Soaking Up the Sun and Some Novel Ideas!

The final full day in Busan was bittersweet, filled with excitement to continue exploring the city, but sadness about the pending departure from the beautiful country of South Korea. My day began by roaming the seemingly endless floors of a Lotte department store, demonstrating the success of the South Korean retail industry as one of the largest markets in the Pacific region. I was thrilled to see the LINE FRIENDS store as I had previously learned about these popular characters at the NAVER site visit, and enjoyed a classic Choco Pie snack due to the hunger inducing nature of any shopping escapade! Following the crucial experience of observing commercialization in Korean society and purchasing some souvenirs to commemorate my time in Busan, I went to Haeundae Beach, one of Korea’s most beautiful and famous beaches that is home to fishing, swimming, and various cultural festivals. The popularity of this beach was reflected by the presence of many Korean citizens walking along the coast, despite it being a weekday! After soaking up time in the sun and eating another new sugary snack—a refreshing blueberry ice cream—I returned from the beach to prepare for final presentations and the farewell dinner. Teams on the Plus3 Korea Program were tasked with utilizing observations from company site visits and cultural experiences to develop a product with both engineering and business applications to introduce to either the Korean or American market. These innovation-driven presentations suggested the creation of a platform for real-time language translation services in video conferencing through the implementation of artificial intelligence like the smart systems being developed at NAVER, as well as technologies in public transportation systems to aid the navigation process for foreigners without the need for Internet connectivity, and that’s just to name a few ideas! The dinner that concluded the Plus3 Program allowed for celebration of the joint venture in creativity and global-mindedness that students of the Swanson School of Engineering and College of Business Administration engaged in. Thus, this evening was not a “goodbye”, but a “see you later” to the talented group of individuals that I had the privilege of experiencing an amazing time in South Korea with!

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