Tag Archives: college


‘Calculus Chocolates’ Offer Sweet Relief for Korean Students


Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.

That is, unless you buy a box from Piaf Artisan Chocolatiers in South Korea. And if your life revolves around studying, like most Korean students during the annual college entrance exam season, a box of Piaf Artisan chocolates might be exactly what you’re looking for.

The latest work from the Seoul-based chocolatier features candies decorated with calculus equations. Assuming the chocolate is delicious, this could very well be the perfect food for thought.

Chocolate 1

“I hope these can bring a smile to their faces as they get themselves prepared for the exams,” creator Ko Eun-su told the Wall Street Journal.

Ko, who left a seven-year career as a computer engineer to pursue his passion in chocolate-making, explained that he took the project “very seriously.” But the feedback wasn’t quite what he expected.

“[Customers] said people cracked up when they got these [chocolates],” he said.

The calculus chocolates are sold in box sets of four, nine and 15, and they will run you 13,000 won ($12), 25,000 won ($23) and 39,000 won ($36) respectively. Each box also comes with a helpful booklet explaining the equations.

Chocolate 4

Chocolate 5

You can check out the rest of Piaf Artisan Chocolatier’s creations at their Facebook page.

Images via Piaf Artisan Chocolatier

2014 NCLC 2

Sponsored Post: Apply for KAC National’s 2015 National College Leadership Conference

Find your place today in our history of pioneers and leaders


Above image: 2014 NCLC

The National College Leadership Conference is the longest and continuously running annual leadership conference for Korean American in the United States. NCLC strives to educate and inspire future generations of Korean Americans and develop leaders among them.

1980 nclc1980 NCLC

2002 nclc2002 NCLC

2012 nclc2012 NCLC

2013 NCLC2013 NCLC

With the support of State Farm Insurance, the Korean American Coalition (KAC) National College Leadership Conference is an opportunity for young Korean Americans to meet established professionals in their field of interest, learn essential leadership skills to assist them in their future professions, and make friends of other bright, ambitious Korean Americans. The Leadership Conference builds awareness of current and past issues facing the Korean American community, with an emphasis on the importance of participation and the appreciation of cultural identity and roots.

Program Dates: June 22-26, 2015
Location: Paradise Springs, California
Application Deadline: May 31, 2015

To confirm the dates, location and application deadline and to download the application, visit kacla.org and click on “Programs” for the tab on NCLC.


button_3 copy


Young South Koreans Finding That Degrees Don’t Translate to Jobs

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Two-thirds of South Koreans aged 25-34 boast college degrees, the highest proportion among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), where the average is at 40 percent. But as in the case of America’s “over-educated baristas,” getting a degree doesn’t always guarantee the job they’re looking for.

According to recent numbers from Statistics Korea, the number of unemployed South Koreans in their 20s and 30s who have no previous job experience is the highest in more than 12 years. This does not include currently jobless individuals who have had previous experience. Overall unemployment for those between 15-29 also hit a 14-year high last year.

Permanent Jobs vs. Temporary Positions


South Korea’s labor market is divided between a limited number of permanent jobs, which have high security and benefits, and temporary positions that end after two years. The outlook isn’t good, though: In 2012, 24 percent of South Korean workers held temporary positions, double the OECD average. The Korea Employers Federation said 377 companies with more than 100 employees plan to reduce hiring by 3.6 percent this year, compared to the last, and graduates faced 33 to 1 odds of landing a job after conducting a survey of 377 companies nationwide.

Along with the alleged abuses and exploitation of interns and temporary workers, many graduates see themselves overqualified for these positions, and an increasing number of students are choosing to stay in school longer and retain their students status. A survey of 33 universities last year found that more than 15,000 students delayed graduation. That means young men have even less time to be in the labor force, as they are required to serve up to two years in the military.

Gender Wage Gap


Female college grads have it particularly tough. There are some encouraging signs, as more women are graduating with degrees and women in their 20s are outpacing male counterparts in the job market at the highest-ever recorded rate since surpassing men in 2012.

But only 1 in 5 graduates in science, technology, engineering or mathematics are women. In 2013, South Korea ranked dead last among OECD nations in employment of female grads at 60.1 percent. The overall workforce participation rate for women is only at 55.2 percent, compared to the U.S.’s 67.2 rate and the OECD average of 62.6 percent. South Korea also ranks last in the OECD in wage disparity, with a 39 percent gap in median wages between men and women.

Résumé Photos and Application Process


It doesn’t help either men or women that résumé requirements can also be incredibly strict. SBS News recently broadcasted a report on how many companies require applicants to include their photo, height, weight and even family backgrounds. Photos sometimes require hair and makeup to be done professionally, while the other categories scream potential discrimination based on age, gender and appearance.

Government efforts to make discriminatory requirements on résumés have reportedly tapered off, and companies largely ignored government recommendations to do so.

Protest Against Flexible Labor Market


South Korea’s government policies on how to remedy its youth unemployment rates, for the most part, missed their mark or haven’t been popular among that particular crowd. Last November, labor groups and students blasted proposed measures to make the labor market “more flexible” by easing rules and lay-offs and pay, saying that temporary workers were not nearly as protected as permanent workers.

Even though the South Korean government is pumping money into the rapidly growing startup industry, not everyone graduates with a degree in software engineering.

Cost of Higher Education


Perhaps the most daunting task is displacing the well-ingrained prestige behind acquiring a degree. The relentless focus on exams is well-known, and South Koreans spend an average of $7,652 per student across all grade levels, including college. While that’s lower than what Americans and other OECD nations spend on average, the amount represents 7.6 percent of South Korea’s GDP spent on education–the third-highest amount of GDP spent on education in the OECD behind only Iceland and Denmark.


Feature image via Wall Street Journal/Agence France-Press/Getty Images

button_3 copy


North Korea Arrests South Korean NYU Student for Illegal Entry

Pictured above: New York University’s Stern School of Business. (Photo courtesy of NYU Local)

by the Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea said Saturday it has arrested a South Korean student of New York University for illegally entering the country from China last month.

Won-moon Joo, who North Korea says has permanent residency in the U.S. and lives in New Jersey, was arrested on April 22 after crossing the Amnok River from the Chinese town of Dandong, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

The 21-year-old man is being questioned by state authorities and has admitted that his actions were in violation of North Korean law, the agency said.

In New York, a spokesman for New York University, John Beckman, confirmed that Joo was a junior at NYU’s Stern School of Business, but was not taking classes this semester and the university was unaware of his travels.

“When we heard the news reports, NYU got in touch with the student’s family to express our concerns over his welfare and to convey our support. His well-being is in our thoughts and prayers,” Beckman said.

He said the university was in touch with the U.S. State Department and the South Korean Embassy.

An official from South Korea’s Unification Ministry, who didn’t want to be named, citing office rules, said it couldn’t immediately confirm whether Joo was a South Korean citizen and was being held in North Korea. Officials from South Korea’s intelligence agency were unreachable for comment.

North Korea has occasionally detained South Koreans, Americans and other foreigners, often on accusations of spying, in what analysts say are attempts to wrest outside concessions.

In March, North Korea announced that it had detained two South Korean citizens over alleged espionage. It has been holding another South Korean man since late 2013 on suspicion of spying and allegedly trying to set up underground churches in the North. He was sentenced last year to life in prison with hard labor.

Also last year, the North released three Americans — two of whom entered the country on tourist visas — and Kenneth Bae, a Korean American missionary who was convicted of “anti-state” crimes. An Australian missionary detained for spreading Christianity was deported after he apologized for anti-state religious acts and requested forgiveness.


Associated Press writer Tong-hyung Kim in Seoul, South Korea, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

button_3 copy

Scholarship Duksung

Five African Students Receive Scholarships to Duksung Women’s University

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Five African students will be pursuing their Master’s degrees at Duksung Women’s University through the school’s global partnership with U.N. Women, reports the Korea Times.

The students were selected based on examinations and interviews and will receive a total of 200 million won ($186,000) in scholarship funding from the university.

U.N. Women, a United Nations agency dedicated to gender quality and empowerment of women, signed an agreement with Duksung back in 2011—its first partnership with a local university. The scholarship covers tuition, dorms, travel and living expenses, and the classes will all be taught in English.

All five students plan to return to their home countries after finishing their degrees to become professors. Ninsiima Jolly from Rwanda and four Ethiopian students—Mohammed Ousman Hassen, Abera Meron Hailu, Negera Yacob Bizuneh and Damtew Makeda Bizuneh—are all studying a variety of majors, from food science, textile design and Western painting.


Image via Korea Times

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

[adrotate group=”1″


UCLA and USC’s Korean American Student Organizations to Present ‘3 Steps to College’

by GRACE LEE | @grace_koream

Attention, high school students: UCLA’s Korean American Student Associations (KASA) and USC’s Korean Student Association (KSA) will be presenting its third annual “3 Steps to College” seminar series at the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles (KAFLA) headquarters this Saturday.

The “3 Steps to College” series consists of three seminars aimed at informing prospective students on how to write personal statements, apply for financial aid and prepare for college life.

The final seminar, “How to Prep for College,” will include one-on-one discussions on how to adjust to dorm life, join clubs and apply for internships.

“How to Prep for College” will be presented by a panel comprised of students and alumni from UCLA, USC and other universities located in southern California. About eight panelists, including USC alumnus Paul Shin, USC student Shelby Matsumura, and Pepperdine student Sara Um, will share their college experience and what to expect for prospective students.


Irene Choi, the event’s project coordinator and a sophomore at UCLA told KoreAm, “This is a way to give back to the community because we were in their shoes once, and because their parents are first generation, it’s our responsibility to guide these high school students to their dream schools.”

Seminars regarding writing personal statements and applying for financial aid were held successfully last year at KAFLA, where 50 high school students got to network and follow up with UCLA and USC students and alumni. Choi and other panel members hope that this experience will continue to build strong relationships within the community.

“I hope that students will utilize our services so they can get accepted to the top schools they want to go to,” Choi said.

The “How to Prep for College” seminar is scheduled to take place on April 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at KAFLA, which is located on 981 S. Western Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90006. There is no admission fee for the event. 

To learn more about the event, check out the event’s official Facebook page.


Featured image courtesy of KAFLA

KFEST banner

Awkwafina and Parker to Headline UC Irvine’s 4th Annual KFEST

The 4th Annual KFEST at UC Irvine kicks off just one week from today. If you’re looking for good food, games and music, you might want to stop by next Tuesday evening. Awkwafina and Parker, a.k.a. Dumbfoundead, will headline as featured performers accompanied by DJ ZO.

This year, KFEST promises “The Korean Experience,” with plenty of Korean cuisine, games and performances by fellow Anteaters. Admission is free, but be prepared to pay for parking if you do attend.

You can find more information at the KFEST Facebook event page.


When: Tuesday, April 28 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: UC Irvine Student Center, Pacific Ballroom CD  (Parking in the Student Center Parking Structure)


James H Kim

Student Spotlight: Touro University-California’s James Hun Kim

Are there any organizations/clubs you are involved in? Tell us about what you’re up to!
I am very active in a professional pharmacy organization called California Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (CSHP). I am a past president of my schools’ chapter, and I stay involved as much as I can now.

With this role, I have advocated for the profession of pharmacy at the state capitol and provided opportunities for students to network with current pharmacists and get involved in community outreach events. Getting involved with this organization was a great way to meet important people in the profession and also improve my leadership and communication skills.


What’s the best thing about your school?
I would have to say the best thing about my school is my classmates. They have become like a second family to me. Shout out to all my pharmies!

Give a little description of your background.
I grew up in a small town called Carson City, Nevada. My brother and I are first generation Korean American. After high school, I moved 30 miles north to Reno, Nevada for undergrad at the University of Nevada, Reno. Go Wolf Pack!

I was the first in my family to attend college. After graduation, I worked for a couple years in the pharmaceutical industry and eventually, I applied to pharmacy school. I was accepted to Touro University-California, where I’m currently working to complete my doctorate. During pharmacy school, I became a proud husband and father of two, a son who is two and a daughter who is just seven weeks old. I’ve had to learn how to balance a lot of roles at the same time, but it’s been so rewarding.

CSHP Health Fair

Your go-to food place:
This may sound cliché for a Korean, but my go-to place is this spot in San Francisco called My Tofu House. I go there as often as I can. Growing up in a small rural town, the only Korean food that was accessible was my mom’s, so finding this place was a dream when I moved to California. It always reminds me of my mom, and it’s hands down the best soondubu in the city.

What has been your favorite memory so far?
Well I have two of them now: when my son, Aiden, and my daughter, Lillian, were born.


If you could sum up your life as a student in three words, they would be…
STUDY, STRESS and FUN… not in any particular order.

What was the hardest thing you’ve done so far?
The hardest thing I have done so far is raising a family while both my wife and I have been in pharmacy school. Granted, raising a family is hard work itself, but the workload of pharmacy school has made it extra hard. If I could go back though, I wouldn’t change a thing.

What was the last book you read…for fun?
The Pout Pout Fish… it’s a children’s book that I read to my son each night before bed. It’s a total tongue twister, and my son loves it.


What does your typical night out consist of?
Nights out are few and far between at this point in my life, but I do enjoy an occasional night out with friends. Usually we will just go out and catch up over some food and drinks.

Coffee, tea, energy drinks, “crazier stuff,” or nothing at all?
All of it. I drink this stuff so much, but I don’t feel like any of it works for me anymore, though.

Who’s the person/people you can rely on for anything?
My wife. We met nine years ago during undergrad, so we’ve been through a lot together by now. She is always there to support me.


If you would like to participate in KoreAm U’s Student Spotlight feature, you can find more information here