Students Study Policy Management in South Korea

 In Students

UCF students took time out of their studies to visit Line Friends, a popular South Korean shopping experience: (back row) Chris Cook, David McMahan, Lauren Neal, Claire Knox, Ph.D., Gina Castano, (front row) Beverly Sanchez, Adilia Richemond

Associate Professor Claire Knox with the School of Public Administration recently led a group of UCF students on a weeklong experience in Seoul, South Korea, in partnership with the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the University of Seoul for a case study on policy management in Seoul.

During their week in South Korea, the students attended briefing topics on cultural policy, urban planning, water management, energy policy, e-government, housing policy, Seoul’s green policy, public transportation policy, and disaster management. They were joined by students from Portland State University, the University of Delaware, and Cornell University.

M.S.URP student Beverly Sanchez was interested in participating because the trip would focus on aspects of urban planning, including housing and transportation policies. Sanchez said she was interested in the presentation on the 2003 Daegu subway disaster that killed 192 people and injured 151 more. In the aftermath, Sanchez said, South Korean officials have implemented better “techniques to communicate safety.”

In her essay for consideration to be selected for the trip to South Korea, Sanchez outlined her desire to learn about city planning, welfare policy, cultural policy, and other topics “from one of the most sustainable cities in the entire world.”

In addition to Sanchez, the other students selected for the trip were Gina Castano (MPA/MNM), Chris Cook (EMHS certificate), Mya Harden, (MPA/MNM), David McMahan (M.S.URP) and EMHS certificate), Lauren Neal, (MPA), Saraya Perr,(MPA/MNM), Adilia Richemond, (M.S.URP and EMHS certificate) and Melissa Westbrook (MPA/MNM).

Sanchez said the students did have some unstructured time, during which they explored various parts of Seoul, which is officially called “The Seoul Special City.” One particularly memorable trip was to Seoul Forest, a large park with more than 400,000 trees and 100 different animals. Seoul is a progressive, modern city, Sanchez said, and its leaders are dedicated to the creation of “urban, green spaces and getting the population to those spaces.”

The students also visited TOPIS Transportation Center, North Tower, GyeongBok Gung Palace, Han River Renaissance, CheongGyeCheon River Museum and the Seoul Emergency Operations Center. It was interesting, Sanchez said, to see the way the urban planners integrate arts and entertainment to bring environmental awareness to the public spaces. Also, she said, “There was a mix of modern versus traditional, and it was all seamlessly integrated.”

Sanchez said the group was excited to discuss how some of the ideas they saw in South Korea could be incorporated into some of the UCF campus areas.

Written by Camille Murawski

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