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, 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 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 PhD studies on Korean law and politics in South Korea.
And the other one studied Operations Research and Industrial Engineering as undergraduate degree. She is also doing her master degree on East Asian Studies, specialized in Korea. Her aim is to bring 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 security issues in South Korea, and planning to continue her PhD studies on South Korea.