Economics and math major, Alex (Hyong-gu) Hwang ’20, an international student at The College of Wooster from Seoul, Korea, contributed to a book about the value of liberal arts colleges for international students in Korea; he translates the title as Small Colleges, Big Dreams. The book, edited by Kang-ryeol Lee, CEO of Tomorrow’s Education Plan Institute, a leading college counseling agency in South Korea, includes chapters written by students or graduates of twelve liberal arts colleges in the United States including Wooster, Wabash, Bryn Mawr, Grinnell, and others, and the cover line points out that many graduates of liberal arts colleges have gone on to serve as presidents of the United States.
“I was really excited about this,” said Hwang, who wasn’t able to visit campus as a prospective student. “I wanted to provide a vivid picture of the academic environment here so that students in Korea can feel more confident about choosing Wooster.” Hwang wanted other students to be aware in particular of the research opportunities he had beginning as a sophomore and as he works on his senior Independent Study. “These opportunities have helped me learn more about the research process and to prepare myself as a candidate for a graduate program.” Hwang has also been able to develop close relationships with his professors including working as a teaching assistant and research assistant.
Contacted this summer by Lee, Hwang’s chapter on Wooster covers the history of the College, the city, and details about the experiences the College offers including undergraduate research opportunities, internships, and working with “accessible professors,” inside and outside the classroom. He also shared his own experiences with AMRE, the College’s Applied Methods and Research Experience program, allowing him to apply research skills he’s learned in the classroom to support local businesses and organizations, as well as his journey to Wooster as an international student, his involvement on campus as a resident assistant and with other campus jobs.
“Prospective students now have a resource that vividly describes the value of this institution,” he said. “Had I known about the things I discussed in the book, the wonderful people here, undergraduate research programs, campus job opportunities, everything, making the decision to attend would have been so much easier. I’m glad I can provide a reference for prospective students in South Korea and help them feel more confident about choosing Wooster in the future.”