Q&A: Gabrielle Hanley, sophomore Songdo student

Gabrielle Hanley is a sophomore studying Government and International Politics.

1. What made you interested in studying at Songdo?

I already had an interest in Korea and its culture, and when I read about this new city that was extremely tech friendly and green, I was fascinated.  Songdo is very innovative, another selling point for having a Mason campus there.

2. Have you ever done a study abroad program before?

Yes, during high school I studied for a semester in Korea as part of the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y).  It is wonderful to be back here.

3. Why did you decide to go to Songdo?   

The Office of Global Initiatives at GMU offered me a position as a Peer Adviser, which entails engaging the students in the vibrant university life of George Mason University.

4. How long will you be in Songdo and what are your expectations going into your semester?

I will be with the Mason campus in Songdo until June, and then I will be in the city of Wonju to study with the Critical Language Scholarship program.This semester, my main goal is to really help integrate the new students into the GMU community. I, along with my fellow Peer Adviser, Rachel Rockrohr, are trying to instill the Mason spirit on this new campus.  I want to be a good resource for these brave new students, as well as represent George Mason University in the best light possible.

5. What classes will you be taking and how will they contribute to your degree?

I will be taking ANTH 399, ANTH 330, SOC 352 and Korean 330.  One of the Anthropology classes will count for my final Honors College requirement, and they are all focused on East Asia studies.  I’ve already met the professors from Fairfax and they are incredibly engaging. I can’t wait for classes to start.

6. How do you feel your experience in Songdo will enhance your education, both instructively and globally?

This experience in Songdo is an asset to my educational path.  Not only is studying at an overseas Mason campus an asset to my major in Government and International Politics, but Songdo itself is truly on its way to becoming a global city. There are expatriates living in here and many opportunities for foreign and domestic business. The United Nations Green Climate Fund’s headquarters is even located here.