Thomas Schobert (Germany)

My Name is Thomas Schobert and I am a graduate student in International Cultural and Business Studies at the University of Passau. After I accomplished an exchange semester at the Sejong University in Seoul, I completed my internship at Asia Hope Camp Organization from January 2017 to February 2017. During my work experience, I was involved in several projects and activities.

First, my involvement in the social media activities included the promotion of upcoming work and K-Pop camps, setting ties for cooperation with German organizations as well as the recruitment of new interns. As ACOPIA is approaching towards a process of internationalization and diversity among interns, my efforts were focused on recruiting international interns.

Social media provides an ideal distribution of content due to networking and possible reach. Therefore, I worked on strategies and implications to promote ACOPIA on a global stage by using social media as a suitable tool. Apart from promotions via Facebook, I was responsible for the recruitment of new interns through the creation of flyers and a website that offers job advertisements. The latter enables me to get in contact with students from Europe, who have different backgrounds and experiences. A very exciting task as I was able to see what motivates them to participate in our projects. I really appreciated the given responsibility and trust of my employer to make personnel decisions. Thus, I hope my background in social science as well as cultural and business studies hopefully contributed to the future success and renownedness of the organization around the globe.

Second, the majority of the workload during the first 3 weeks had been translation and the promotion (including the website administration) of the ACOPIA boarding house, which offers a comprehensive accommodation for interns and other people, who plan a long-term stay in Seoul, South Korea. During my internship period I updated the related websites continuously to keep information for interested parties up to date. The translation part is used to spread knowledge and content in the German-speaking part of Europe, which involves Germany, Austria, and Swiss, but also microstates as Luxembourg and Lichtenstein. Additionally, my translation focus was on the basic information about the ACOPIA Group accompanied with the charge of the website administration. It included the work principles, history, and past achievements of the group. Further, I translated the terms of use for the ACOPIA boarding house into German, precisely because the organization wants to embrace more people from abroad.


Third, a highly ambitious task was to promote the ‘7th Korea-Japan Relationship for the Future Symposium’ in Shimane/Japan, which is going to take place in August. The Symposium is organized by the Korea-Japan Forum, an organization of the ACOPIA Group. For a better mutual understanding in Northeast Asia and the high appreciation of German accounting for the past, I had to promote the symposium to German students. Considering that, I have contacted several German Institutes for Japanese and Korean studies, student associations, and university groups. So far, I could not really assess the success of these promotion activities. Nonetheless, I really hope that my efforts made ACOPIA noticeable among some German students, who are interested in the Northeast Asian relations.


Fourth, my contribution to the multicultural classes of ACOPIA. These classes are supposed to be hold by international interns (e.g. from Belgium or Germany at the moment). By becoming a more international organization the intercultural exchange should not be limited to Korea and Japan only. Hereof, I prepared and conducted an intercultural training seminar for the cultural space of Germany. I created a flyer and promoted the event through friends and social media. Eventually, I was able to welcome seven students and fellow interns, who were interested in Germany or who already had a cultural experience with this country (e.g. language studies, travelling, studying, and long-term stays). Luckily, the group was very diverse (Thai, Korean, Brazilian/Italian, Filipino), so we could gain insight from different international perceptions and experiences regarding my home country. Again, I have to be grateful to my employer for giving me the chance to use the ACOPIA facilities on the weekend and for his trust in my abilities.

Fifth, I was preparing some German language classes for the ACOPIA School, where I was supposed to teach at. Eventually, due to the lack of interested students and the upcoming end of my internship I was not able to proof my teaching abilities. Regardless of this setback, I valued the spend time to prepare language introduction classes and the opportunity to delve into this field of teaching.


Finally, I was taking part in the preparation and execution of an audition, which was promoted and organized by ACOPIA in the course of one of its K-Pop Camps. This experience was something very new to me as I personally had never been in touch with K-Pop. The casting-like atmosphere and the ambition shown by the participants made me more curious about it. Consequently, I decided to research the economic and cultural impact of Korean popular Culture in my future academic studies. 


Taken together, I am very glad about my experiences and memories of the last 8 weeks. ACOPIA gave me a unique chance to work in an ambitious and sedulous NGO. In particular, I would like to mention the pleasant work atmosphere at the office. I really enjoyed the multicultural workplace, which consists of Korean, Japanese, Argentinian, Belgian, and Filipino workmates. It was a pleasure to witness such a harmonic environment of workmates. I also owe special thanks to Dr. Cho, who was always an inspirational, respectful, and friendly principal.