#MasonAbroad Stories


Meet Jianyu Ren

I spent my first semester at the university in my home country China, and started my first study abroad experience in mysecond semester of sophomore year in South Korea. Though South Korea is very close to my hometown, I have never been to a foreign country by myself, not to say to study for several months. I was very excited to explore a new country, and also be concerned about the language issues, significant difference in the educational system, how to make friends (because I didn’t know anyone from the Global Gateway program), and other problems that I may encounter when I study abroad.

While Abroad

I was taking the business core and other Mason core classes at Mason Korea, including BUS103, BUS100, ENGH100, etc. Most of my classmates are Korean, and I was the only foreigner in the class, so it is a good opportunity for me to be out of my comfort zone, and talk to different people and learn about Korean culture. Except for that, I feel like everything about the courses provided at Korea campus are the same with that in Fairfax campus.

I lived in the single dorm on campus, and the school housing is called IGC (Incheon Global Campus), which is the dorm for students from four other universities. It provides us a chance to socialize with students from different universities and expand our network. Single room can be a better environment for study, but I always went to the IGC library which is shared with other universities as well. If I’m tired of the library and need other places to refresh my mind, I would go to Triple Street which is a shopping mall 5-minute away from the campus with a bunch of restaurants, cafés, and other kinds of stores.

I was worried about how to make friends before departure and during my quarantine, it is the same with some other students. Concerning that problem, Mason Korea conducted several (group) activities for new students to work together and build friendships. They also have student leaders and staff helping foreign students to get our issues done, like getting SIM cards, and opening bank accounts. During any of these processes, we had chance to meet new people and make friends.

Jianyu Ren in Incheon, Korea

Author Spotlight

Name Jianyu Ren
Major Finance
Hometown Suzhou, China
Study Abroad Mason Korea and China 1-2-1
Highlight Being much more independent by travelling abroad the first time by myself, exploring Korean culture and local attractions, getting chance to meet and talk to the Australian ambassador.
Challenge Solving issues independently without speaking fluent Korean, learning how to follow instructions to finish transactions and live alone.
Favorite Food Tofu and Kimchi Stew
I want to learn more I want to be featured