Center for International Education
Spring 2011

Two UNH undergrads chosen to attend meeting in South Korea

Two UNH dual majors in international affairs and political science were selected by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) to receive Korea-US Youth Network scholarships. Kevin Kennedy and Jeanna Diorio were among the 75 students from universities across the U.S. who traveled to Seoul, South Korea, in March through CIEE’s partnership with the Korea Foundation. The students were hosted by Yonsei University, South Korea’s oldest and most acclaimed university.

Kevin Kennedy ‘11 and Jeanna Diorio ‘12 in South Korea
Kevin Kennedy ’11 and Jeanna Diorio ’12 in South Korea

"The program allowed for a unique sampling of Korean history, language, and culture," said Diorio. "One of the more rare experiences was a complete tour of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the strip of land stretching across the Korean Peninsula that acts as a buffer between North and South Korea. The DMZ is one of the most heavily-fortified borders in the world and the tension felt there was eerily palpable. A surreal aspect of the DMZ was a visit to the modern train station at the border, which is presently only a tourist site, but was constructed to serve both North and South Korea once unification comes into effect."

Fellow participant Kevin Kennedy adds, "One of the great parts of the program, I think, was the requirement that applicants to the CIEE South Korea Scholarship have little to no knowledge of Korean culture. I was eligible before I left, but certainly not after… Any time you can have a first-hand experience outside of school with the subject you are learning in the classroom, the subject is more likely to become ingrained in your brain. As a student of international affairs, this becomes much harder to do as travel abroad is often quite expensive; this is why I am so lucky to have been able to participate in this amazing program."

Both New Hampshire residents, Diorio is a junior from Kingston and Kennedy is a senior from Londonderry.