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May 6, 2010 Volume 31, No. 30

Home away from home


Yoo-Sung Jung stays busy with business administration classes and a part-time job at Truman’s Takeout in University Bookstore. After leaving her native Korea for schooling in Shanghai, she traded the booming Chinese city with its 19 million residents for the small-city charm of Columbia, the quintessential college town. Nicholas Benner photo

Change of scenery

College town grows on international student

Imagine what it must feel like if you packed up your bags in South Korea and traveled more than 6,000 miles to attend the University of Missouri.  That’s exactly what Yoo-Sung Jung did, but it wasn’t her first time being away from home.

Jung, a senior in business administration, spent several of her pre-university years going to school in Shanghai.  Now she’s in Columbia, and she’s adjusting to American life. “I’m not really homesick,” Jung says. “Most classes are hard because I’m not a native speaker, but this change of scenery has been refreshing.”

Jung isn’t exaggerating about a change in scenery.  She calls Columbia “quiet,” with its nearly 100,000 residents. It’s a far cry from Shanghai, with a population upwards of 19 million people. “I like to get away to big cities when I’m at school here in America,” Jung says. “But when I’m in a big city, I’m always thinking about Columbia.”

Jung stayed busy by working at Truman’s Takeout in University Bookstore. She worked three days a week at the Campus Dining Services location. From cashier to sandwich-maker, she had a different job each shift. Jung says her part-time job helps offset long-distance living expenses.

And Jung knows how to balance work and school.  She’s sitting on a good grade point average.

After graduation, Jung would like to continue with school. “I’d like to go to law school and also get an MBA,” Jung says. “My dream is to help foster American-Korean economic relations by working in international law.”