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Interview: Digital Media Bachelor student Yunda Suh

Digital Media Bachelor
student Yunda Suh
is currently stuck in Seoul,
South Korea.

Which subject are you studying at the University of the Arts Bremen? 
Digital Media, Bachelor 

Since when do you study in Bremen? 
2017/18 WS  

Why did you choose to study in Bremen and at the University of the Arts?
I wanted to study Digital Media specifically and not Fine Arts. The university´s curriculum fits to me, that´s why I chose to study in Bremen. 

When did you want to return to Bremen?
I came to South Korea at the end of March. At that time, the university was already closed and the summer semester was also delayed. Because I could do nothing in Germany, and I had to stay alone in a tiny room, I decided to go to my parents´place in South Korea. 
When I left Germany, I planned to return as soon as the ‘face to face semester’ would start. When I bought the flight ticket, I had to decide for a return date. But I had no idea when the summer semester would actually begin. So I had to choose a temporary return date. I picked the end of June, because a friend informed me that if I leave Germany over 3 months, my visa will be cancelled.  
Most of the South Korean students studying at the University of the Arts Bremen, who at the beginning of vacation came to South Korea, wanted to return by the end of March.  

In which city are you 'stuck' at the moment? 

Are there still flights to Europe/ Germany? 
Yes, but they are very very rare. Almost all flights to Europe are cancelled. In my case, my flight to South Korea was also cancelled many times. At that time, Bremen Airport was also chaos.  

What is the situation like on site? 
– Are most shops closed? 

No, most shops are open. However, most museums are closed. And most events, concerts, performances.. etc are cancelled as well. But most restaurant and shops are still open. 
Actually, there is no problem to live daily life in South Korea. 

Do people have to stay in their apartments?
Many people try to stay in their apartments. And government requests, ‘please stay home’. But that is not obligatory.  

Are the schools closed?
Yes, some Kindergartens are open, because Kindergartens are not huge. But universities and schools are closed. Almost all of them are progressing with online lectures. 

How is your and your family´s health? Do you feel well informed and taken care of by the South Korean government? 
Definitely YES. The South Korean government takes care really well. The whole system regarding Corona in South Korea is very well organized and very fast and safe.  
Currently, in South Korea, 80% of newly infected persons are from abroad. When I arrived at Seoul Airport, there was a pick-up system that brought me home. I could take the bus, which is only for people, who came from abroad and directly took a Corona test. And I received the results two days later. It is obligatory for people from abroad to go into quarantine for two weeks. If you violate self-quarantine, there are penalties. During these two weeks of self-quarantine period, the South Korean government provided me with some food, sanitizers and masks. And in South Korea, there are many masks and sanitizer available. Next to the government providing us with it, we can also buy it on the street. There is no shortage. Lastly we can inform ourselves about the routes that newly infected people passed. Places that infected people passed are disinfected. Due to these precautionary measures, I am relieved to be in South Korea at the moment.


How could the university help you in this situation? 
I would really appreciate it if the university could support me with my visa issues. I heard a few days ago, if I leave Germany over 6 months, my student visa will be cancelled. But I want to return to Germany after the Corona situation calms down. If the situation doesn't get better within the next six months, I have to enter Germany for my visa, even if it's dangerous. 
I think it would be good to have trouble-free support for entry into Germany. I heard that people from South Korea now refuse to enter Germany. Of course, long-term visa holders are allowed to enter the country. But students are worried about  not being able to enter Germany again. 

Are you in contact with your lecturers/professors and fellow students? 

Do you receive teaching material for the upcoming semester? 
Yes. I am steadily receiving information regarding the upcoming semester.

Do you have exams scheduled for this semester? If so, are you afraid that you will not be able to take them? 
I don’t have exams. But I had a final presentation for one of my lectures in order to receive the CP. But we couldn’t hold the presentation. For that reason, we needed to find a different solution. We suggested to submit a video document instead of a presentation. Above all, the most important issue is to postpone the deadline. We will require much more time than estimated, because all Werkstätten are closed and shops in Germany are closed as well, we can’t work outside of the university. In my case also, I came to South Korea and I had to go into self-quarantine. Therefore I had to throw away 3 weeks.

I hope, we can meet again safely. Stay healthy!