AIEF is a non-profit organization that brings together the world's finest students with the U.S. educational system. Since 1992, AIEF has worked with educators, school representatives, business leaders, and government officials worldwide on a range of international student services and educational exchange programs.
Seoul, South Korea.
It was my task to engage with as many US institutions, invite them, and
ultimately sign them up to participate at the AIEF Education Fair in Seoul. Much to my relief
I and my coworker’s hard work paid off.
View from the hotel room
It has been
four months in the making. From the day I started work at AIEF I knew the work
I had been given to carry out would ultimately lead me to the fairs.
As I was
boarding the plane I couldn't help but feel proud that my coworker and I managed
to sign up 43 institutions, an increase of about 100% from the previous fair.
It was my first time traveling to any Asian nation so as I exited the plane I
could not help but feel the excitement overcome the weary tiredness left from
jetlag. From there I headed to the Oakwood Premier hotel where I would be
staying for the next week. I am one who loves nothing more than to travel so
anything and everything I came across the next couple days was nothing short of
amazing. However two short days passed, it was time for the fair to begin, and
hard long hours to be had.
I awoke the
morning of the fair still accompanied by my companion for the trip, jetlag. But
again the excitement broke through. Today was the day that months of work would
finally come to fruition. A couple of hours before the AIEF fair I had the
pleasure of meeting some of the school representatives while giving a brief
orientation. After that concluded it was time to head to the COEX center where the
AIEF education fair would be held. The fair was soon underway, and exhibitors
began their weekend long task of recruiting students. Throughout the day I had
the absolute delight of meeting all those with whom I made countless faceless
interactions through email and telephone. It was beyond rewarding to meet the
incredible people who decided to partake in the AIEF education fair.
Presentation at the fair
day of the fair started off a little slow, but towards mid afternoon traffic
began to pick up at the COEX and booths became busy with inquiring students.
Seeing that was a big relief let me tell you. The first day eventually came to
a close, and it couldn’t have come any sooner. To say I was tired would be a
gross understatement. Luckily (note sarcasm*), I would have little time to rest
and had a planned dinner with most of the school representatives, the KTF staff
(the organization who put on the fair) and AIEF. Little did I know that would
be one of the highlights of the trip. Around 50 of us made our way into a small
Korean BBQ restaurant where we all took our seats and everyone began to mingle.
It was a great feeling to have everyone together interacting and swapping
stories. The dinner concluded with full stomachs and tired eyes and many
retired to recoup for the next days work.
I apparently didn’t and so I concluded my night with some time on the town with
friends and colleagues and used the next day to see the sights and sounds of Seoul. Six days was all
it took, I love Seoul and Korea, and
certainly cannot wait to return for round two in October for the AIEF Education
day of the fair went over much like the first all though slightly smoother as
everyone was settled in. The routine of a slower morning and a busier afternoon
began to take hold. Toward the end of the day I could not help but feel proud
of all the work we had put in. The school representatives seemed to be happy
and so did we. At that point there wasn’t too much I could ask for that was in
my control except for a good night sleep. But then again, who needs sleep when
you are in Seoul.