Category Archives: Past Events

Excursion to Mongolia

By Intern Gloria Kang

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On Monday, September 30th, we gathered at the airport with our suitcases filled with clothes and VANK souvenirs to share with the students we would meet in Mongolia. A brief three hours later, we landed in Mongolia and set off for our hotel. Mongolia was shockingly cold but it was difficult to dampen my excitement.

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The next day began with an early trip to Sukhbaatar Square, the central square of Ulaanbaatar. There we saw the impressive statues of Genghis Khan, Ogedei Khan, Kublai Khan, and Damdin Sukhbaataar. Our guide described the legacy of these historical figures and the special places they had in the hearts of Mongolian people. We then made our way to the National Museum of Mongolia. The museum provided an excellent introduction to the extensive history and culture of Mongolia. We walked through each exhibition, noting the differences and similarities with our own cultures back home.

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It soon became time for our first event so we made our way over to Mongolia International University. The program was prepared in the following order: introduction by VANK President Gi Tae Park, traditional fan dance, haegeum performance, taekwondo performance, taekkyeon performance, K-pop performance, and finally an interactive True or False quiz.

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My role comprised of dancing in the traditional fan dance performance, and helping out with ushering and other minor duties. Our initial audience was comprised of a few students who were interested in Korean culture but the group quickly grew during the rest of the event. We were fortunate enough to hold a small forum with a cozy number of students and they expressed their general feelings about our performances, lecture, and main core concepts. I was interested to hear about the historical, political, and social conflicts between Mongolia and China. The university students were kind and articulate about their perspectives and it was eye-opening to exchange dialogue with peers from a different cultural background.

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We headed out early on Wednesday morning to Ulaanbataar University only to be greeted by gridlock traffic. After an hour of frustratingly slow progress, we picked up our things and jumped off the bus. Dressed in full hanboks and performance attire, we ran through the streets of Ulaanbataar and drew gazes and stares. We barely arrived on time and set up our things to immediately start our program. The audience for that morning was students who were majoring in Korean Language or Korean Studies. Although our translator was still needed, the audience would laugh and pick up on much of the Korean that was being spoken. The packed room was filled tight with hundreds of responsive students and exuded a heartwarming atmosphere.

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After the event, we had a quiet lunch with six Ulaanbataar University students in order to gain some insight on the life of typical Mongolian student. The students discussed academic life, daily life, likes and dislikes, and concerns about post-graduation life. I was able to hear about the Mongolian people’s tension with China, and they shed light on the historical and current social events that played a large role in the Mongolian identity. Some of the students had prior experiences in Korea and they shared their stories with us. They were funny and bright, and I realized once more how easy it can be for people from seemingly completely different backgrounds  to truly enjoy each others’ company. Of all the events in Mongolia, this was my personal favorite because of the chance to speak to Mongolian students, hear about their lives, and really engage in cultural exchange. As we parted, I only wished that we could have had a bit more time together.

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Later in the afternoon, we climbed to the top of Zaisan Memorial, and were rewarded with a breathtaking panoramic view of Ulaanbataar and its adjacent mountain ranges. At the foot of the memorial was a small park commemorating a Korean matyr by the name of Lee Tae Joon. He was involved in the Korean independence movement but he was also a doctor for the Mongolian King and served the Mongolian people. It was fascinating to see and learn about the historical people and events that built bridges between Korea and Mongolia.

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The next day, we were at Huree University of Information and Communication Technology. One of the VANK interns spoke about his background in environmental engineering and the collaborations between Mongolia and Korea in order to improve new technologies regarding heating and air pollution. He mentioned how his academic background and his interest in the global community was a harmonious blend with his desire to benefit his country. We spent our evening at the Mongolian National Song & Dance Ensemble. The folk and traditional music, song, dance, and contortion of Mongolia was truly like nothing I’ve ever seen before but it was all riveting and skillfully beautiful.

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My final day took me to the steppes of Mongolia and we were surrounded by endless mountain ranges. The visual scenery seemed too incredible and grand to be real. Honestly, it was one of the most impressive sights I have ever seen. In the midst of the grand open space and magnificent elevations, I felt so small and dull but simultaneously blessed to be able to be minor part of the same world. Mongolia is truly a dazzling place and my excursion with VANK gave me a chance to actively participate in cultural exchange through unforgettable people, places, and experiences.

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-VANK Story 2013-

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Past VANK Events and Programs

Children’s Diplomat Development Program

Hosted by Cyber Diplomacy Organization VANK and Travel Story

Cyber Diplomacy Organization VANK and Travel Story have collaborated to host the Children’s Diplomat Development Program in hopes of cultivating children with bright futures and a proper awareness of history who will become world-changing leaders.

Anyone from 4th to 6th grade is eligible. We hope to meet young students with dreams of becoming diplomats, students who love the beauty of Korean history and culture, and students who wish to spread the wings of their dreams as proud Koreans in the global community.

Orientation
Photo Time
[Lecture 1] We Are Children Diplomats! VANK Founder GiTae Park
[Lecture 2] Finding Dreams of Diplomacy Through History:The stories of Korea’s international diplomacy and notable diplomats of history Travel Story President GwangIl Park
[Course 1] Storytelling Korean History and Culture:The Who, What, and How behind sharing Korean History and Culture VANK Researcher JungAe Lee
[Course 2] Examples of Sharing Korea by VANK Members:Examples of how VANK members have successfully shared Korean culture VANK Researcher SaeBom Kim
[Course 3] You and I. Our History and Culture:A few specific UNESCO Heritages in Korea and their unique value and traits. Travel Story Team Leader Hwang SukHyun

National VANK School Clubs General Assembly

The Second National VANK School Clubs General Assembly was organized, hosted, and run entirely by the students of the VANK School Clubs Association. VANK school club members gathered from all over the country in order to share their experiences and gain tips on how to improve their involvement as both individual members and school clubs.

Opening Introduction of VANK School Clubs Association and Executive BoardPresident – NuRi JungVice President – ShiYoon HwangTreasurer – AhReum Lee

External Coordinator – JangIn Gudo

Lecture by VANK Founder Mr. GiTae Park Topic: Our Goals Are The Future Of Korea! Become More Than a Club Leader, Become a Leader of Korea!
Lecture by VANK Researcher Ms. Saebom Park PR Strategies for Connecting Dokdo and Japanese Military Sex Slaves “Comfort Women”
Presentation by Exemplary School Clubs Sajik Girls HS – JooYoung Jin
Imgok MS – JiWon Min and JiSoo Kim
Boondang HS – DaYoon Choi
Lectures from College Student Mentors JiWon Shin – Sincere Passion, Vision, and Action<<JiWon Shin spoke about showing true passion in your involvement in VANK. Shin discussed how meaningful experiences are only possible with sincerity and a narrow focus on resume building will fail to yield growth and development.)>>
YeonTaek Woo – Finding Your Dreams Through VANK<<YeonTaek Woo’s personal story about how he first joined VANK as a resume builder but discovered his passion for environmental engineering. Woo talked not only about the need for dreams but the need for active pursuit of those dreams in order to turn dreams into possibilities>>
TaeWon Kang – Introduction to VANdibool (Firefly) and VANK Related Activities<<TaeWon Kang briefly introduced VANdibool (the college level VANK), VANdibool’s numerous activities, and their significance on his life. Kang mentioned the value of learning from all your experiences and all the people around you.>>
Recap of VANK School Club Leaders Association’s Events and Activities (1st Semester) 1) 2013 Global Children’s Talk Concert and Expo2) “Proper History Education” Campaign
Mission for VANK Clubs During 2nd Semester
Announcements 8.15 Flashmob10.25 Campaign for Dokdo Day
Suggestions and Q&A Topic: Ideas for Dokdo Day
Discussion Groups by Region
Wrap up and Photo time

<<Photo Contest: Snapshot Korea>>
Photo contest campaign hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) and the Voluntary Agency Network of Korea (VANK)

Look at your surroundings for familiar sightings of Korea.
A hard-working Korean friend.
Your latest favorite Korean drama.
These are all sightings of Korea that exist in various places of the world.
Public diplomacy group VANK and the Korea Tourism Organization are collaboratively hosting the “Snapshot Korea” photo contest.
Snap pictures of sightings of Korea in your everyday surroundings and enter your submission!

<Participation Requirements>
Participants: Non-Korean citizens (residence does not matter)
Submission Deadline: August 6, 2013 – September 30, 2013
Entry Details: Take snapshots of random sightings of Korea and the spread of Korean culture within in your everyday life or surroundings.
Examples)
– A close Korean neighbor or friend
– Globalization of Korean (pictures of people studying Korean)
-Yourself watching a Korean drama in your room

<Participation Details>
1) Snap your picture
2) Write a short caption of 250 characters (English, including spaces)
3) Post the photo, caption, and email address to the “Photo Contest: Snapshot Korea” Facebook Page
(If you do not use Facebook, please feel free to email your entry to smartdiplomacy@prkorea.org)

<Judging Criteria>
Originality of picture and caption = 30 points
Depth and sincerity = 30 points
Fulfillment of requirements = 20 points
Participation on Facebook page = 20 points

<Winners Announcement: October 10, 2013>
100 winners will be selected and given the title of Honorary Korea Ambassadors by VANK and the Korean Tourism Organization. Contest winners will receive an official certificate of recognition and a bundle gift pack filled with souvenirs of Korean culture, history, and famous locations.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

<VANK>
The Voluntary Agency Network of Korea’s vision is for Korea to develop into the hub of Asia, the gateway to Northeast Asia, and a loved country that shares friendships and dreams with people from all over the world. Our mission is to help youth improve Korea’s national prestige, play a role in making the world a better place, and realize their own dreams through these efforts.

<Korea Tourism Organization>
Corporate Philosophy: To improve quality of life in Korea and spread Korean culture worldwide through the strengthening and development of the tourism industry.
Vision: A global public enterprise that promotes Korea as a world class travel destination
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

<Contact Us>
Email: smartdiplomacy@prkorea.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/snapshotkorea

VANK Policy Advisory Panel

World Changing Heroes!

Through the “Policy Advisory Panel” Program, we hope that Korean youth will think beyond Korea and become “heroes” who will resolve the various problems in the world.

<Introduction to the VANK Policy Advisory Panel>

Can one person’s dreams and passions change Korea and the world? VANK’s answer is “YES.”

Cyber Diplomacy Organization VANK hopes that during the process of properly sharing Korea with the 7 billion people of the world, individual Korean youth will discover their own dreams and personal value. And we also hope that those dreams and passions extend beyond Korea and gathers as a great vision for the world.

For this, we are cultivating a youth policy advisory panel comprised of “VANK core leaders” so that VANK’s Korean youth can grow into well-round people with a combination of “skills and solutions” and grow beyond their individual passions to achieve that vision. The policy advisory panel for/meant for/made for those who’ve completed the online official member education/training or completed more than one round of the VANK Global Village School education/training. The panel will contemplate/think about Korea and the world and program great projects with VANK in terms of their major projects such as <Looking for Dreams and Paths>, <PR Korea>, <Working to Solve Global Issues>.

1) Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel Application

-Completion of VANK online official member training

-Completion of more than one round of Global Village School education

Anyone who meets at least one of the two qualifications can apply for the Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel. Those who wish to apply, please enroll your applications.

2) Submission of Policy Draft

The “Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel”, the first step to becoming part of the Policy Advisory Panel, will participate in consultation and proposals about education content (pr materials, video clips, book reviews, etc.) produced by VANK through a emailed-missions over a period of one month. A total of ten missions will be sent according to the following topics and at least eight missions must be completed through the submission of policy drafts.

Mission 1: Analysis of VANK’s Past and Present

2: Plans for VANK’s Future

3: Storytelling Korea’s 5000 Year Old History

4: Plans for 21st Century Korea’s Future

5: Analysis of History and Territorial Disputes of Northeast Asia

6: Project for Building Peace in Northeast Asia

7: Analysis of Global Issues and Millennium Development Goals

8: Project for Resolving Global Issues

9: The 1000 Challenge Plan and Application

10: Mapping Out Your Personal Dreams and Path

3) Completion of Mandatory Requirements of Policy Advisory Panel (One year)

In order to be a part of the Policy Advisory Panel that will help lead VANK’s major projects, you must complete the eight of the previously listed policy drafts while simultaneously completing the following mandatory requirements.

-8 out of the 10 missions

-Attend at least one session of Development School (Offline VANK events created for the Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel)

-Attend at least three offline school events (i.e. Global Dokdo Ambassador, World Changer, Digital Diplomacy)

-Complete VANK online educational course (Cyber Diplomacy or World Changer)

4) Policy Advisory Panel

As a part of the Policy Advisory Panel, you will be able to suggest, promote, and participate in various projects according to your interests such as making VANK PR materials and video contents or executing campaigns. Be a member of a Policy Advisory Panel and play a part in future dreams of VANK, Korea, and the global community.

Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel Development School

A unique program meant for VANK’s exemplary members, hereby the Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel. One person will be selected to briefly speak about their VANK experience.

Who:  VANK Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel Development School

Where: SUNY Korea, State University of New York Korea (Incheon Song-do)

When: April 27, 2013  12:30PM

Program:

– Experiences of Exemplary VANK Members (Those who wish present their experiences, please apply through the RSVP form)

– VANK 2013 Project Presentation &  Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel Proposal

– 1000 Stages of Development, Qualifications for the Preliminary Policy Advisory Panel – VANK Founder Park Gi-Tae

– Special lecture by SUNY Korea International Development Institute Director Sohn Mi-Hyang

– Special lecture by SUNY Korea President Kim Choon-Ho

Cyber Diplomatic Organization VANK and the Korea Tourism Organization’s SNS Korea Tourism PR Team

A series of educational lecture seminars followed by mission assignments necessary for recognition of completion.

-Welcome from Korea Tourism Organization Tourism Information Department Director Hwa-Sook Kim and VANK President Gi-Tae Park

-Inauguration of the First SNS Korea Tourism PR Team (Gi-Tae Park)

-Korea Tourism: Methods of Storytelling (Jung-Ae Lee)

-Korea Tourism: Design and Production of User-Created Content (Purple Coin’s Eun-Young Choi)

– Korea Tourism Diplomacy in the Age of Social Media (Sae-Bom Kim)

-Properly Sharing Korea’s Cultural Heritages (Hyunsook (Isabella) Kim)

-How to Utilize the Korea Tourism PR Materials and Explanation of Mission Steps

Mission: [Step 1: Increase national interest in tourism in Korea] Write a reflective blog post about today’s educational conference and your related aspirations. Stir up national interest about the importance of tourism in Korea.

[Step 2: Personal research on tourism in Korea] Are you truly informed about the value of Korea’s history, culture, and tourism? Learn about tourism in Korea through VANK and KTO’s educational resources and write a reflection post on two out of the following seven topics:  (1) The present and future of tourism in Korea (2) A magical hour with Seoul (3) World Heritages of Korea (4) Incheon – Overcoming a history of tragedy and rising as an international city of peace (5) The rainbow island of eight shades: Jeju Island (6) Pyeongchang (7) Gyeongju

[Step 3: Promote tourism in Korea through user-created content] Use the VANK and KTO resources as a reference in order to design your own storytelling user-created content with potential to inspire people all over the word. Share your work through social networking sites. Capture any facet of tourism in Korea, such as history, tradition, culture, food, notable figures, or tourist attractions.

[Step 4: Before “promoting” tourism in Korea, “correct” it] No matter how much you promote tourism in Korea, if misinformation is not corrected, inaccurate perceptions of Korea can continue to spread. After reporting inaccurate statements about topics such as tourism in Korea or World Heritages in media like international websites, books, apps, contact publishers with a request to correct their information.

-VANK Story 2013-