Korea exchange puts East and West in harmony

A taste of Korean life has sparked an ambition to live in the country for University of Derby student Aleksandra Tomczyk.

Aleksandra and Andy Heyes were chosen to take part in the annual exchange between the Buxton campus and Daegu Haany University which allows Hotel, Resort and Spa Management (HRSM) students to immerse themselves in the customs, food and lifestyle of the Korean people.

Andy, who is studying for a BA (Hons) in International Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, and Aleksandra, a BA (Hons) Events Management undergraduate, were with a group of students from six different countries who shared a very personal view of Korea, with mentors who became close friends.

Aleksandra fell in love with the way Korea has embraced the Westernised 24/7 city life culture while retaining the best of their calm, respectful and polite Asian traditions.

“I fell in love with Korea,” said Alexandra, “I’m going to learn Korean and live there. In a city of five million people the sky is blue – there’s no pollution.”

Aleksandra came to Buxton on an accelerated degree, which sees her complete the same studies and gain exactly the same degree but within two years instead of three, including a work placement.

“I fell in love with the Dome and the programme was really good, and it was very important to me that it was accelerated,” she said.

“I was very impressed with the fact that the programme was Number One for employability in the country in my field.  It is an amazing experience – it feels almost like it’s one-to-one, you get so much support.”

Each year, HRSM students compete for a place on the exchange programme, which includes all funding except for half the cost of their flights.