One of the biggest advantages of studying in KAIST is the easy and simple procedure when changing one’s major. Most other universities require certain qualifications, such as a specific grade point average and number of credits taken when transferring to another major. On the other hand, there are no such requirements in KAIST. If a student wishes to change one’s major, he or she can discuss the issue with the professors from the departments he or she is transferring into and from, get signatures, and then enroll in a new major. With this simple and easy way of changing majors, I noticed that KAIST students are more likely to transfer to other majors compared to students from other colleges. It is very common to spot students who have actually undergone changing majors or who are seriously considering the option. Furthermore, more students are double majoring or minoring in different departments thanks to the wide range of selections students can pursue.
I have always been thankful to KAIST for providing students with the opportunity to explore and contemplate what field or scholarship one has the best interest in. Looking back, I sincerely think that choosing the major that suits oneself before and after college admission is totally different. Not only do the courses and subjects taught in high schools and universities have a big gap, but also the environment and atmosphere of learning and studying vary drastically. As a result, the expectations and predictions of majoring in one field can be quite different in reality. Moreover, many Korean high school seniors tend to value the name or level of the university, and such tendency leads to choosing irrelevant fields of major just to enroll in a better valued university. Therefore, for so many reasons, college students need to have the right to freely transfer to different majors and finally settle down in the department that best fits the student. Yet, I also think it is crucial that one needs to give deep thought before changing one’s major, even if the procedures to do so are quite simple and easy,.
One thing that concerns me regarding KAIST’s easy transition in majors is the fear that some students might lose their way. I am sure that more students have had happy endings, but I have seen some failures in the transitions. The easy transferring atmosphere seems to motivate students to consider changing their major if they encounter the least bit of difficulty. However, what these motivated students are inclined to miss is that there is not a single department that does not have any hardships. Students need to know that transferring is not the solution to the struggles they are dealing with. They will encounter other types of trouble in studying different fields as well. Changing one’s major is not the answer to difficult problems, but it can be the method of trying to confront and solve different types of problems in different perspectives. As I have seen and heard some unfortunate cases of wandering around different majors, I hope students can establish some deep understanding of their circumstances and of their new major before making decisions.
The opportunity to make a change in life is not always an option. Therefore, I am very grateful that KAIST provides students with the most important opportunity to be able to study and explore the academia of our interest. However, students need to make a good use of this option, or else it can lead to worse cases.