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September 8, 2011

ULM collaboration to immerse Korean exchange students in area businesses

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, University of Louisiana at Monroe President Nick J. Bruno and representatives of Hanbat National University in Daejeon, South Korea, formally entered into a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of their respective schools.

The South Korean representatives had come to the ULM campus to discuss short-term study abroad and longer-term exchange study opportunities, solidifying a collaboration that has been in development for several months.

The University of Louisiana System Board recently approved the cooperative agreements between ULM and Hanbat National University, as well as three other international universities, including Ehime University of Japan, Ludong University of China and Kongju National University, also of South Korea.

On Tuesday, the Korean delegation visited several area businesses to discuss possible field experiences and job shadowing opportunities.

Their day-long agenda included tours of the following firms: Ford Bacon & Davis; CenturyLink; Denmon Engineering; Architecture Plus and Graphic Packaging.

"In today's global economy, it makes perfect sense for us to provide opportunities for our students to be exposed to others from different cultures," said Bruno.

"These agreements and global collaborations have great potential to raise people's awareness of the excellence that is found throughout our campus."

"We have relationships with other universities; however, we have never had this kind of (wonderful) experience before, so thank you for such a warm welcome," said Dr. Byoung-Wook Choi , dean of the Office of Planning & Public Affairs at Hanbat National University.

"We are looking forward to further developments that will be to our mutual benefit."

Business representatives including architect Joseph Cassiere of Architecture Plus and CenturyLink Vice President Odell Riley (BBA, '83) were also on hand to discuss the partnership, as well as Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (BBA, '79).

Mayo said he was reminded of a visit to Dakar, Senegal, in western Africa, in which one of the the biggest bronze statues in the world resides.

The statue was constructed by Korean engineers and consists of a man, woman and child looking out toward the sea, with the child pointing west to the Americas.

"I've always been told to think globally, and act locally," said Mayo. "I want to commend Dr. Bruno and ULM for this kind of partnership."

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