Have you ever heard about there is extension campus of the University of Utah in Korea? There is a brand new extension campus of the U in Korea, which is the University of Utah Asia Campus (UAC). The UAC is located in Incheon, South Korea which was opened in fall semester of 2014. Generally, when the University opens a new campus in another region, the site is considered as a satellite campus which is operated by its own independent headquarter office. But unlike most of other universities’ satellite campuses, the UAC has a different system that is fully operated by its main campus in Salt Lake City, Utah, even though it is located in overseas. Since the UAC is fully operated by its main campus in Utah, the UAC is considered as an extension campus of the University of Utah’s central campus in Salt Lake City.
This means that students in Salt Lake City can move to the UAC in Korea to take classes and spend their academic years whenever they want to. Vice versa, students in UAC can move to the main campus in Salt Lake City after they fulfilled at least 75 credits.
UAC is located at Incheon Global Campus (IGC), which is much closer to the gate way of South Korea, Incheon International Airport compared to other Korean universities. On this IGC, there are three more international universities beside the University of Utah; Ghent University, George Mason University, State University of New York (SUNY). Despite, there are four total international universities on the Incheon Global Campus, the UAC is the most highlighted university of the four institutions. According to a former professor of the University of Utah Asia Campus, Joel Mullen. “One of the reasons why the UAC is the most highlighted university in Korea out of these four is because UAC always tries to provide same academic curriculum with its main campus. I’ve heard that from other people on Incheon Global Campus, other three institutions are already considered as Korean institution because they hired instructors and professors in Korea. Also all classes of these institutions are taught in Korean even though their name is foreign institution since these they hired people from Korea.”
UAC continues to provide full American education by bringing professors and instructors from its main campus. Other universities on IGC such as Ghent, George Mason, and SUNY offer their classes in Korean. This academic curriculum lets students experience more American attracting many students in Korea who wanted to get accepted to American universities. The population of students in UAC continues to expand while on contrary the other universities are experiencing a lack of students.
For offering more Americanized education to the UAC, main campus just fired a Korean UAC President Insuk Han at the beginning of 2015 fall semester and replaced him with professor Stephen L. Walston and Kari Ellingson as a Chief Administrative Officer of the UAC. The reason was the University of Utah main campus wanted to make people aware of the UAC as an extension campus of its main campus, not as another branch of university (Last 2016 spring semester, Chief Administrative Officer of the UAC was replaced by Chris M. Ireland.)
According to Mullen, who came back from the UAC in fall 2015, “There were many conflicts between main campus administrative office and former Korean UAC President Insuk Han since main campus in Salt Lake City tried to remove UAC President Position and replace it by Chief Administrative Officer. The main campus wanted to make the UAC as an extension campus (UAC), but Insuk Han didn’t want it. He just wanted to make the UAC as another campus of the University of Utah. However, main campus’s choice was right, because it helped the UAC expand more than before. Former UAC President Insuk Han asked me to be on his side, but I just refused it. I didn’t want to get in trouble with them and I didn’t think he was right.” After this effort the UAC grew about 30 times bigger than when it first opened. When the UAC barely opened in 2014 fall semester, there were only 14 students. Now, it has over 350 students on the UAC. Also, it opened a brand new academic building last semester, and the UAC is becoming better and expanding the campus for the increase in student attendance.
Former Chief Administrative Officers of the University of Utah Asia Campus, Kari Ellingson, returned to main campus at the beginning of 2016 fall semester. Today, she works as an Associate Vice President at the student development department. She mentioned the UAC and her experience in Korea the Chief Administrative Officer, “The University of Utah Asia Campus is the most successful foreign institution in Korea since we provide same curriculum with its main campus. People on Asia Campus are able to get a same bachelor’s degree as its main campus’s even though the campus is in Korea since it is an extension campus of the main campus.” Mostly, when people graduated from off the main campus university, there’s usually another campus name will be printed on its college degree to provide differentiated degree, but the UAC does not. It is a great benefit which attracts enough people to come to the UAC.
Also Kari Ellingson mentioned that “I highly recommend students on main campus in Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah Asia Campus in Korea at least for a year, if they are interested in learning and experiencing another culture themselves. I think the UAC is the best opportunity to students on main campus learning another culture easily because a life on UAC is always based on American culture and people are speaking in English on campus. Besides the UAC, people can enlarge their experience by experiencing Korea’s amazing night life and busy life in the enormously huge, most populated metropolitan city, Seoul.” Kari Ellingson spoke truth and proved that the UAC will offer many benefits to students on main campus. In addition to those benefits, dorm room on Asia Campus is cheaper than Utah’s even though it has a brand new system and buildings. If you are freshmen or sophomore and interested in learning another culture based on American culture, the University of Utah Asia Campus will help you to enlarge your experiences with a fabulous experiences in the one of the few one race nation, South Korea. If you want more information about the University of Utah Asia Campus, you better visit the UAC website or visit the study abroad office at the University Union.