Taekil (Travis) Kim came to Regent’s because he wanted to combine his business studies with intensive language learning. Not only has he broadened his knowledge and enriched his language skills, his study abroad experiences have given him a truly global perspective.

Nationality: South Korea
Programme: BA International Business (Marketing) with Spanish

I chose to come to Regent’s because no other university offered a course structure which combined foreign languages and business studies in such a systematic manner. The programme structure, with the Study Period Abroad (SPA) in the second and third year, seemed to offer a life-time enriching experience as a university student.

When I graduated from high school, the only subject related to business that I was familiar with was marketing. However, throughout the range of core modules and electives on my programme has widened my horizons– I studied other disciplines such as accounting, finance and law. Now I am also pursuing a career in accounting with partial completion of the certification programme from the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA).

Beyond my academic subjects, I have gained practical skills in presentation, writing and research that I can use in any situation. Indeed, this combination of knowledge and skills was indispensable when I was doing my part-time jobs and internships at companies.

The international experience

The most interesting aspect of my studies was working with students from all over the world for group assignments. Quite often, members mix two or three languages in a group discussion, and as a result, I would learn more about their cultures, modus operandi and languages from these interactions. I could take what I learned in each group and use it to help me connect with new group members on other assignments.

I also deepened my Spanish language skills and cultural awareness of Spanish-speaking countries (both Spain and Latin American countries).

By far most enjoyable part of student life at Regent’s for me was being in contact with students from all over the world. In no other place except the United Nations or international airports, can a person meet so many different nationalities. I constantly felt encouraged to learn about other cultures and languages, even outside Spanish-speaking countries, which was part of my degree specialisation.

The art of self-discipline

The most challenging aspect of my studies included carrying out a series of assignments –reports, presentations and other activities – in addition to continuous self-study. This meant I had to learn to manage my time systematically and efficiently, and I had to develop self-discipline. Thanks to this experience, I am much more confident in my own capabilities. I believe that this capacity to study and learn things on my own is the most valuable and practical asset that I gained in my years at Regent’s.

Work experience to enhance studies

I worked part-time for the London branch of the Korean Trade and Investment Agency, an then in 2013/14, took a year off and worked for a number of companies in Sydney Australia as an intern and in administrative posts.

Each of these jobs taught me different sets of skills and knowledge. However, there was one common feature that I learned: the need to be professional and accountable for my work and service.

I also had to learn to put the knowledge and skills that I had gained from my university life into practice, carrying out the tasks at work. This gave me an important sense of direction when I came back to finish my final year at Regent’s – I had a better idea of what I need to learn and know, and how to practice applying them in real life situations.

The benefit of study abroad

I did my first SPA in Buenos Aires, Argentina from June 2012 to January 2013. From January 2013, I went directly to Barcelona, Spain for my second SPA until July 2013. There were so many things that I enjoyed during the SPA, from simple experiences like visiting new places to more challenging parts like taking lessons and sitting exams in Spanish. It was great to be able to catch up with my friends from these countries (Argentina and Spain) whom I had met when they had come to study at Regent’s. I got to practice my language skills, and as my proficiency increased, I was able to connect more deeply with my friends. That made me so happy.

I also got to reunite with a friend called Gonzalo – whom I met at the university (UADE) where I studied in Buenos Aires – later in London when he came to study at Regent’s.

The London experience

London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. All races and nationalities in the world gather and cohabit in London. This creates ever more exciting cultural opportunities. Naturally my curiosity for other cultures grew and I developed cultural sensitivity. I find that having cultural awareness is very useful for establishing rapport with people even when you have never been to their countries.

Apart from these practical benefits, studying in London brings prestige and international recognition in my country.

And the future?

In the near future, I would like to pursue my accounting certification from the ACCA and become a Certified Chartered Accountant. After that, I would be eager to work in an accounting firm or a governmental agency carrying out tasks that support businesses in their internationalisation and management of businesses abroad using my knowledge in international business and foreign language skills.