International Studies & Programs

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VIPP Reception at the Old Korean Legation in Washington D.C.

During the 2019 NAFSA Expo and Conference, VIPP invited Korean Educators to a special tour of the historical building

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Published: Friday, 07 Jun 2019 Author: VIPP

To celebrate the special relationship with South Korea, the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) hosted a special event for South Korean educators on May 30. Many Korean educators were in Washington, D.C. for the 2019 NAFSA Expo and Conference: the largest international education event of its kind that brings in over 10,000 professionals from more than 100 countries. VIPP organized a special tour and reception at the Old Korean Legation to welcome Korean NAFSA attendees and strengthen our partnership with Korean universities. The event proved a wonderful opportunity to reconnect: 26 representatives from 13 universities in Korea attended the event and had a meaningful time touring the historical building. The Legation was established by King Gojong in the late 19th century and represents Korea’s early diplomatic efforts with the United States.

The Old Korean Legation in Logan Circle, Washington D.C. was established by King Gojong in the late 19th Century and represents Korea's early diplomatic efforts with the United States. 

 

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                 Korean NAFSA attendees enjoyed a special tour of the Old Korean Legation organized by VIPP.

Kangyong Chung, Director of the Office of the Office of International Affairs at Songang University said,
 

"I really appreciate that VIPP organized this tour and reception at the Old Korean Legation. I didn't know this building existed and it made me think about our country's history again."

Among many other receptions that occurred during the NAFSA conference, the VIPP reception was particularly special to Korean participants because of its historically significant venue. The Legation served as the main stage for the active diplomatic endeavors of the Joseon dynasty and the Korean Empire for 16 years. However, when Imperial Japan deprived Korea’s sovereignty the ownership of the building was lost to Japan. During the Japanese colonial period, Koreans in the United States produced postcards featuring images of the Old Korean Legation building with the Korean national flag to convey their passion for independence. It was not until 2012 that the Korean government regained its ownership. The Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea completely restored the building to its original form and opened as a museum to the public in 2018. This storied history touched many Korean attendees’ hearts. The Old Legation symbolizes the Korean independence movement and recovery of sovereignty from Japanese colonial rule.

The Cultural Heritage Administration of the Republic of Korea completely restored the Old Korea Legation building to its original form and opened as a museum to the public in 2018.

 

Mina Shin, VIPP Assistant Director posed with Jeup Hoe, Director of Office of International Affairs of Dankook
University. VIPP and Dankook University signed an agreement for academic exchange and international cooperation.
 
"I feel privileged to organize an event like this and serve as a 'diplomat' to bridge Korea and the U.S. for international exchange and education." - Dr. Mina Shin
 
VIPP Assistant Director, Dr. Mina Shin, coordinated the event. Since VIPP’s founding in 1991 by Dr. Gill-Chin Lim, the former Dean of International Studies and Programs at MSU, VIPP has had strong ties with Korea. Dr. Lim, who was originally from South Korea, developed VIPP as a non-degree professional development program for international visitors. VIPP has the biggest and strongest alumni base in Korea, totaling 1,200 alumni for long-term programs alone.
KDI School of Public Policy and Management is one of VIPP’s valued partners. ISP and VIPP representatives posed with KDI representatives at the Legation.
 

MSU will host an international alumni event in Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, in May of 2020, demonstrating the importance of Korean partnerships for MSU’s past, present, and future international strategy. VIPP reception at the Old Korean Legation was a great event in the perfect location for us all to come together to celebrate the centenial relationship between Korea and the U.S.   

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