Dear teachers, organizers and students of Ewha International Summer College 2021
One day in the evening light I wondered how I could learn more about South Korea. I looked at the Andes Mountains located in Chile and I thought “if the mountain does not come to me, I have to go to the mountain”. So I began to find out with great hope about possibilities and I found the Ewha International Summer College 2021 program, wich was leaded by one of the most prestigious and internationally recognized universities in South Korea: Ewha Womans University.
Along this path I had the support of the Ewha Foundation, who awarded me the Drs. Ira & Cindy Chang Hyun Shin Geer scholarship. This initiative is aimed at students at a local and global level, considering developing countries and constitutes a light of hope for those who want to access higher education. Without a doubt, the Ewha Foundation opened the doors to my desire to study about South Korea.
This time I had the opportunity to participate in three courses. The first, Korean Cinema with Professor Nam Lee, which addresses cinema from its origins to contemporary times, its relationship with the globalized cultural industry, film analysis, and invites participants to develop a critical view of Korean audiovisual productions. The second, Gender Relations in Korea, led by Professor Jisun Song, which deals with the consequences of social conventions in the development of both men and women, as well as the adversities that women face, especially to develop and establish their fundamental rights, despite the social conventions that have dominated public discourse for years. And the third, North Korean: History, Politics and Society, by Professor Antonio Fiori, who from a broad perspective integrates us into this hermit nation with unique antecedents about Juche, its international ties and the dilemmas facing its society.
All these classes were very interesting since they can be linked to my area of study, which is communications. In this sense, I can highlight how pleasant it has been to participate in the Korean film classes considering the external factors associated with the films. Such as the film The Host, by Bong Joong-ho, tells us about a monster in the Han River that captures a girl, but at the same time portrays Korean culture, the IMF currency crisis in 1997 or the Gwangju massacre. Then, from the perspective of Gender Relations in Korea, it has been significant to see the role of the media in the generation of stereotypes and the consequences that this can have on society, from the use of images to language, as well as the responsibility that communicators must assume in the construction of reality. Finally, the North Korea course was intriguing all the time given the nature of this nation, but especially from the point of view of the integration of propaganda in the cinema as a strategy to sustain Juche and also from the future challenges for this society, considering its social planning and succession, as well as its international relations that integrate areas such as the nuclear threat, the economic and food crisis or reunification.
Undoubtedly participating in Ewha International Summer College 2021 has been a great opportunity to deepen about this nation, at the same time it has allowed me to share good moments with my teachers and colleagues from different countries who have made a great effort to deliver the best of each one. Although world conditions do not allow us to be together, the online modality has contributed to breaking down the barriers of distance, and has allowed us to also connect in a digital mode. Of course, I recommend that all future students apply to the program, do not lose faith and do everything possible to make your wishes come true.
It will be great if we can stay in touch and that one day we can share together at Ewha University.
Congratulations to all and thank you very much.