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Strengthen the cooperation between GFRIs
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Scientist from Belarus

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  • Registration Date : 2019-10-31
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Story about Student

Scientist from Belarus

Dasha Burak (Dual Master’s and PhD Program, UST-Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) School, Nano & Information Technology Major)

Situated between Russia and Poland, Belarus is home to tranquil forests and lakes. Growing up in Belarus, Dasha Burak has been dreaming of exploring the world and developed her interest in a variety of cultures and languages. From the English language and American TV shows to the Korean language, music and soap operas, she wanted to go further than simply enjoying another culture and actually master one of them. As a result, she has now become a Korean drama pundit approved by her coworkers. She also speaks incredibly fluent Korean. Equipped with what she learned, Burak came to Korea to achieve her dream of being a researcher.

Pieces of Life that Me Made Who I Am Today

Life is quite interesting. Particularly when we realize that time we have spent and enjoyed can never be meaningless. Every past experience is a significant piece of the whole picture that completes us in the present. Indeed, this was the case for Burak. Being interested in Korean culture and watching Korean dramas for a long time influenced her decision to study Korean. This seemingly harmless curiosity turned out to play a big role in her ultimate decision to study in Korea.

Burak has dreamed of becoming a researcher since her junior year of college. Pondering deeply about the future, she thought the path as a researcher would be a great fit for her. To achieve that goal, she planned to apply for the master’s program as soon as she graduated. The idea of studying in Korea didn’t occur to her at first but an unexpected opportunity knocked on her door.

I saw a post about an internship at KIST on the Belarusian school’s website where I learned Korean. It said KIST offers an opportunity to students that want to be researchers. My heart started pounding when I saw it. I still clearly recall what immediately popped up in my head, ‘This is the golden opportunity to make use of my Chemistry major and finally speak Korean in a real setting!’” she continues, “I was excited because it’s rare to encounter that kind of opportunity in your life.

It was the moment when all the pieces of the puzzle were finally put together. Burak got on a plane heading to Korea. The new chapter of her life has begun.

UST, Opening New Vistas of Opportunity

Burak started her internship in January this year. She met a lot of nice people while enjoying the research in a field she has been long interested in. Her Korean trip has been full of joy and new experiences. Therefore, her decision to register as a full time student at UST came naturally. Above all, she wanted to further expand her knowledge in the field she interned in and enhance her capacity as a researcher.

The best part about UST is its unique education system. At UST, students are researchers at the same time. I think this approach is very effective. Though it means UST students have to digest more hectic schedules compared to others, to be a competent researcher, we’d have to invest a lot of time anyway. Another perk of being USTian is access to exchange study that allows students to take classes in nearby universities.

In August, before the first semester starts at UST, Burak experienced something new called UST Freshman Empowerment Odyssey Program which is designed to teach entering students what they need to know as a UST student for a month. Burak chose to study in Korean classes, which was never easy. As challenging as it was, however, it felt rewarding.

“The most memorable experience in the program was the team project at the Design Thinking class. We were teamed up to come up with the solution for the issue on the topic we chose. Taking a class in Korean for the first time made me excited but nervous at the same time. Thankfully, I met kind and thoughtful team members―Ahn Hyo-won, Kim Tae-hyun, Bae Eun-hyung―and successfully completed the project. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them. Go Group 2, love you guys!”

Conversation with her brings up one question: What shape does UST bring to the puzzle of her future? What is she going to make here? She has just become a full time UST student. It’s unclear what path she will take or where she will be heading after finishing her master’s and PhD program. There’s only one thing that she knows for sure; that she is looking forward to her life at UST.

“If there’s one thing I should tell to aspiring UST students, it should be ‘Give it a shot.’ Once you become USTian, UST will open whole new vistas of opportunity. All you need to do is to try your best without slacking.”

The Bigger World Expands My Insight

Burak is currently part of the project that involves the structural color―chromatic color caused by the physical interaction of light with biological nanostructures in contrast to those produced by pigments or dyes―nano coloring technology, which is developed by forming MIM (Metal-Insulator-Metal Nanoparticles) structure based on the structural color. Since creating natural structural color has caught attention of the science community, Burak and her research team also want to work on this topic.

“My academic advisor Professor Cho So-hye is an exemplary researcher I want to learn from. She always enjoys the research and suggests a lot of novel ideas. I’m so glad we can understand each other because we are both Chemistry majors and we have no language barrier. I’d love to continue enjoying researching with the professor and my coworkers.”

Burak has encountered the bigger world, which made her dream and caused her heart to grow bigger. She hopes to be an independent researcher wherever she ends up. She creates a piece for tomorrow by living faithfully today. She believes it will lead to an important piece for her future.