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Bulldogs Reunite in Seoul, South Korea

November 29, 2018

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During a professional site visit this fall, Charla Bailey, TLU’s director of international education, had the opportunity to visit several Bulldogs studying and living in Seoul, South Korea.

Dramatic media majors Annelise Leifeste '19 and Jonathan Tucker '19 are spending the Fall 2018 semester at Yonsei University through the Council on International Educational Exchange. They are taking courses related to their major and general education requirements.

Initially drawn to Korea because of their interest in K-pop music and the language, they have both immersed themselves into the beautiful campus, made several friends, and have tried a variety of foods. Tucker even has the lead role in an upcoming play. While they are very much enjoying this experience, they can’t wait to get back to TLU and the new black box theatre at the Weston Center for the Performing Arts.

During her visit, Bailey also connected with three alumni who are teaching English at the elementary, high school, or university level.

Pictured L to R: Nick Hayes '08, Jordan Kapusinski '11, and Kayla Mundstock '11.

Nick Hayes ’08 is an assistant professor in the Sungkyun Language Institute at Sungkyunkwan University. While studying abroad in London as a student, Hayes said he first became interested in visiting Korea when a friend kept talking about how great it was. He never imagined how much of an impact going to Seoul would have on his future.

“Walking into Charla Bailey's office and asking about study abroad changed the course of my life in ways I could have never imagined,” he said. “ I'd never left the states before studying abroad. I didn't even have a passport. But once I started my travels I never stopped. Now, here we are 10 years, six continents, and about 20 countries later. I can honestly say I probably wouldn't have had any of these priceless experiences if it weren't for TLU and the study abroad program.”

Nick Hayes '08

Kayla Mundstock ’11 is currently teaching English at S.B. Academy in Seoul. The country first piqued her interest in high school when she became friends with a South Korean named Jae who introduced her to the local music and pop culture there.

“If it weren't for TLU's study abroad program, I wouldn't have been able to visit South Korea and my life would be completely different,” she said. “I studied in Daegu for one year and it really set the course for the next few years of my life. I had such an amazing time and made life-long friends from South Korea and other countries around the world. With the support of the faculty at TLU, I was able to go back to South Korea right after graduation and I've been here ever since.”

Kayla Mundstock '11

Jordan Kapusinski ’14 is the most recent alumna living in Seoul where she teaches English and music at an elementary school. While she’s still absorbing the surroundings and finding her niche in the culture, she’d had opportunities to connect will fellow alumni to learn more about where they live.

According to Kapusinski, the group gathered together for a dinner one evening at Hanmiri—a restaurant that serves several courses of traditional Korean dishes family style. While there, Nick Hayes gave insight into the Korean culture regarding serving food and drinks, preparation, and eating. The gathering provided time for the students and alumni to get to know one another and for the alumni to share their tips living in the area. She hopes more TLU students will consider Seoul as a study abroad destination where the alumni would be happy to give them a Bulldog welcome.

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