Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Day 7

Today was mostly a travel day. We didn’t have any excursions planned, and the flight didn’t leave until late afternoon, so Sunday morning offered a chance for most people to sleep in, which was extremely welcome by most. As the hotel owned and operated a golf course, a few people went and hit some balls on the driving range. Also, a group of students and a couple professors organized a church meeting. Those that went had a good experience and were grateful to worship even while far from home. We left the hotel earlier than strictly necessary and headed to Busan. It’s the second largest city in South Korea, and the largest dock. On the dock was the Fish Market—the largest in the world (or so the sign said). It was unbelievable the sheer number of fish varieties available for people to buy. Some of the more exotic offerings included eel , squid, and my personal favorite—octopus, still alive with tentacles flailing.

There also was an international market. It had a lot of legit high end stores and American eateries (I can’t believe the number of Dunkin Doughnuts here in Korea). There were also a lot of small local vendors selling their knock offs. Several people made purchases, myself included. It was kind of like New York City—5th Avenue and Chinatown—combined into a much smaller space.

At the airport, the time came to say goodbye to Ben. We sure are grateful for all he did for us while we were in Korea. It was wonderful to have someone that knew the language and culture to help us out.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day 6

An authentic Korean building

After a busy week, it was time to relax a little bit and enjoy the Korean culture. South Korea has one of the oldest histories in the world. After having a very good breakfast everyone was ready to go explore what the Ulsan area had to offer. 
Students in the Ulsan area of Korea
After a ten minutes ride up the hills and a five minutes walk, we finally got to the Buddhist temples. They were situated on top of the hills and overlooked the whole area surrounding Ulsan. It felt good being up some mountains as the weather was a lot cooler. We visited the temples, then drove to another place with more temples. 
Students in the Ulsan area of Korea
It was such a good experience. We were all fascinated about how such old places were still in really good shape.
Students in the Ulsan area of Korea
We once again took the bus and went to a little city by Ulsan. We had lunch at this restaurant that offered over 40 different Korean dishes. A lot of us chose not to eat lunch as we had a late breakfast. After lunch we visited the oldest observatory in Asia.
An object from a Korean museum
After that it was time to visit the museum. The museum had a lot of different objects from different times. After a long day, everyone went back to the hotel and went to bed.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 5

Friday was jam packed with multiple fantastic visits. We started off at Posco, the world’s second largest steel manufacturer. The size of their facilities was just mind boggling. There was also a sense of international influence in the way they present themselves to the visitors.

The second visit of the day, Kiswire, fit in perfectly with the first visit, as they use the steel to make wire that is used all over the world. We received a very warm welcome due in large part to Dr. Hong, a USU alum, and CEO of the company. Although less outside influence, they thrived on efficiency.

We finished off the day at Hyundai and saw several car models being built on the production line. When asked, the employees seemed to have never heard of the Toyota philosophies on building cars, which explained the lack of efficiency. Being such a highly valued company by the government, and largely subsidized, their focus may be on work environment rather than strictly efficiency. It may be more important to the government that they hire more people rather than trim the fat and make it work more quickly.

We learned a lot today and had the opportunity to apply a lot of the things we learned in Biology, marketing, MHR, and Operations Management.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 4

Presentation by ETland technology retailer
We went to ETland the second largest technology retailer in South Korea. We had a great presentation about the Company and an opportunity to ask questions to the manager of the store. After the presentation each individual had a time to explore the store. It was very interesting for us, as students, to implement the knowledge we have received from classes.

After the lunch we headed to airport to fly to Ulsan. We drove one hour from Ulsan to our hotel in Kyungju. The Kolon Hotel was great and we had a wonderful rest in it.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The beginning of the South America Trip

A dish of authentic chilean foodWow, what a amazing trip so far. We have had a ton of really amazing experiences. The first three week of our program we spent studying our brains out on campus but that has been totally wiped out by the amazing things we have seen so far her in Santiago. I can honestly say this has got to be one of the coolest things I have ever done.

We have been on several visits so far this week and it's been going really well. There are tons of things the Chileans are doing that have kind of insulated them from this global recession. I think we need to learn a little bit from them and change some things back home. We are learning all kinds of cool things.

The food has been really cool as well. Yesterday I got to try squid, octopus, and scallops. It was....good :)


Day 3

Students in the Korean Folk VillageWe started the day bright and early with a continental breakfast at the Hamilton Hotel. It was very interesting because they had both Western and Traditional Korean breakfasts foods – meaning variety from French Toast to Caviar. After breakfast we went to the Korean folk Village. The Village was a display of traditional Korean Culture. There were ancient houses, temples and markets. In one part of the village they had ancient Korean torture devices. I do not know the exact name for them but in essence the person being tortured would be strapped to a board and hit repeatedly with a large stick. We practiced on Youssef, it took about six of us to one of him. After a bit of practice and a few sword fights, we moved on and saw the rest of the village.

Students play sword fighting
From the village we went to the Samsung D’Light Center. Although our original plan to go to the R&D Center of Samsung did not work out, the D’Light Center was fun to see. At the center they exhibit new and upcoming electronic products of Samsung. One that seemed to impress the entire group was the video room they had set up. The monitor was tiny, unlike any I have seen in the US. I think they told us it was only 1.5 centimeters thick.
After Samsung, we went to the Lotte Department Store. The sheer size of Lotte is amazing. It is 13 stories with brands including Prada, Gucci, Ralph Lauren and some Korean brands that we do not see in the states. They had almost anything you could possibly dream of purchasing.
Ice sculpture at the Alumni Dinner

The Korean USU Alumni at the Alumni Dinner.
The final part of the day was the alumni dinner. We joined the Korean USU Alumni and enjoyed a delicious Korean buffet on the 36th floor of the Lotte Hotel. The alumni were all very nice. They welcomed us very warmly and enjoyed mingling and networking with us. While we were eating we had a chance to visit more individually with USU alumni. At our table, Mr. Lee told us stories of his time at USU and shared experiences of his career in Korea. He was very interesting and loved talking to us. By the end of the banquet we had all become good friends. Mr. Lee gave us his card and told us to call him if we needed anything, he would be sincerely happy to help us in any way. It was a great banquet with good food and new friends.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 2

A beautiful Seoul sunset
A beautiful Seoul sunset
By the time we arrived in Korea we had crossed the International Dateline and it was Tuesday evening. It was crazy to think that a whole day and a half had passed while we had been in the air. After landing and having our temperature taken by the health reception committee (customs), we met our tour guide, a Korean man with a good sense of humor, Ben. As we rode the bus to the hotel in Seoul we learned that of the 50 million people that live in Korea more than one fifth of them live in Seoul. After getting situated in the hotel, we took to the local streets and admired the people and their little shops. It was fun and felt surprisingly similar to walking through Tijuana, Mexico. Though I didn’t buy anything except a huge bottle of water it was still fun to go out and mingle with the locals. It didn’t take too long before the extremely long day caught up with us and we decided to turn back and go to bed.

-Adam Young

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 1

Students in the Salt Lake City Airport

The Aggie Shuttle departed Logan for the Salt Lake City Airport at 3:45AM. Although some of us were very tired, we were all very excited to embark on our adventures. We flew to LA with the other Business Study Abroad group headed to South America. (Both groups occupied the majority of the plane.) From there, we departed for Seoul, South Korea. After flying for over 12 hours, we arrived in South Korea. We arrived around 6:00 PM on Tuesday, May 26. Our tour guide, Ben, gave us some history about Korea as we drove to the Hamilton Hotel. After arriving, some went straight to bed after such a long day, and others explored downtown Seoul.

Students in the Salt Lake City Airport

-Jill Aoki