July 30, 2012
WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- Ketryk Wilder of Burnt Hills, N.Y., will be a sophomore at the University of New Haven this fall, but he won’t be in West Haven. He will be the university’s first exchange student in South Korea.
This week, the university signed an exchange agreement with the Korea National Police University (KNPU), where Wilder will join a class of 30 Korean students who will be studying criminal justice as they train to become Korean National Police Officers. KNPU has identified two students who will attend UNH in the fall.
Mario Gaboury, dean of the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences looks on as President Steven H. Kaplan (second from left) of UNH, shakes hands with KNPU president and chief superintendent general Cheon-Ho Suh.
“We are delighted to expand our association with KNPU as there is much expertise and research to be shared,” said UNH President Steven H. Kaplan. “Our students learn a great deal from foreign students who come to UNH and have much to learn from studying abroad.”
The exchange agreement was signed by UNH and KNPU on July 30 when the KNPU president and chief superintendent general Cheon-Ho Suh came to West Haven to tour the UNH campus.
Suh was accompanied by professor Jonghwa Lee, senior inspector Jeongmin Hong and inspector Seonghwan Bae, all of KNPU.
“KPNU seeks to become a mecca for police science by facilitating police study and research and extending international communications.” Suh said.
KNPU, founded in 1981 is located in Yong-in, about an hour from Seoul. Each year KNPU admits 120 South Koreans between the age of 17 to 20 who are high school graduates and have proven scholastic ability. Students must successfully complete a four-year course of study (172 credits) to graduate.
KNPU’s study abroad program began in 1984 and today has ties with police organizations in West Germany, France, Spain, Japan and the United States.
Both KNPU and UNH have hosted recent Asian Association of Police Studies (AAPS) conferences – KNPU in 2010 and UNH in 2011. In addition, UNH has hosted six visiting scholars from KNPU who conducted research in both forensic science and criminal justice.
Wilder, who has two uncles married to Korean women, does not speak the language but is familiar with Korean culture and food. Yet, he says, he will have a lot to learn when he leaves for Korea in late August.
“This will be a completely unique experience,” Wilder said. “I am more excited than worried. It will be challenging and since this is a police academy, I will have to work on my physical and mental strength.”
A criminal justice major with a concentration in investigative services, Wilder spent his first semester at UNH in Seville, Spain. There he met students from all over the world and learned that travel throughout Europe is convenient.
“We go from state to state, they go from country to country,” he says.
Ironically, he says spending the spring semester at UNH was a culture shock for him because he became so used to life in Spain. “We were in the center of the city and every day on the way to school, we passed the third largest gothic cathedral in the world. The scenery was breathtaking.”
He is looking forward to Korea and is spending the summer studying an audio program of the language.
“Korea will be a well-tailored opportunity for me to take the next step in experiential education,” Wilder said. “It will allow me to face new challenges and obstacles and become the person I want to be.”
Wilder plans to pack a photo of his family and his home. “You bring that little piece of home with you so you are not really alone even though your family is not really with you. I have the bug to travel though, and once you get that bug, you can’t stop.”
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400 students, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and College of Lifelong & eLearning, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 16 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Conference.