Indiana State University Newsroom

New partnership to provide opportunities for Korean students

June 21, 2012

A pact between Indiana State University and organizations in South Korea will provide new opportunities for Korean students to study at ISU.

ISU has partnered with Dongguk University and Solomon Edu, an educational consulting company, in a new endeavor for Korean students. In the agreement, students will study their first year at Dongguk University before transferring to ISU. Students will enroll in courses at Dongguk that have already been approved to fulfill some Foundational Studies requirements that all ISU undergraduates must take to graduate.

"This agreement helps us diversify our student body," said Chris McGrew, director of International Programs and Services at ISU. "It brings more students from Korea to Indiana State, and of course, our students have the opportunity to interact with students from another culture."

Though Dongguk will host the students' first-year courses before they transfer, both Solomon Edu and Dongguk are administering the program in South Korea.

Students have already shown interest in participating: more than 30 students have applied to attend ISU through the program, said El-Houcin Chaqra, associate director for international development and academic linkages.

He expects that between 30 and 50 students from Korea will enroll at Indiana State each year through the program.

"It's a model that we can replicate with partners in other countries," Chaqra said of the collaboration, "Developing this kind of agreement helps our international recruitment because it allows us to plan for students."

In the partnership, students are not limited to any particular majors at ISU. Since the courses at Dongguk are general education classes, program participants will enroll in most - if not all - of the classes related to their major at ISU. They will graduate with degrees from Indiana State.

"The reason I like this is because they can study in any area," McGrew said. "It's not particular majors, so ISU can offer its best."

Some students have already started taking the initial courses at Dongguk, Chaqra said. They will continue taking classes in the fall before transferring to ISU in spring 2013.

ISU officials are hopeful that the program will be as successful as several other initiatives that have been developed in recent years. In one partnership developed between International Programs and Services and the United Arab Emirates, two students studied at ISU. They had such a good experience, Chaqra said, that when they returned home, they told their friends about ISU.

The partnership has grown, he added, with dozens of students now studying at ISU from the Emirates.

"That's what makes us really stand out, and students talk to each other, so other students showed interest and they started applying to our university," Chaqra said, "and we've been really successful in developing this."

Contact: Chris McGrew, director, International Programs and Services, Indiana State University, 812-237-4391 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or