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Seoul City's 'Global Internship Program'

Aboutstudents

The City of Seoul, South Korea has created an internship program that hosts students from all over the globe. Each summer, SPEA encourages students (undergraduate and graduate) to apply to participate in the program. Our students have interned in a variety of offices depending upon the needs of the city at the time. Applications are collected every year between January and February. Students, if offered an internship, will be required to let Career Services know within 2 weeks whether or not they plan on accepting the offer.

2011 Internship Participants

Minae - BSAM - Arts Management
Joseph - MPA, Policy Analysis, Public Administration
Samuel - MPA, Environmental Policy and Natural Resouce Management
Dylan - MPA, Economic Development
Brian - MPA, Economic Development, Policy Analysis, and Public Financial Administration

Joseph - MPA - Policy Analysis, Public Administration

Internship: Foreign Residents Assistance Division

student in seoulQ. What did you do at your internship?

A. In this internship, I worked with several government divisions writing policy reports on best practices for emergency management, park and landscape management, and a report for the Mayor analyzing regional economic development plans of Chicago and Seoul.

Q. What did you like the most about your internship? 

A. Working in an international office provided a different perspective on other nations work habits and culture, and gave great insight into how foreign governments operate.  I was given several policy reports in which I gave outside perspective to help Seoul create a more effective emergency management system and other ways to improve the city.

Q. What surprised you the most while interning and/or traveling in South Korea?

 A. The amount of hours worked and general dedication of government employees in Korea was very surprising.  Working for the Korean government not only requires taking very difficult exams, but also a high level of dedication to their job.  Employees routinely worked long hours, weekends, holidays, and because of the heavy rains employees volunteered to clean up damage around the city on their days off.

Q. What skills did you learn in your SPEA classes that you applied at your internship?

A. This internship taught me how to be more analytical by looking at a foreign government’s structure and use creativity to learn how to get around language and cultural barriers to solve complex tasks.

Q. What did you learn at your internship that most surprised you?

A. Seoul has been expanding rapidly and now holds nearly 50% of their population in the area.  The government has tried to keep up with the demand for governmental services, and has adopted best practices from around the world to fit these needs.

Q. Do you have any advice for future students? What is the ONE thing that they should do while in South Korea?

A. Future participants should definitely go to Jeju-do Island in the south.  Its known as the “Hawaii of Korea.”

 

Dylan - MPA - Economic Development

Internship: World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments, Information Planning Division

student in seoulQ. What did you do at your internship? 

A. The WeGo secretariat is looking to initiate information and communication technology projects in member cities that have expressed interest in improving their e-government practices.  I researched foundations and public organizations for possible funding opportunities to commence WeGo projects.  I also assisted in the creation of WeGo materials for current members and solicitation.  

Q. What did you like the most about your internship?

A. The opportunity to learn about a new field of government service- I had no prior knowledge of the extent to which e-government is becoming a necessity for public agencies.  There are a lot of organizations and funding initiatives to improve services and make government more efficient through e-government practices.  

Q. What surprised you the most while interning and/or traveling in South Korea?

A. A great benefit to the internship is the amount of entertainment to take advantage of outside of work!  Seoul is a very big city and there is always someplace new to check out.  

Q. What skills did you learn in your SPEA classes that you applied at your internship?

A. Strong written and oral communication skills came in most handy during the internship.  Working in a setting where English is not used as the primary language you must be able to effectively communicate with coworkers.

Q. What did you learn at your internship that most surprised you?

A. The most surprising thing I learned at my internship is the amount of e-government work that is being undertaken.  Developing nations are placing e-government practices on high priority as developed countries have been able to share the benefits of e-government.  

Q. Do you have any advice for future students? What is the ONE thing that they should do while in South Korea?

A. My advice for the internship is to take advantage of every opportunity that is offered.  Koreans are very friendly and want foreigners to have a good impression of their country, so they will show you a good time!  Be sure to get out of the city at least once, the countryside is great.

Minae - BSAM - Arts Management

Internship: Coordinator and Administrative Assistant, Global Internship Program

student in koreaQ. What did you do at your internship?

A. As the coordinator and administrative assistant for the 7th Global Internship, operated by the Foreign Residents' Assistance Division at Seoul Metropolitan Government, my main responsibilities were organizing, operating, and documenting the internship program. In addition, I was assigned to produce a short film/ memoir of the internship. My daily tasks included morning meetings with team members to communicate planning and coordinating weekly events for the interns, contacting various organizations and interns to confirm/ adjust event dates and times, writing proposals and summary reports of these events, and researching and writing a proposal on how to revitalize the Seoul Global Internship community.

Q. What did you like the most about your internship?

A. Although my internship position was not directly arts related, but rather management related, I had the chance to express my artistic abilities through producing a short film. I came across a lot of difficulties throughout the film making process, because I had no previous knowledge in editing or filming, but through trial and error I taught myself how to make a film, and really enjoyed the process. Furthermore, this opportunity gave me the chance to travel around the city and visit different divisions to interview interns. The purpose of this film was to show it at the closing ceremony for everyone to see as a memoir.

Q. What surprised you the most while interning and/or traveling in South Korea?

A. I was surprised at how efficient, effective and inexpensive public transportation was in Korea. Since South Korea is only about the size of Indiana, you can travel basically to every corner of South Korea for the cost of less than $20.

Q. What skills did you learn in your SPEA classes that you applied at your internship?

A. I applied problem-solving skills that I learned from working with groups in my SPEA courses. I had to utilize systematic approaches to addressing the design of an event, communicate effectively with my team members, and had to solve problems that occurred when I ran into difficulties coordinating events.

Q. What did you learn at your internship that most surprised you?

A. I was surprised to see how much planning goes into putting an internship of 40+ international students together. Although many times I wasn't treated as an intern, but rather an employee, I had a chance to learn how things work on the "other side". At first, I was overwhelmed with all of my responsibilities, since the work I was doing was going to directly affect the interns and the internship program. However, I took ownership of the internship program and felt a great sense of accomplishment of how the program turned out to be. I learned how to plan for official government related events, starting from writing a detailed proposal to writing a summary report about the event.

Q. Do you have any advice for future students? What is the ONE thing that they should do while in South Korea?

A. Because there are a wide variety of tasks given to different divisions, I can't give specific advice, but be open-minded and enjoy the beautiful and fast paced city of Seoul. Try going to a public bath! If you have any specific questions about things to do in Korea, you can contact me at choimin@indiana.edu