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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Outreach expands: Haynes visits South Korea

President David Haynes, along with a group of faculty members, embarked on a trip to Seoul, South Korea on Oct. 26 as the first of many endeavors to extend the university’s global outreach and foreign exchange opportunities.

Haynes, NMU Trustee Dr. Sook Wilkinson and Dean of the College of Professional Studies Paul Lang took the first of many trips to come in the next year.

After a decade of trips across the globe to strengthen and develop NMU’s foreign connections, the University is now putting a narrower focus on such trips.

While in Seoul, the president signed a memoranda of understanding with two universities, Seoul National University of Science and Technology and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

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Lang explained the purpose of the trip was to build relationships with institutions in South Korea for foreign exchange purposes and to attract international students from South Korea to attend Northern Michigan University for some part of their education.

During their trip, the three spent the most of their time in the city of Seoul.

“We had long days, mostly because the traffic is so intense and hectic that it took us quite a while to get from one place to another,” Lang said.

From meeting with student alumni, government and university officials for breakfast to visiting two universities a day, meeting with presidents, deans and international programs offices, Lang had little time for sightseeing.

“We didn’t have time for it,” Lang said. “However one day we did get to spend two hours in a small old village outside of Seoul walking around looking in shops and visiting museums.”

Born, raised and educated in Seoul, Dr. Wilkinson was a vital aid to the group while abroad.

“Even before we left for South Korea, I was able to contact certain universities to set up the link between Northern and that university,” Wilkinson said. “Being able to utilize my knowledge of the the university system there and knowing the culture made our trip run smoother.”

One specific difference between American and Korean cultural communications is their use of the word “yes” and “no” when speaking with visitors.

“Korea has a culture where you do not offend your guests by saying no,” Wilkinson said. “Often times I had to distinguish whether they really intended to say yes or if it was just a courtesy yes.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, three days into the trip, a reception was held for NMU alumni currently studying at Munji University in South Korea. 3Thirty attended the evening event.

“Each one of them [universities] were memorable,” Lang said.

The trio visited many universities on their six-day trip, one of them was the elite and all womens school that Wilkinson graduated from in 1969, Ewha University.

“I would say the biggest cultural difference that I saw was the enormous focus South Koreans put on education,” Lang said. “They spend many hours a day studying and little time on intramural sports or arts.”

Other global outreach trips planned for later in the year include China, Vietnam, Kenya, Abu Dhabi and a follow-up trip to South Korea between now and the end of next semester.

“We have always valued global relations,” Lang said. “Now we’re just refocusing our interest.”

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