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ULM graduate student chooses teaching after exchange trip to Korea

Published August 08, 2014

University of Louisiana at Monroe graduate student, Chris Collins, recently returned from the trip of a lifetime—a five month stay in Daejon, South Korea where he attended Hanbat National University (HNU) as part of a collaborative exchange agreement between the Korean university and ULM.

Collins, a Monroe native, left ULM on March 9, and returned on July 19 with a wealth of new experiences, which have prompted Collins to schedule a return trip later this fall.


“I loved it; it was fantastic,” he said. “The best part was just the new environment. The city is so large and it’s similar to the way I would visualize New York or Los Angeles. There are so many people and there’s so much to do. The sights of the city were amazing for me. I never saw anything twice.”

Collins lived in the HNU international student dorms with students from across the globe. He took language classes, but was also utilized in other areas. He was commissioned to teach English courses, lead conversation groups, and hold private tutoring lessons with many of the resident HNU students.

Collins, who will graduate in December with a Master of Science degree in psychology, said he was immersed in English each day of his trip. His plan is to ultimately move to South Korea and teach English. He was encouraged by Hanbat students who traveled to ULM.

“In January 2014 when a group of exchange students came to ULM, I helped them with extra English language classes,” Collins said. “They told me about the exchange program, and because they were so nice, so welcoming, and so open, I thought it was something I should do. I signed up and went through the interview process and I got in. It was very exciting.” 

Collins Plans to start his career in South Korea 

ULM welcomed 45 exchange students, many from HNU, for an intensive seven-week English language and internship program. ULM and HNU have had an existing exchange agreement since 2011.

Collins appreciates the collaboration, as his time in Daejon was made more comfortable by his peers and professors.

“I was the only American student, and my professors were extremely accommodating,” he said. “I had a professor who was very concerned with my well-being and that made a big difference.”

Collins wants to encourage other students to apply for the university’s exchange programs in order to experience life and education beyond the confines of ULM.

“Go for it and get experience,” he said. “Each trip I take abroad I learn something about myself. After you come back home after being out of your comfort zone, you learn to really appreciate what you have, but you also learn that there’s so much more in the world. An exchange program helps you to broaden your mind and widen your perspective on life. If you want to learn and grow, you should try an exchange program.”

Collins earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from ULM in 2013.

For more information about ULM’s exchange programs, visit ULM Exchange Programs