Chinese student Wang Ping became the first international student to graduate with top honors at Korea University on Saturday.
And Mango Jane Angar did the same at her college, becoming the first foreign student to graduate from Sookmyung Women’s University at the top of her class.
Wang had been a fan of Korean dramas since an early age. She came to Korea to study in 2012, took language courses at Dongguk University and entered Korea University in 2014.
Although her academic passion was strong, Wang said the language barrier was difficult to overcome. Wang spent the first two years at school recording the lectures and playing them back several times to memorize them whole.
Wang Ping (Yonhap)
The efforts paid off. Wang came out top of her class in the School of Media and Communication with a grade point average of 4.26 out of 4.5.
Wang credited her part time job as an important factor in acquiring Korean language skills. On weekends when she didn’t have classes, Wang worked at restaurants, at cafes and in television programs introducing Korean regional tourism destinations.
She has since received a job offer from Chinese tech firm NETIS Systems.
Angar graduated last Friday from the Department of Political Science and International Relations. She was studying foreign relations at a university in Kenya, but wanted to explore the field further. She entered Sookmyung Women’s University in 2014 with a Yang Choon Youl Scholarship, a financial award given to international students.
Mango Jane Angar (Sookmyung Women's University's newsletter)
Angar was featured in Sookmyung’s campus newsletter as the foreign student with a high GPA, whose passion was helping to break down prejudices against foreigners. She graduated with a 4.18 out of 4.3 GPA.
The ace student said she sees a similarity in Korea and Kenya’s path from dictatorship to democracy. She plans to continue on to study for a master’s degree in Korea to learn about the relationship between political leaders and the chaebol.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)