Two representatives of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Gdańsk University of Technology, Dominika Tomaszewska and Natalia Balogh, spent nearly a month in South Korea, gaining valuable knowledge and learning Asian lifestyle at the Korea University of Technology and Education (KOREATECH). During their stay in this technologically advanced country the students not only learnt the secrets of computer design and 3D printing, but also of the local language, cuisine and martial arts.
Gdańsk University of Technology has established cooperation with the Korean university called KOREATECH, which has been organizing visits of students from partner institutions for several years. The last edition was attended by young people from China, Malaysia, Mongolia and South Africa, as well as, for the first time, from our university. International Relations Office took care of all the formalities on the part of GUT.
"We were taught how to use the SolidWorks design program and also had several lectures on 3D printing. Some of our projects have been printed out and now decorate our shelves. We also visited one of the largest companies operating in this field of industry in Korea", Natalia Balogh recalls.
The students also took part in classes on the Korean history, language and tradition. KOREATECH offered them side activities including ice fishing, riding ATVs, preparing Korean delicacies and learning the local martial art – taekwondo. In their free time, the GUT representatives visited Seoul and nearby towns.
"KOREATECH is unique in its own way, because it is not financed by the Ministry of Higher Education, as other Korean higher education institutions are, but by the Ministry of Labor. Due to this fact, it is easier for its graduates to find employment, as the curriculum is often modified to match the needs of specific companies. Engineering projects created by Korean students are also different, as theoretical reconstruction is not enough to obtain a diploma. The project itself does not have to be extremely complicated; I remember slippers with a built-in pedometer. At the end of the academic year all projects are published in a catalogue available to all students", says Dominika Tomaszewska.
One of the goals of the trip was to establish a long-term cooperation between Gdańsk University of Technology and KOREATECH. In the future, students from Korea will be able to come to us for the entire semester, while GUT students will spend the same time in Asia.
"We want to thank Ms. Karolina Wysocka, head of the International Relations Office, and Ms. Aleksandra Ignacionek, also from the IRO, for their encouragement. What is most important, however, the whole trip could not have taken place without the special support of Prof. Jacek Namieśnik, the rector of Gdańsk University of Technology, who agreed to co-finance our journey, for which we would like to thank you once again, Mr. Rector!" both students emphasize.