Introducing the Department of International Academic Affairs

Chanho Kim, ‘19

  When students at HAFS picture the Student Council, a few of their favorite departments will come to their mind. But very few people, when asked to name one single Department at the Student Council, will confidently say “The Department of International Academic Affairs.” However, recent times seem to have brought change. In an interview with three freshmen, all of them emphasized their admiration for the Department of International Affairs. One of them even went as far as to say, “I want to join the Department – it seems so productive.”
But what is it exactly that the Department has done so far? Simply put, more policies were implemented under this office. While its activities such as “morale boost sessions” for application-writing seniors and other minor campaigns, were usually centered around the second semester, these were never quite influential or apparent enough to catch the students’ eyes. But the incumbent 12th Department of International Academic Affairs has carried out some new policies, with improvements to some of its more traditional programs. The first of these policies arrived in mid-March with the traditional “Peer Counselling Program,” a program in which freshmen receive advice from seniors about general school life and career interests. What was notable was the record-high participation rates with full participation from freshmen and some 50 seniors volunteering.

The Department of International Academic Affairs grouped seniors and freshmen with similar future plans and career interests in order to ensure that the advice given to freshmen was most relevant and helpful. However, the “Peer Counselling Program” was only the beginning. “The International Course Fresh-man’s Guideline Handbook” was published. According to a member of the department, this handbook was a policy that has been promised since the 10th Office of the department that had not been realized until now. This handbook summarizes all the necessary information about external exams and notable events during the school year, and was distributed to the fresh-men on the March 23.
According to the department, this policy is to be continued in future offices, with annual revisions. The next policy of the department was the “AP Silence Campaign,” (more about this new policy can be found in a separate article) and the “Phrases and Expression Campaign” (projected implementation date is June). The number of policies has indeed increased. From these policies, one thing is apparent: the department evolves continuously and we may be able to expect even more growth, though the future remains unseen.


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