In 2011, the College of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Authorities had a go to from a member of the Seoul Metropolitan Authorities, the capital of South Korea.

Taesik Yun was a doctoral candidate within the Faculty of Public and Worldwide Affairs’ public administration and coverage division on the time and remembers the official asking Rusty Brooks, then the director of Worldwide Middle on the institute, why the college didn’t have a Korean governmental coaching program within the institute because it was one thing that was supplied in Seoul.

“Since then, we attempt to have Korean college and workers on the institute to run a Korea program and invite visiting students from Korea,” Yun mentioned.

Thus started the UGA Korea Program, initially within the Vinson Institute, that invited authorities officers from Korea to come back and practice on the institute, constructing connections with native and state officers in Georgia and studying about American authorities methods.

Yun joined the UGA Korea Program a 12 months later in 2012 after ending his doctorate and now acts as this system director and coordinator.

“We develop custom-made coaching packages for both long-term coaching, which lasts about two years, or for people who find themselves coming to Georgia for only a few weeks,” mentioned Yun.

The UGA Korea Program developed relationships with many native and central authorities businesses in Korea, together with the Seoul Metropolitan Authorities, which has a gaggle of practically 50,000 native officers. This system has grown to host a number of Korean college students and visiting students at UGA every year.

“We’re at the moment receiving as much as 5 college students in our MPA program yearly from the Ministry of Personnel Administration, which oversees and manages HR associated points for all of the central authorities officers in Korea, and I’m aiding this system by coordinating and managing some programs that the scholars are required to finish in our MPA program,” mentioned Yun.

The visiting officers in this system have to finish 41 credit, identical to the UGA Grasp of Public Administration college students, however over the past semester, they take different programs which might be extra sensible for incumbent authorities officers, such because the World Management and Improvement program that SPIA’s Korea Program affords twice per week with different long-term visiting students from Korea all through the semester.

“The opposite factor they do is a neighborhood authorities group mission with a metropolis or a county in Georgia,” mentioned Yun. “We partnered with the Georgia Municipal Affiliation to search out tasks for our college students. I’ve been serving to all these actions and instructing associated to these native authorities practicums.”

Along with aiding the MPA program, Yun additionally supplies trainings for visiting officers from Korea.

“Every long-term visiting scholar can have their very own analysis subject and coaching want, so we help their analysis and coaching but in addition present some frequent matters for visiting students to assist them perceive us and U.S. tradition and the system that can assist their very own analysis and coaching whereas they’re staying right here,” he mentioned.

Teasik Yun speaks throughout a World Management and Improvement Program presentation session. (Photograph by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

The Korea Program moved to the Faculty of Public and Worldwide Affairs in summer season 2021 and has been offering its providers to the Korean college students and visiting students collectively with the Middle for the Examine of World Points since summer season 2022.

The UGA Korea Program additionally works with different scholar trade or joint diploma packages, notably with Sungkyunkwan College and Seoul Nationwide College in Korea.

“We invite college students to come back over right here and be taught concerning the American political system, administration system and the context, after which we help with their analysis in public administration coverage,” Yun mentioned.

By constructing the governmental relationships over time, Yun has additionally helped accomplice Korean counties with Georgian counties. Yun gave the instance of a partnership between Taean County in Korea and Glynn County in Georgia.

“They’ve very comparable geographical places having the oceans close by and seashores, so that they have some frequent challenges from the native factors. I attempted to assist them to grasp the conditions and discover options in their very own context,” he mentioned.

Yun lived in Seoul for 30 years earlier than coming to the USA for greater training. He earned a grasp’s diploma at Duke College after which made his approach south for his Ph.D.

When requested why he selected to remain in Athens, Yun mentioned, “I like the sensation of the town as a result of I lived for a very long time in a giant metropolis like Seoul with 10 million individuals residing collectively. After I got here to Athens, it is a very small metropolis in comparison with the cities in Korea, and I favored the character and the cultural variations. Culturally, it is rather fulfilling. The college supplies quite a lot of entry to the group, which we can not take pleasure in in different small cities within the U.S.”

Yun mentioned that this system tries to indicate the visiting college students and students the distinctive tradition of Athens, notably a love of Georgia soccer.

“We attempt to buy tickets for our visiting students to allow them to strive tailgating earlier than they go to a sport,” he mentioned. “After I first bought right here everybody was so loopy about watching soccer, however I didn’t know even the foundations. Why are individuals combating one another? They cease so many instances. However now after watching soccer video games for over a decade, I lastly know the sport, and watching soccer is my favourite. So, I attempt to clarify the fundamental guidelines [to the students] to allow them to take pleasure in watching, too.”

Yun has turn into concerned in certainly one of two Korean church buildings in Athens and says he has discovered a robust Korean group right here. He additionally mentioned there’s a giant group of Korean individuals in North Atlanta, and since there’s a direct flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Worldwide Airport to Seoul, it’s simpler to ask extra Korean guests.

“I can not overlook how a lot assist we acquired from our colleagues on the college in addition to native and state authorities officers in Georgia up to now decade, and I hope the Korea Program can proceed bridging the 2 nations and contribute to creating extra alternatives for individuals in Georgia and Korea,” Yun mentioned.