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KAIST is an institution where future, responsible global citizens study and conduct world-class research. Students of KAIST are not only pursuing personal success, groundbreaking technologies, and innovative solutions, but strive to become engineers and scientists with heart when volunteering to serve society.
The Global Outreach Program was first initiated in 2013. Many of KAIST’s exchange/outbound programs are primarily focused on allowing students to seize the opportunities to experience, grow, and learn from various environments located across the globe. However, prior to the Global Outreach Program, many of the exchange opportunities were limited to academic purposes.
Through the Global Outreach Program, students of KAIST are given the chance to actively give back to society and to experience and explore the world. Since the program’s inception, teams of KAIST students have extended their acts of kindness and desires for intercultural communication and understanding to Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Nepal, Tanzania, Zambia, and more.
From helping local residents build environmentally-friendly facilities, educating children about the importance of curiosity and science, assisting the populace in maintaining and managing their natural resources and environment, to introducing Korean culture and language to those unfamiliar, the Global Outreach Program has gained recognition for inspiring design projects, volunteer activities, and overcoming the difficulties of intercultural communication.
“We [completed] our volunteering through the DEJAVATO Foundation… [and] we performed language and life skills teaching programs through traditional lecturing styles and [more] creative, flexible forms of learning to increase the students’ participation and interest in English. Seeing the deteriorating condition of the school, we also decided to carry out renovations for one of the classrooms. In addition to cultural exchanges, we also had the chance to cook [each of our] traditional foods for the students… and we found ourselves giving students advice about studying in other countries. [Overall], the voluntary work carried out has become a memorable part of our lives, and will continue to teach us how to survive better and contribute towards the [betterment] of all society.” - Students, volunteer work in Indonesia
“We volunteered at GIS-Taiwan, an international conference hosted at NTU, as members of the organizing committee. GIS-Taiwan is [similar] to ICISTS-KAIST, so there is an exchange of organizing committee members [at each conference], allowing for an exchange of expertise and [learning from experience]. It was a significant lesson in which direct interaction between the organizing committee and the delegates is important to make the conference, or any conference, more meaningful. Discussing with other committee members gave us [a greater insight] into the difficulties of hosting large-scale conferences such as finances, schedules, and adjusting to a new country and culture, no matter [how short] a duration.” - Students, volunteer work in Taiwan
“We volunteered through World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and worked at Kaski, Pokhara in Nepal. [Travelling there] was almost shocking as it included roads through mountains, a boat ride, and two hours of intense hiking and trekking, but along the way, the friendliness and kindness of Nepal’s people was welcoming. Coffee was in season and we worked to help plant, pick, pulp and ferment, wash, dry, grind, and even roast the coffee as well as taking care of the buffalos and goats, as well as [the garden]. Learning about, and physically doing, the harvesting of coffee taught us much about organic farming and the global market, and the chance to enjoy the nature of Nepal and the view of the Himalayas. It was rough, hard work but an immensely adventurous experience. Thank you to KAIST for giving us this opportunity.” - Students, volunteer work in Nepal
“We were happy that our work in Cambodia could actually help people. [We] disinfected a town near Phnom Penh and [several other towns] with a 20kg smoke-fumigation disinfector in order to protect the town from mice, cockroaches, mosquitos, lice,and [other needs for pest control]. We helped with [daily tasks] at several orphanages and schools, as well as providing haircuts, manicures, and even taught the children some Taekwondo. Each disinfecting [project] took more than three hours, but the thought of eliminating at least 1 mosquito carrying malaria might save 1 human life was worth the effort and hard work. This program was not just about meeting people and volunteering; it was also about enriching our minds and expanding our views on the world and life.” - Students, volunteer work in Cambodia