Martha Howson

I chose to study at UCLan as it was one of only three universities in the entire country that offered Korean. I had never properly studied a language before and was not already bilingual. I knew that studying Korean was a very hard task. This was, and still is, my biggest personal barrier as I do not have a natural flare for languages. However, with lots of studying and fun activities for learning, I am overcoming this.

I liked that my course was not just Korean based, I could learn about all of the Asia Pacific and tailor it to my focus on Korean culture. I can also pick electives of any module UCLan offers providing they fit into my timetable and pursue other interests for instance media. The teaching is excellent, all the lecturers and professors are incredibly helpful and enthusiastic. If I have a problem I can see them during office hours or e-mail them at any time. The essays and assignments are flexible so you can tailor them to personal interests which makes them more enjoyable to complete.

I went to North Korea through the UCLan international travel bursary with two of my course mates and it is one of my best accomplishments at university so far. This was a lifetime goal and really tested my newly acquired organisation and independent skills. It is an opportunity I am confident I would not have received at any other university and I am so grateful. Not only did I fulfil a dream, but the bursary paid for the entire trip!

Going to North Korea has got to be the highlight of first year, however I have gained other achievements being part of the UCLan Korean Society. We founded the society in October 2015 and went from nothing to one of the top three biggest societies in the entire university. I am so proud of what we have achieved and although it can be stressful balancing society commitments and studying, the rewards of pulling off hugely successful events and praise from our members is all worth it. We organised a mini concert and fan meeting for Korean-American artist Dabit only weeks after founding the society. This was greatly successful with articles on UK K-Pop news sites written about it. I would highly recommend joining a society to extend your social circles or join a committee to gain people skills and start networking early! It is something you can put on your CV as well.

A lasting memory will be going to South Korea for the first time in summer 2016 for the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies International Summer Session. I spent five weeks there taking classes in Korean Language, Korean Cinema, and Human Rights in North Korea. I took every opportunity to travel around the country on the weekend too. This cemented my passion for Korean Culture and inspired my future career and goals.

The professors who teach you are brilliant. The people you meet are incredible. The opportunities you receive are life changing. Your perception of the world shifts with this course as you become a citizen of the world. My advice to prospective students would be ask yourself if you would like to make a difference in this world and then ask yourself how. However you want to do it, I am very confident UCLan is the right next step for you.