The farthest Lander University student Nicole Richmond has traveled from her home in Columbia is Chicago, about 650 miles away. On Aug. 22, she will embark on a journey more than ten times that distance when she boards a plane for a 7,200 mile trip to South Korea, where she will spend the fall semester studying at the University of Incheon.
Richmond, a mass communication major, is the first Lander student to be accepted for a semester at Incheon or any Korean school under agreements signed earlier this year enabling students from both universities to study on each other’s campuses.
She is also the first Lander student to be approved for a Korean Government Scholarship, which will pay for her flights to and from Korea and provide financial assistance for living expenses and other costs.
Nicole said she is excited about the opportunity to attend the University of Incheon because of her fascination with studying different people and cultures. “I think we can learn from each other by sharing experiences.”
The course credits she earns at the South Korean university will be applied to her degree requirements at Lander.
The daughter of Cassandra and Tyrone Richmond of Columbia, Nicole is a 2009 graduate of Richland Northeast High School. Her older sister, Tysena, is a senior at Newberry College in Newberry, S.C., and her brother Marcus is a senior at Blythewood High School.
Dr. Sung-Jae Park, Lander’s interim dean of International Programs and a native of Korea, said Richmond is a good student with professional qualities in her major. He said her professors were unanimous is recommending her for the scholarship.
In congratulating Nicole, Lander president Dr. Daniel Ball said, “You will have a lifelong and life changing journey that few students experience.” He added, “I am confident you will distinctively represent yourself, Lander and the United States as you travel and experience South Korea, its people and its culture.”
The University of Incheon is one of nine institutions of higher education in Korea, China and Thailand that Lander has signed agreements with since March as part of its new Asian Initiative. The goal of the initiative was to expand Lander’s Study Abroad Program to schools in Pacific Rim nations.
Lander is making arrangements to welcome four Korean students who will spend their fall semester at Lander.
Four other Lander students spent most of July at the University of Incheon and Dong-A University in Busan, South Korea, participating in a four-week international summer study program.