Cebuano youth, school administrators and officials will have more chances of visiting Korea and experience Korean culture through different exchange programs in Busan.
Busan Foundation of International Activities (BFIA) Secretary General Kim Young Chun and Assistant Manager for International Relations Park Yu Kyoung visited Cebu Province to further strengthen and promote their culture exchange programs offered to Busan’s sister cities and provinces.
BFIA is established and funded by the Busan City Government. Its main role is to support international activities and implement various exchange programs with Busan’s sister cities and provinces.
Cebu has become one of Busan’s sister provinces through a bilateral agreement signed by the Provincial Government of Cebu and Busan City Government in 2011. This allowed Cebuanos and Koreans to participate in international training seminars and cultural exchanges.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III thanked Kim and BFIA for the opportunities and assistance given to the Cebuano delegates who have visited Busan last year.
“We are happy and honored to be chosen as one of your sister provinces. We assure that we will continue supporting your programs to further prosper the cooperation between our cities,” he expressed.
In 2014, ten senior officials have participated in training seminars on semaul undong (new village movement) and urban planning.
As one of the impressive participants in the said training, Ivan Mark Abellana of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office will spend one and a half years in Busan to have an in-depth study of the new village movement.
“This movement aimed to revive South Korean economy after the devastating Korean War in 1970. It mainly focused on and implemented self-governance and cooperation among members of the community,” shared one of the participants in the said training, Chitchit Coca from the Provincial Governor’s Office.
Park shared that trainings in three fields will be conducted this year: agriculture, medicine and urban planning. She encouraged the Province to send participants to each of the trainings.
Apart from the training, BFIA also has an annual youth exchange program wherein high school students from different universities in Cebu will be given the opportunity to fly to Busan.
A maximum of ten students accompanied by two school officials or teachers will be sent to Korea under this program. The delegates will get to visit different Korean schools, learn their ways and share the Filipino culture to Koreans.
Last year, ten students from the University of the Philippines Cebu – High School Department got admitted in the program. BFIA tool care of their accommodation and trips in Busan while Cebu Province shouldered the airfare expenses.
In BFIA’s youth exchange program, ten high school students from the University of the Philippines Cebu – High School Campus visited different schools in Busan, have had an encounter with Korean students to share the different culture of each country and experienced Korean culture first-hand.
The students’ accommodation in Busan was taken care of by BFIA while the Cebu Provincial Capitol shouldered the delegation’s airfare expenses.
BFIA also offers an exchange program for college students.
The Leaders’ Forum is a one-week forum in Busan intended for college students, shared Yu Kyoung Park, BFIA International Relations assistant manager.
However, she said only two students per city will be accepted in this program. The participants must be able to speak and understand Korean language as the medium of instruction in the forum is Korean, she added.
Glykie Cañete, then-third year tourism student of University of Cebu – Banilad Campus, was the only Filipino participant of the Leaders’ Forum August last year.
A Korea enthusiast, she studied Korean culture and language even when she was still in high school. Though still basic, her knowledge in the Korean language ensured her slot in the Leaders’ Forum.
In a meeting with Davide and the Department of Education Cebu Province Division Superintendent Arden Monisit, Kim shared their plan to send students from Busan to Cebu to experience Cebuano culture first-hand as well.
“More Koreans should visit Cebu to learn,” expressed Kim.
“Cebu universities are much better and nearer now with the direct flight from Busan to Cebu and vice versa. You can also speak English very well,” he added.
Kim further shared that they want to encourage more Koreans to study in Cebu because the trend is to travel to the United States or England.
Davide and Monisit expressed full support to the plan and assured assistance to the delegates.
BFIA also offers a training camp for music major students specifically those who know how to play classical music instruments, such as violin, cello, tuba, and others.
For more information about BFIA’s exchange programs, interested applicants may call the Provincial Governor’s Office through 253-1970.