An interview with Seoungbyung Park, from South Korea, a junior majoring in Finance and Accounting at Marquette University in Wisconsin.
Why did you decide to study in the U.S.A.?
Diversity is not a popular word in South Korea. The country is filled with pretty much Koreans only. There is nothing wrong with that, but I always thought living with people from different backgrounds might enrich my life. I could not think of a single country that is more diverse than the United States.
Why did you choose this university?
I was not sure if I wanted to major in business or engineering. Marquette was one of the schools that had both a great business program and a highly ranked engineering program. They also offered financial help.
Also, it is located in Milwaukee, a big city. Coming from a big city, I wanted to live in a dynamic place. It has fancy hotels, the Milwaukee Bucks (an NBA team), theaters, and of course, many bars and restaurants.
What do you like best?
Marquette has a program called Applied Investment Management. As a student in this program, you get to actively participate in managing the school’s endowment fund. This is a very competitive program, but I have learned tremendously and greatly enjoyed the program. Not many undergraduate-level schools offer such experiential investment programs.
What do you miss most?
Like anybody else, I miss the food from home. However, I also miss the atmosphere of my city.
What was your biggest surprise?
I was very surprised by the way people express themselves. They seemed a lot more direct and open. At school, this leads to many open discussions, which I enjoy a lot.
How have you handled:
It was very hard speaking English all day long every day, but I tried to learn from friends as much as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to them! It helps!
I have to keep careful track of how much I spend.
What are your activities?
I play a lot of intramural basketball games. It is a lot of fun and I met many friends by getting involved!
How easy or difficult is making friends?
It was somewhat hard at the beginning, but everything started to get better as I started to get used to the culture and get involved in campus activities.
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
I am interested in working at an investment company when I graduate. Studying abroad in the U.S. helped me to think globally, which is a crucial skill for me to achieve my goal and secure a good job at an investment company.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Make sure that you keep your eyes and mind open. Good things will happen!