Chingu Program: The Bridge Between International and Domestic Students

Photo courtesy of Minwoo Kim


On April 6, the George Mason University Korea Chingu Program hosted an outing to the annual Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival. Seventeen Mason students joined the Saturday Seoul outing to enjoy the seasonal cherry blossoms together.

During the excursion, program participants were able to try different foods from Yeouido Park’s famous food trucks, as well as walking around the park grounds while taking pictures of the cherry blossoms.

“Not only did I learn something from international friends, but also I was able to teach them about Korea and its culture,” Youngseo Park, sophomore conflict analysis and resolution major as well as a frequent participant of Chingu Program events, said.

Established in 2017, the Chingu Program hosts an outing or event each month. Participating in the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival was one of the many outings of this spring semester. The Chingu Program allows domestic and international students to broaden their perspectives on multiculturalism through both learning and teaching their cultures to one another. Chinguis the Korean term for “friend,” which captures the Chingu Program’s ultimate aim to create relationships that go beyond cultural differences.

Graciela Lara, a sophomore global affairs major and one of the three Chingu Program board members for the spring 2019, said, “As a Chingu board member, I create events that can bring Korean and International students together.”

She also revealed her goals of both expanding the program and getting more domestic and international Mason students to participate in the monthly events, saying that she hopes to be able to visit “other major cities in Korea, like Busan.”

For the spring 2019 semester, the Chingu Program has also hosted the Incheon Tour Bus and Giant Archery events, as well as a booth for Mason Day. For any inquiries about the upcoming events of the spring semester, please visit the Chingu Program office in room G407.