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An Intelligent Assistant for International SNU Members – SNUgle-i

According to the “2020 SNU Diversity Report” published by the SNU Diversity Council, there are students from approximately 123 nations at SNU, a figure which considers both home and exchange students. Specifically, there are a total of 1,522 international students, and the number of foreign faculty and researchers totals to around 364 people. In order to ensure that the international members of SNU adjust comfortably to both life at SNU and in Korea, the SNU Office of International Affairs (OIA) started running a one-stop service system for international members.

A all-around service that operates both offline and online

The one-stop service system was launched with the intention of offering international members of SNU a platform to easily gain information about the university, as well as providing them a sense of belonging to the university community. Previous support systems for the international community were limited in that they were operated individually by different institutions and departments within the school. As a result, the services and information that international members required were scattered, which often led to difficulties in accessing the exact service or help that they required. In response to this, the OIA decided to start operating a one-stop service both online and offline, accessible to all international members of SNU.

The SNUgle-I webpage (https://snugle-i.snu.ac.kr)
The SNUgle-I webpage (https://snugle-i.snu.ac.kr)

The online one-stop service system is provided by the SNUgle-I webpage and the OIA YouTube channel. The name SNUgle-I is a portmanteau of SNU and Google, with “I” standing for “International”. It contains information about school life, such as admissions, classes, grades, as well as other areas such as visa applications and accommodation in Korea. Users of SNUgle-I can use the quick menu and the search bar to filter information relevant to them based upon their status and situation.

For the offline one-stop service system, the OIA runs a device rental system for visiting international students where the device has the SNUgle-I application downloaded on it. Currently, the app can only be used by devices that are managed by the OIA.

In contrast to the SNUgle-I, which provides mostly text-based information, the OIA YouTube channel provides engaging videos with information regarding university sponsored programs on education, food and accommodation, and leisure activities. The OIA collaborates with the SNU International Students Association (SISA), the SNU Student Ambassadors (SSA), and scholarship students to create more than ten videos per semester to upload on the OIA YouTube channel while also providing additional information to viewers through the videos’ comments section.

The Present and Future of the One-Stop Service System for International Members

As with the one-stop service system, OIA has particularly focused on developing online communication and service systems during the pandemic. “We focused on providing information on university guidelines for COVID-19, announcements regarding online and offline classes, and immigration and quarantine procedures,” said Ju Hyeyeon of the OIA International Cooperation team. Ju emphasized that their priority was delivering information that international members needed amid the uncertain situation during the pandemic.

The recruitment for the operation team of the one-stop service system was conducted on April 1
The recruitment for the operation team of the one-stop service system was conducted on April 1

The OIA will continue expanding the scope of support of the one-stop service system. Regarding the online system, the OIA plans to strengthen the connection between SNUgle-I and mySNU so that users are not only able to search for information but can also conduct administrative tasks online. The OIA YouTube channel also aims to extend its collaboration with other university institutions to provide more accurate information and a more diverse range of videos. There are also plans to expand offline support services. Towards the end of the year, a lounge for international members will be constructed in the OIA Building (Bldg. 152). Once the construction has finished, there are plans to hold “Drop-in sessions'' in the lounge where international members of SNU can receive help that is personalized to their needs. Meanwhile, the OIA is seeking various methods to promote the current one-stop service system to increase its accessibility. “Ensuring that international members know of the one-stop service system and use it effectively is just as important as creating and improving the system,” said Ju. “I hope that more active promotion of programs offered by the different institutions of the university will occur so that more international students can participate in them,” said Anodari, a student from Morocco. In response to this, the OIA aims to focus on raising awareness about the one-stop support system starting this April.

The OIA’s one-stop support system helps foreign students and faculty to fully utilize the university’s services and resolve difficulties they face in their daily lives. The system will continue to become more comprehensive and systemized both online and offline to become an all-encompassing solution for the SNU international community.

Source: https://www.snu.ac.kr/snunow/snu_story?md=v&bbsidx=136095

Written by Yeryoung Lee, SNU English Editor, yeryounglee@snu.ac.kr Reviewed by Professor Travis Smith, Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, tlsmith@snu.ac.kr