미래가치를 창출하는 글로컬 산학일체 혁신대학
전 세계가 금년 2월부터 유행한 ‘코로나19’로 신음하고 있다. 특히 국가 간 이동통제로 타국에서 홀로서기 중인 유학생들의 안타까움은 더하리라 싶다. 우리 대학에도 고국에 있는 가족들이 염려되지만 가보지 못하고 전화연락으로만 안부를 확인할 수밖에 없는 유학생들이 있다. 이런 유학생들의 마음을 살펴보고자 여기저기 수소문한 끝에 가나 국적의 대학원생을 만날 수 있었다.
Kwesi Mensah(국적 가나)는 우리 대학 기계공학과 박사과정 연구생으로 ‘냉․난방시스템’분야에 관심이 많다고 한다. 2017년부터 2년간 가나 유학생 대표로 활동했고 비록 한국말이 유창하진 않지만 인터뷰를 하면서 한밭대학교에 남다른 애정을 가진 정겨운 청년이라는 느낌을 받았다.
참고로 현재 우리 대학의 외국인 대학원생은 41명이고 그중 14명이 가나에서 온 유학생이며 대학 홍보브로슈어와 홍보영상 촬영에 참여하여 도움을 준 바 있다.
(Kwesi에게 참여한 브로슈어를 건네자, 자신의 사진을 보고) “아, 제가 한밭대 슈퍼스타네요~ㅎㅎ” 라고 하면서 “한밭대 최고에요, 잘하고 있어요”라고 우리를 맞는다.
한국말은 언제부터 했나요? 2016년 한국에 처음 왔고, 온지 1년 정도 지나면서...어학원에서 열심히 공부했고, 친구들과 유튜브 보면서 연습 많이 했어요
한국에 와서 처음에 어려웠던 점은? 연구스타일도 가나와 다르고 한국어가 서툴러서 ㅎㅎㅎ, 겨울도 너무 추워요
최근 코로나 19로 걱정이 많을 텐데.. 타지에서 어렵지 않나요? 고향의 가족이 생각나요, 음식도 그리워서 가나 음식과 비슷한 ‘볶음밥’을 주로 많이 먹어요
좋아하는 음식은? “감자탕, 뼈해장국”, “부대찌개요”
나중에 어떤 사람이 되고 싶나요? “반기문처럼 UN사무총장...큰사람이 되고 싶어요”라며 졸업 후 연구소에서 실전연구계획도 꿈꾼다고 했다.
남는 시간에는 무엇을 하나요? 주로 주말을 이용해 친구들과 축구하고, 독서나 수통골 산책도 하고 교회도 가요.
Kwesi는 인터뷰 내내 웃음이 유난히 많았던 밝고 선한 청년이었다. 우리 한밭대학교로 유학 온 것에 대해 큰 자부심을 가지고 있었고, 대한민국이라는 나라에 대해서도 애정을 가득 담고 있음이 마음으로 와 닿았다. 다른 유학생들도 언젠가 자국으로 돌아갈 때 한밭대학교와 우리나라에 대한 좋은 기억을 품고 갔으면 하는 작은 바람과 함께 타국에서 제한적인 생활을 하고 있는 유학생들에게 조금 더 많은 관심을 가져줘야 겠다란 생각을 해본다.
우리는 다음에 맛난 감자탕을 함께 먹기로 약속한 후 헤어졌고 Kwesi는 우리가 요청한 서면인터뷰에 다음과 같이 성실하게 응해주었다.
[ 서면인터뷰 전문 ]
1. Please tell me the your department, grade and name.
My Name is Kwesi Mensah. I am from Ghana and I am currently pursuing my Ph. D. at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Hanbat National University. I am in my final year.
2. How did you get to know Hanbat National University?
I got to know about Hanbat National University from the time I was in Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) serving as a Teaching Assistant in the Mechanical Engineering Department. I think at that time, there was an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between Hanbat National University and KNUST. What is more important was the fact that, Hanbat National University had the exact post graduate program I wanted to pursue.
3. Can you tell me about college life?
Well my college life in Hanbat National University is a very wonderful and a special one. The research is interesting and challenging, the staff in my department are awesome and friendly, my labmates are amazing, we have lots of fun during our MT (Membership Training) periods, and I enjoy every bits of it. I have the opportunity to feature in many promotional videos with my international friends.
Most importantly my decision to join Hanbat National University was borne out of my desire to study about energy and how to effectively and efficiently reduce the energy consumption of an entire country through the design of energy efficient systems.
Aside my research work, I have the opportunity to meet various persons (Both International Students and Native Koreans) both on-campus (through campus fellowships and clubs activities, and the annual student festivals) and off-campus (participation in academic conferences and workshops). I love Korean Food. Kamjatan is the Best!
4. Please tell me something you are proud of yourself.
One Special thing am very proud about is the development of a unique ability in the aspect of leadership and also being able to keep good relationship with people the people around me. Aside that, am very proud of the fact that, I have been able to attain this level in my career. Its very special for me because, with this achievement, I can be a voice and hope to the next generation in my country and in the world. Lest I forget, I was proud to see my photos in the pages of the Hanbat National University booklet.
5. Can you tell me the good things about Hanbat National University?
a. Very Professional and Experienced Professors: Hanbat National University has very experienced professors in their fields who really knows what they are researching about. Am very blessed to have been studying under one of such great persons in my career.b. Serene, Clean and Conducive Environment for Study and Research: To be able to carry-out great research, one needs a very conducive environment. And Hanbat National University presents me with that. Early mornings when am walking from my home to my lab, the cool and smooth music that is played on campus during off-lecture periods, is so very refreshing and unique. Walking-by and reflecting on this smooth sounds, gives you great inner energy for the a fruitful a beautiful day ahead.c. Multi-Cultural International Students: I have the chance and the opportunity to meet great friends from different backgrounds and different parts of the world.d: Library with up-to-date research resources.
6. Can you tell me what is uncomfortable in your college life?
At first, almost 6 yrs ago when I stepped foot on Hanbat Campus, I had a challenge with communication and language barrier among my friends and my labmates. But with the intervention of the university, through an intensive short language course, even though not very perfect, the issue of language barrier is now a thing of the past. The Pali-Pali attitude of the Korean Society: At first it felt very uncomfortable, because it's a new experience to me. But going forward, I have come to appreciate the importance and the need to adopt this new lifestyle.
7. Do you have any memorable or interesting things during college?
MT and Dinner Times: Having the opportunity to sit down on the same lunch or dinner table with professors, eating, drinking, talking, smiling, sharing jokes, and taking time out of the academic environment for a while is definitely a unique moment for me. From where I do come from, its very uncommon to see a professor mingling with their students in this manner. I think this moments are very important for improving the student-teacher relations in the academic environment.
Also, Engagement in Volunteering Programs, Making New Global and International Friends, and the chance to Experience the beautiful and amazing Korea and its people in a special way. Thanks to Hanbat National University. These are all memorable things I shall not forget.
8. One of the most impressive things about Hanbat National University
Small-Medium Size campus, but great minds with cutting-edge research works and results. Hanbat University Professors are participating and doing very well is the fact that, I can call Hanbat National University as a place where talents, passion and academic confidence and excellence is developed and achieved. It gave me the opportunity to aside my academic research work, engage in volunteering various activities geared towards giving back to society. Also have had various occasions and opportunity to show and introduce my beautiful country, food and culture to the people of Korea. Combining and being able to balance effectively the various facets of life, in one environment is very impressive.
9. What do you spend your time doing when you have no class day?
a. Communicate with Nature: In my free times, I love to communicate with nature. And because of the strategic location of Hanbat, Nature is just a friend next door. The serene and green environment surrounded by beautiful mountains is just great and amazing.
b: Play Sports (Soccer) and hit the gym: Almost most weekends, I do play soccer with my colleagues on campus’s ultra-modern sports field. The gym is there to make sure I stay fit and healthy at all times.
10. After graduation, what are your plans for the future?
My immediate short term plan after graduation is to pursue one more professional masters degree in the field of public policy and management. I will like to be in a place of influence both in my country and on the global front, and as such, there is the need for me to understand if not all, various aspect of life people and developments of a nation.In the long term, I plan to secure a job and build my global business in my area of specialization so that I can be able to offer substantive advice, consultancy and expertise in my field.
11. Can you tell me if you have a dream?
Well, Personally, I wouldn’t call it a dream, but rather I will call it a VISION, because am still young and have the potential to achieve it. It is a dream for me if and when, I do not have the opportunity to make it a reality. My VISION is to be a person of influence and integrity not only in the community that I grew up from, but in my country, Ghana, and in the continent of Africa, and on the global front. I have a VISION to one day be the 2nd UN Secretary General from my country, Ghana that will lead and champion positive developments policies especially in the areas of energy freedom for most developing nations, and peace and tranquility for the world. Prior to that, I also have a vision to become a global businessman that will lead the world in energy research especially for developing nations.
12. Can you tell me if you have anything else you want to say?
First, for all persons (both Korean and International persons) who are considering post-graduate studies in Korea, I will like to recommend Hanbat National University for such. With the school’s excellent scholarship schemes, modern facilities and professional and experience teaching staff, am optimistic that, your experiences will be definitely great.
Furthermore, I will like to encourage all persons to believe in themselves to be a great person in the future. Especially, for people from many developing nations, I will like to say that, Hope is one thing that, we cannot afford to loose, no matter the challenging circumstances. We need to hold on to our faith and hope for nothing but the best for the future. God bless!