▲ Jeju province provided a platform for officials and residents to exchange visions of a successful international community. Photo by Darren Southcott
“Direction of Support Policy for Foreign Residents to Achieve a Joyful Jeju Community”
Thursday, May 29, 9-10:20 a.m.
Room 3-G, Haevichi hotel & resort, Pyoseon, Seogwipo City.
Professor Shin Wui-kyung (Dept. of Chinese Tourism, Cheju Halla College)
Cho Seong-yong (former Korean ambassador to the Czech Republic)
Kim Young-geen (director, Visa and Residency Division, Korea Immigration Service, Ministry of Justice)
Mary Summers (acting president, the Furey Foundation)
Kenneth McLeod (member of Jeju Special Self-Governing Provincial Foreign Advisory Committee)
Nyamsuren Davaador (Ph. D candidate in Management Information Systems, Jeju National University)
Song Jung-hee (publisher of The Jeju Weekly)
Jeju Special Self-Governing Province organized a special session to explore policy support for foreign residents at the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity on Thursday, May 29. Four discussants joined the session presented by Cho Seong-yong, former Korean ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Representing the Korean Immigration Service, Kim Young-geun, director of the Visa and Residence Division, began with a presentation of Korea’s immigration policy to distinguish between “desirable” and “undesirable” immigrants. Pointing to the loosening of student visa rules and the support offered to foreign entrepreneurs through local business startup centers, Kim stressed the state’s willingness to support immigrants.
Acting president of the Furey Foundation, Mary Summers followed Kim by introducing the Furey Foundation, which was founded in 2009 to pay the hospital bills of expat Nathan Furey. After reaching its initial goals, it expanded to provide support for local in-need families and American Summers used the foundation to exemplify how participative charity events can bring Koreans and non-Koreans together to benefit the community as a whole.
Foreign Advisory Committee member Kenneth McLeod also spoke on volunteering. Drawing from his experience in his native Canada and Korea. McLeod shared the efforts of his own school in instilling principles of community service and social welfare through volunteering events and excursions, even including visits to Cambodia where his school has long-established links.
Finally, Mongolian student Nyamsuren Davaador highlighted the potential of Jeju as an international student destination. Pointing to the year-on-year increases in the number of internationals enrolled across the province, Davaador stressed the need to ensure adequate support is provided so this window of opportunity does not pass tertiary institutions by.
In conclusion, the session was informative in providing the wider community with an insight into immigration policy, volunteering and student life on the island. However, it somewhat neglected its purpose to “explore measures ... to assist all foreign residents in achieving a happy and joyful life on Jeju Island.”
Presenters were guided in their content by the provincial government, and thus the session focused on how Jeju’s international residents can more easily interact with the local community. From a policy perspective, aside from the introduction to central immigration policy, attendees were left in the dark as to how the province itself is seeking to “achieve a joyful Jeju community.”
Click here to read our coverage of the same session at last year’s Jeju Forum.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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