Korean saying “A shrimp’s back breaks in a fight among whales” describes the country’s geostrategic position between China, Japan and later Russia. As small as a shrimp, Korea got squeezed by its big neighbors throughout history. Nevertheless, the time has changed, and South Korea has become a significant actor in the international arena. We, as two young graduate students with the aim of becoming scholars in the field of Korean Studies, intend to show that our “shrimp” is not a shrimp anymore, but it has become a “dolphin” with its growing economy, pioneering technology, dynamic society, and powerful international recognition. Its long history and deep-rooted traditions are also noteworthy while analyzing this transformation.
If we were to introduce ourselves, one of us studied political science as the undergraduate study and doing her master degree on East Asian Studies, more specifically on Korean Studies. Moreover, she is doing her second major in law. Aiming to blend all these fields, she is currently writing her master’s thesis on the South Korean constitutional history and planning to continue her Ph.D. studies on Korean law and politics in South Korea.
And the other one studied Operations Research and Industrial Engineering as the undergraduate degree. She is also doing her master degree in East Asian Studies, specializing in Korea. Her aim is to bring an analytical approach to existing social problems in the world, especially in the Asia region by combining her engineering background with social sciences. She is currently writing her master’s thesis on the foreign policy and security of South Korea and plans to continue her Ph.D. studies on international relations and politics of South Korea.