Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) Game Dev/Animation student Aurimas Tiriūna is currently studying at Busan-based Dongseo University (DSU) in Korea. He is completing his Informatics and Digital Contents Bachelor's Degree studies. Although students begin studies at MRU, the last 2 years they spend in South Korea honing skills that may land them a job in Korea's lucrative game development sector.
At school, Aurimas Tiriūna was interested not only in mathematics, but also Psychology. Despite everything, he searched for studies where he could develop delve into subjects relating to artistic expression. As he says, before beginning studies at MRU he was a complete "artist." After 2 years in South Korea, he now says that his studies were a key opening doors of a global world. He discusses his studies and experience in this article.
Aurimai, why did you decide to study Informatics and Digital Contents?
The main thing that attracted my attention was that I found many subjects relating to artistic expression in the studies plan. The subjects were related to the quickly growing video game and film industry. Of course, I was attracted by the possibility of studying in English and the opportunity to live and study for 2 years in South Korea. When i found out that I was accepted, I felt a surge of curiosity about how my life would unfold during the following 4 years of studies.
How do studies at MRU differ from studies at Dongseo University (DSU) in Korea?
You can find differences in the studies structure. For example, at MRU the lectures are 1:30 hrs, while at DSU lectures are 50 minutes long. At DSU during the academic year we have two long periods of vacation lasting 2 months each: during the summer and the winter. It is true that DSU allows for the possibility to additional study independently in the laboratories. Students can use the university computers and other technical equipment. The biggest difference, which is also felt during lectures, is the impact of Asian culture. Lectures and teachers are especially held in high esteem in South Korea. That is why students must be polite. Even having spent 3 semesters at DSU, I still can not get used to some of the "unwritten rules."
In Lithuania studies were held for the entire class jointly with several additionally selected subjects. We studied programming, databases, cybersecurity, mathematics, design, cinematography, drawing, animation, 3D modelling, etc. In South Korea we could select among two specialised areas: game design (programming) or animation and special effects (3D modelling, animation, VFX etc.) Lectures were almost always practical in nature. I think that what is most unique about this studies programme is that studies are held in South Korea - the country where the gaming industry is one of the largest in the world.
How did you relate to other students in your class? Did they know about Lithuania?
Most of the lectures at DSU take place in one group with students from Indonesia. Sometimes there are students from China, Uzbekistan and other countries at the lectures. All my fellow students in the group have come from other countries so in the beginning we kept glancing at one another. Then, as time went on, we became acquainted and got used to each other. Often students had never heard about Lithuania, but nevertheless they were interested in what kind of country it is.
What surprised you the most in South Korea and what did you miss in Lithuania?
Korean politeness left a big impression along with their hospitality and sincerity. Having become friends with them and talking with Asians, you feel a strong cultural "spice" which is extremely attractive. I can also never forget the wonderful South Korean city of Busan, where DSU is located and the city's huge skyscrapers, the mountains and the nearby seaside. There is no time to be bored here as street vendors and markets displaying exotic fish and seafood allow for tasting even a life octopus or various insects. I am impressed by South Korea's night life, the Buddhist holy shrines, the Popculture, etc. I am not all that firmly anchored in Lithuania, but I did miss my family and friends and musical concerts - rock concerts, rave evenings and also Lithuania's forests, food, inexpensive mobile Internet and trash bins (which are almost non-existent in Korea).
I believe that all of our live's successes and failures are a large part our own responsibility. That is why I wish that people would not be afraid to take responsibility, despite how difficult that may be. I hope all students choose studies that are most suited for them and that they plan their future responsibly.