For the first time in the university’s history, a student from Korea has obtained a bachelor's degree at the University of Latvia (UL), reports the TV3 news programme "900 sekundes".

Several years ago, the young man briefly visited Latvia for the first time, just passing through. The quick impression proved strong enough to return to Latvia and start his studies.

In addition to his studies at the University of Latvia, twenty-three-year-old Korean Hwije Im is actively creating content on social networks. He has created a "Youtube" channel in Korean language, which tells about Latvia to foreign viewers.

Hwije travelled extensively before commencing his studies, and visited the Baltic states, including Latvia in one of his travels.

“I have visited more than 50 countries and travelled through Latvia. As soon as I arrived here, Latvia enchanted me and I decided to return here,” says UL student from Korea Hwije Im.

Hwije Im chose to study at the University of Latvia Faculty of Business, Management and Economics. After joining, he went to university administration to find out about other Korean students at the university whom he wanted to meet. However, it turned out that Hwije was the first UL student from Korea.

"Since I am the first, I must give my best. And later, to help the next Korean students to settle in,” he said.
Hwije has travelled a lot around Latvia. His videos attracted the interest of Korean television, which even created a series about Latvia. Since then, far more Koreans know about Latvia.

In Korea, there is a "googleCM" counterpart "Neiver", and at the time of broadcasts about Latvia, the name of our country was the most searched word in Korea on the Internet.

The Korean student also dedicated his bachelor's thesis to Latvia. His chosen topic was related to rural tourism development methods in Latvia. Annija Apsīte, the supervisor of his bachelor's thesis, points out that the quality of the work confirms – the nature of Latvia is the particular interest of the young Korean.

Annija Apsīte notes: “It is a welcome experience, in my opinion, the best bachelor's theses are achieved by those students who like the topic, who are really interested in the selected topic. I usually try to encourage young people to follow their interest, and this is the case here”. 

Hwije will continue his studies to obtain a master's degree. However, after the next academic year, he will be compelled to take a two-year break. In Korea, men have compulsory military service, and Hwije says he wants to complete the service at a younger age to have a better physical endurance. However, after the army, he will return to Latvia again.
The University of Latvia notes occasional enrolment of students from Mexico and South America. Most Asian students come from India and Uzbekistan.

The studies are conducted in English, however, choosing to write a thesis about Latvia, foreign students must bear in mind that many materials are available solely in Latvian.