International Spotlight: Kristen Willis

March 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

Kristen Willis, [4th year], embarked on the journey of a lifetime to Korea this past fall semester. Willis studied with fellow [4th year] student Charese Allen. Both attended the same program at Yonsei University. Kristen admits her “random choice” in selecting Korea as a study abroad destination, even admitting that she had intentions of changing her mind.

Yonsei University is located in the massive and booming city, Seoul, South Korea. Kristen describes it as, “always moving and very busy”, and she was never bored. The University itself is located in a shopping district that was, “both a blessing and a curse”, dipping into Kristen’s wallet even more than she realized. Another great Yonsei perk,  is its proximity to exquisite restaurants and street vendors that sold her favorite food. Yonsei’s program proved very similar to IARc, which helped Kristen get past the very difficult language barrier. Kristen said, “The focus in the program is more on 2-d drawings and spatial planning. The computer software is similar but varies in some ways.” Coming from the IARc program gave Willis a leg up as she recalls introducing podium rendering to her classmates, who “loved it”! [1]

Kristen’s favorite place was Nami Island, located in Namiseom, about an hour and a half from Seoul. She described the sites there as breathtaking.[2]

When I asked Kristen about her design work experience,  she explained, “It exposed me to foreign designers and architects, as well as gave me a better understanding of why 2-d drawings are so important”. On a more spiritual level, she talked of receiving deliverance from issues that surrounded her life, and gaining a better relationship with a higher power that made the trip memorable and lasting.[3]

Her final thoughts were that she, “Would tell others to go abroad because I think that everyone should be exposed to a new culture and way of living, whether its for four months or four years. It broadens your view of every aspect of life, and there is so much more to this world than we see in our everyday lives. The choice to go Korea was in fact not at all random”.[4]

Photos by Kristen Willis:

[1]Seoul, South Korea    [2]Nami Island     [3]Final Project Rendering      [4]Seoul, South Korea

Story Contributed by: Kelsey Rhode [4th year]

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