Hello, my name is Maggie Yang from Indonesia. I have recently graduated from KU GSIS with a major in International Development and Cooperation. Before my graduation, I gained an opportunity to do an internship at an IT company called AI Spera through the Seoul Government Internship Program. Moreover, in a few weeks, I will start working with an international organization here in Seoul.

Through this short writing, I would like to share with you my study experiences at KU GSIS. I hope my experiences will be useful for you who are currently studying or considering applying for KU GSIS in the future to get an idea of what you can gain during your Master's program with KU GSIS.

I came to Korea in 2018 to attend the Korea University Korean Language School as part of the scholarship that I received from the 2017 Sejong Hakdang Korean Speech Contest. I loved living in Korea and after studying the Korean language, I was motivated to continue my study in this country. However, as I did not want to give my family any financial burden, I decided to look for universities that offer the program that I had wanted as well as scholarship. That was when I discovered KU GSIS as it offers the International Development and Cooperation program. At the same time, there was a chance for me to apply for the POSCO Asia Fellowship Program or the university scholarship. Although I realized that there was always a chance for me to fail, I encouraged myself to apply for the program. I am grateful that I can complete my study with a full scholarship as a POSCO Asia Fellow.

During my study at KU GSIS, I have experienced the flexibility that KU GSIS offers to the students in deciding what they want to do. Since Fall 2018, the students have been allowed to choose whether they will undergo a thesis-track or a non-thesis track. The International Development and Cooperation major also offers various subjects so that the students can conveniently choose classes according to our respective interests. The advanced courses related to statistics or research methods are also provided for those who are interested in enhancing their skills in those areas.

For a thesis-track student like myself, thesis preparation was one of the most daunting experiences during the Master's program. However, I am very grateful to have Professor Robert Rudolf as my thesis advisor. Professor Rudolf has always been very patient in teaching me how to conduct quantitative research correctly and ready to give inputs on how to enhance the quality of my thesis.

Furthermore, over the past two years, I have been very honored to be able to join various domestic and international events related to my study and interests. In particular, 2019 was a very memorable year for me as I participated in several programs and events on ASEAN-Korea relations. I first came across an announcement on the KU GSIS website on the 2019 ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop organized by the ASEAN-Korea Center. As I passed the selection process, I got the opportunity to spend two weeks in Seoul and Singapore to learn more about ASEAN-Korea cooperation on sustainable cities with 80 talented ASEAN and Korean young people. After the workshop, I was appointed as an MC for the ASEAN-Korea Train, a side event for the 2019 ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit, where I could meet and interact with people coming from ASEAN countries and Korea. I was also really honored to be selected as the English-Indonesian translator during the Ministerial Meeting at the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit.

Participated as an Indonesian youth representative at the 2019 

ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop in Seoul and Singapore

Participated as the MC for the ASEAN-Korea Train Program

All of these would not have happened if I had missed the announcement from the KU GSIS website. I also cannot express my gratitude enough to all my professors who have been supportive when I participated in these events. My participation also influenced me to learn more about ASEAN and to attend the ASEAN courses provided by the university in my third semester. Moreover, I also found the job posting on my current position through the KU GSIS Career Development website. I am very excited to begin my new adventure working in Seoul soon!

Above all of my experiences and achievements for the past two years, my encounter with friends coming from various parts of the world, the opportunity to study from lecturers who are passionate about what they share towards the students as well as the life-long friendship that I have made at the university will be the most unforgettable memories that I have with KU GSIS. I came to realize that all good things happened not because of my capability but because I was surrounded by a circle of people who are always encouraging me to be a better version of myself.

Thank you very much for investing your time in reading this short piece.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavor!

Maggie Yang
September 2020