Last Thursday, December 4, the KAIST international community together celebrated the 2014 year-end Party in the cozy and festive atmosphere of the Auditorium (E15). With just less than a month before the official end of the Fall Semester, the party was a great chance for all colleagues, friends and families to gather and share the great memories of 2014 in retrospect. The KAIST Herald met up with one of the staff members from the International Students and Scholar Service (ISSS) Team, the main organizer, to learn more about this wonderful event.
Hello! Can you please start by briefly introducing yourself?
Hi, my name is Hyo Jin Chung, and I am currently working as an interpreter at ISSS. During the preparation for the year-end party, I was in charge of promoting the event and managing the guest list.
This year’s party was held much earlier than usual. Were there any specific reasons for this change?
Yes, we decided to push the date of the event up to December 4, much further away from the finals week compared to last year. We knew that students and scholars are usually extremely busy around the time of final exams so we wanted to avoid that hectic period. Also, since a lot of international students will be leaving for their home country right after finals, we decided that the beginning of December was the most suitable: everyone was still around and available.
The Year-End Party is always a much-anticipated event for all international students, especially for its unexpected themes. What was the idea behind this year’s party?
For this year, we were inspired by the Disney movie sensation – Frozen. Thus, we chose a lot of our decorations based on this theme and also recommended all the guests to follow a blue/white dress code. We wanted everyone attending the party to feel like they were stepping into a winter wonderland!
The party must have attracted a lot of people. Who were the main participants?
About two weeks prior to the party, we sent out official invitations through both email and post to all KAIST international students and scholars. However, since we believed that the spirit of a year-end party shouldn’t be limited to only the international community, our invitations were actually extended to all family members and Korean friends as well. We ended up with a total of…., many of them were Korean labmates, classmates and the students’ close relatives.
What type of performances did the audience get to see this year?
We paid extra attention this year to selecting unique and high-quality performances. We invited Abigail, a rising Korean star and K-pop singer, along with Gong Myeong, a professional percussion band well known for their unique traditional performances. As a tradition, we had a performance prepared by the KAIST student. This year, the Indonesian students did a fantastic job impressing the crowd with their traditional Saman dance.
I also heard there were other special activities or services during the party. What were they?
Absolutely! There were all sorts of game activities going on throughout the night. We had tables for arm wresting, corners for darts, ring toss and a very special area for a mega-Jenga block game. Our polaroid-picture service was in constant demand by people who wanted an instant film photo next to our winter wonderland decorations. And of course following the show we provided a buffet dinner for all the guests. We had a lot of positive feedbacks on the food menus!
Well, congratulations on the successful event! Before we end, do you have any last words for our readers?
On behalf of ISSS, I want to say thank you to all the students, scholars and their friends and families who had made the time to join the party! It was very satisfying for us to see our guests enjoying the event and getting a chance to relax before all the finals’ rush starts kicking in. We wish you all good luck on all your exams and hope to see everyone at our upcoming events!