

“They were as much teachers as they were students,” said WCU Simulation Nursing Instructor Woodi Wooding, who ran medical simulations for the group. “It’s been a very good education for me to learn how the students deliver care, how they interact with physicians and collaborate with them. Then I can incorporate what we do and compare and contrast that with what they do in Korea.”

Seo said she would tell the next group of CHA students to plan ahead and savor their time in the U.S.

“The beginning was really hard because you’re coming to a different country, totally different food and people — nobody from your family is here,” Seo said. “I would tell them ‘Just enjoy your time. Use your time (wisely).’ I wish that they don’t get stressed too much and just try to enjoy each class, going to the school and the hospital, and meeting people. I would tell them to meet as many people as possible. Then you can have more fun and enjoy living here more.”

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