More than a few laughs were heard in the crowd of Danish and international students, who had jumped at the chance to listen to Ambassador Young-sam Mas talk about the close kinship between Korea and Denmark. The ambassador had a feel for Danish humor, and it was clear that the interest in Denmark was far from superficial.
The occasion for the visit was that 15 students and the lecturer Rune Gregers Meyer are leaving for Korea, where they’ll stay from 28 March until 8 April. The students at Marketing Management and of Service, Hospitality and Tourism Management will cooperate with Korean students to produce a communication strategy for LEGO.
The students from Sookmyung University in Korea will contribute with their knowledge of Korean consumer behavior and the economic situation in Korea, while the Danish students bring knowledge of activity budgets, media planning and big data to the table.
A tradition for cooperation
It is not the first time students from Cphbusiness have traveled to Korea to improve their knowledge of international cooperation and foreign culture.
Cphbusiness has had a close partnership with multiple Korean universities since 2013, and since then between 25 and 50 students have left for Korea each year.
- It makes a huge difference to the students to get the opportunity to encounter and work in a culture such as the Korean. The Korean students work extremely hard and the Asian culture is so different from ours that the Danish students learn a lot on both the personal and professional level – something they can’t learn the same way by staying in Denmark, says Michael Huss Svejstrup, Head of International Relations at Cphbusiness.
Even though the geographical distance between Korea and Denmark is big, we have a long and close history together; the ambassador showed the audience during the presentation titled “Grundtvig’s dream has come true in Korea”.
Jutlandia, subject of the Kim Larsen song, may be the best known example of Danish contribution to Korea among Danes, but also the introduction of the telegraph and the concept of folk high school comes from Denmark, the ambassador said.
It is interesting that the ambassador chose to emphasize the idea of the folk high school, Rune Gregers Meyer points out. He teaches the students at Cphbusiness Lyngby, travels to Korea with them and also used to be a principal at a folk high school.
- The folk high school movement has had an undeniable influence on our culture, including low power distance that we are used to in Denmark as opposed to Korea, which is known to be quite hierarchic. Therefore, it’s going to be interesting to see how the cooperation between the Danish and the Korean students unfolds and how our students will interact with the Korean lecturers, when two so different cultures must be integrated during a concrete cooperation, he says.
However, Danish influence in Korea isn’t limited to the past.
LEGO is well-known in Korea and Legoland will open a new location in 2017, Royal Copenhagen is extremely fashionable, and if you feel like getting a sausage from Steff Houlberg, you can do that too, the ambassador said and made it clear that the possibility of expanding mutual commerce for mutual benefit is very real.
- It is going to be very exciting for our students to get the chance to work on a communications strategy on a market such as the Korean, especially because communication has so much to do with culture. So this study trip will be very educational for all of us, says Rune Gregers Meyer.