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Nine (9) students from the Basic Education Department (BED) of Our Lady of Fatima University (OLFU) arrived in South Korea on 09 September 2018 for their week-long immersion at Songbuk Elementary School. Songbuk is one of OLFU’s international academic partners, and the first llinkage that touches on an educational program involving students from the basic education level. Also joining the student-parent-teacher exchange program were OLFU BED Principal Barry Dio and Exchange Program Coordinator John Louie Alejandro. This South Korean experience mirrors the visit of Songbuk’s Korean elementary students in the Philippines last July 27 to August 2, 2018.
Upon arrival of the OLFU-BED team in Korea, the young, Filipino learners met the Korean foster families who would be taking care of them for the duration of their stary in Korea. Also present to support the students on day one were two students from the College of Education of OLFU Antipolo who are currently taking their on-the-job training at Songbuk.
The week saw the Filipino team absorbing Songbuk’s academic system, curriculum, and resources. They were also exposed to Korean culture and way of life visiting sights such as Songtan in Hwanghae-Bukto and Everland Theme Park. They also had a tour of Yeoju City where they visited a grape farm and learned about designing Korean garb.
Being minors and travelling without parents, it was necessary that the BED students secure travel clearances from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). And, in preparation for the trip, the children went through standard screenings and pre-departure orientations along with their parents.
The partnership between OLFU and Songbuk Elementary School, as well as the necessary arrangements, were made possible by the Center of Professional Development and Academic Partnership (CPDAP), OLFU Korean Coordinator Taejong Lee, and the OLFU Administrators.