As the youngest college at Yonsei University, Underwood International College (UIC) has become Yonsei's flagship international program in just over a decade. Spanning over 16 majors under five divisions in three fields, UIC offers an experience unmatched by any other. Set in an intimate environment in the heart Seoul, the main campus in Sinchon boasts a vibrant college culture as well as a forum of intellectual and cultural exchange. The new international campus which opened in 2011 showcases cutting-edge facilities and is located in Songdo, affectionately dubbed "The City of the Future" and "The World’s Smartest City."
For over 130 years, Yonsei has set the golden standard of higher education in Korea. And UIC, as its newest college, epitomizes Yonsei's vision for the future. We have to teach our students the critical thinking skills that will be the important aspects of humanity even in an age of artificial intelligence. That content, in my view, is basic education rooted in literature, history, and philosophy. Expected to live until the year 2100, our students need the abilities to think, imagine, and create. The UIC Common Curriculum, paired with the RC (Residential College) program, is designed in such a way so that our students - regardless of major or academic field - have this basic knowledge and understanding.
Having this basic education is essential in navigating your way around in today's "Network Society." Here, the key words are collaboration, connection and integration. New knowledge is now created when one area of knowledge connects with another. Barriers, distinctions and division among different fields of knowledge are obsolete in modern day research.
The UIC majors were created with this in mind: that university education must nurture the ability to converse with researchers in different fields. The interdisciplinary nature of the majors offered at UIC not only aim to this end, but it also encourages creativity and innovation. Creativity is not some magical ability to conjure something from nothing; rather, it is the ability to cognitively connect and network existing elements to create something new. At UIC you will have the resources and support necessary in pursuing your intellectual curiosity and shaping new ideas.
At the end of your journey at UIC, I hope that you will find yourself an empathetic person. Our society today needs leaders whom they can relate to; someone who will serve not their interest, but the interest of others less fortunate; someone who is of moral standing and virtue. I believe that at UIC you will have garnered the intellectual, spiritual and emotional capacity to become such a leader.
Upholding Yonsei's promise of servant leadership, I invite you to join the next generation of leaders at UIC and lead the way to the future.