Alumni Association in Korea

About the Alumni Association in Korea

Alumni Association in Korea, founded in 1947, celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. This makes it the oldest alumni association of a foreign university within Korea; and with more than 850 current members, one of the largest as well.

Our regular activities include our New Year’s party in January, Sports Day in June, and our yearly General Meeting followed by a year-end “Bonenkai” party in December. We also get together every other month for “Waseda Day” for activities including mountain climbing, cultural events, dinner parties and so on. In addition, for over 20 years now we have held “So-kei” golf tournaments with local Keio alums every spring and fall: our record currently stands at 20 wins and 13 losses.

As a way to record our footprints, we publish the “Waseda Korea” newsletter annually and present it to both current students and alums.

Alumni Association in Korea also manages a scholarship fund which, over the last 12 years, has sponsored approximately 256 students (with an average gift of 400,000 yen per student). In addition, we have endowed the “Geon-Hi Lee Memorial Reading Room” to Bldg #3, and a traditional Korean bell tower to the Okuma Garden.
Hyun-e Lee (Graduated 1975 MA, Graduate School of Commerce)

Sports Day in June

The attractive points of Seoul

Recent years have seen a large increase in the number of young people and foreigners strolling around areas such as the Gyeongbok Palace dressed up in traditional Korean clothing. The global success and popularity of Korean pop music and TV dramas has given rise to an increased global awareness of many different aspects of Korean culture as well. Every year Korea hosts a number of international film festivals which are regularly attended by Asia’s most famous film stars.

In addition to popular Korean dishes such as Bibimbap and Bulgogi, “Gungjung” style cuisine, which originated in the kitchens of the royal court, is an absolute must try. A typical “Gungjung” meal consists of a gorgeously presented variety of hotpot dishes, steamed courses, soups and sides laid out banquet-style on the dining table. This style of cuisine was once reserved only for Korea’s royal household, but these days even regular people are able to enjoy such luxury!

Visitors arriving in the wintertime should be sure to experience Korea’s unique “Ondol” heating system. “Ondol” involves lighting a fire underneath the floorboards, warming both the floor and the entire room in turn. Thanks to this marvelous system, rather than using a sofa or a bed many Korean people prefer to sleep in futons and eat while sitting directly on the floor, just as in Japan.

Enjoying a cozy night’s sleep on an Ondol floor after a delicious Korean meal will surely be an unforgettable memory for anyone who is able to experience it!
Eunyee Nam (Graduated 2013 BA, Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences)

The Geunjeongjeon, throne room and main audience hall of the Gyeongbok Palace

The Lotus Pond inside the Changdeok Palace

Message from the Chairperson

Although Alumni Association in Korea was founded in 1947, the first Korean graduated from Waseda about 120 years ago, and since then more than 7,000 Koreans have received diplomas from Waseda. Among these graduates, Waseda has produced a significant number of figures who have been influential in both the founding of South Korea as an independent nation as well as in its rapid industrialization and democratization thereafter.

The reasons for Waseda’s influence in Korea lie not only in numbers, but also in Waseda’s mission of encouraging independent thinking, emphasizing the spirit of progressivism and instilling a passion for overcoming challenges in its students. The fruits of such a philosophy can be seen very clearly in both our members and in our organization. Our members take a great deal of pride in being Waseda alums, perhaps even more so than most Japanese graduates!

At present, there are more than 900 Korean students who study at Waseda. According to the latest data, more than 60 percent of Korean graduates choose to work in Japan after graduation. It is my dearest hope that these graduates will contribute greatly not only to the Japanese corporations of which they are a part, but also to the internationalization of Japanese society at large. And for their part, I hope that Japanese alums, whether meeting in a private or work-related capacity, will greet and guide these Korean graduates as fellow “Wasedans”.

If you ever happen to visit Seoul, please feel free to drop by our office and say hello!
Hyun-e Lee (Graduated 1975 MA, Graduate School of Commerce)

Messages from the Members

Alumni Association in Korea represents the largest group of foreign university graduates in Korea. Its members work for a number of world famous corporations such as Lotte, Samsung, Hyosung Motors, and play a large role in the economic development of Korea as a whole. Currently we are witnessing the birth of a new generation of leaders, many of whom will certainly come through Waseda to lead the country into the 21st century. I hope that the Alumni Association here will be a source of support for such future leaders and allow them to transition smoothly into their future leadership roles.
Jeong woong Yoo (Graduated 2012 BA, School of Political Science and Economics)

I graduated from Waseda in 2015 and am currently living back in Korea. After learning about the alumni association in Korea, I joined in September of 2016. Since then, one activity that I have enjoyed in particular is the “So-kei” golf tournament. Thanks to the activities of this club, I have been able to meet many other Waseda graduates, whose acquaintance I am grateful to have. In the future I would like to help further increase the scope of our organization by inviting other friends of mine to join in our activities. Finally, I hope that I will soon have a job that will allow me to contribute more actively to the Association in the future.
Joonki Kim (Graduated 2015 BA, SILS)

Here at the Alumni Association in Korea we aim for our various monthly events to be fun not only for our members but for their families as well. We want to help our members to create new memories just as if they were back on campus together.

Due to the duties of work, family and child rearing, some of our recent graduates and other young members can’t participate in our events as often as they might like. All the same, we aim to be a source of support for them in their lives and hope that, just as all salmon eventually return upstream to their ancestral waters, we will be able to see their faces more often in the future. We’ll be waiting!
Jae Han Jeong (Graduated 2008, School of Education)

I have served as the Vice-chairperson of the Alumni Association since 2013. I think that my role and the role of the Association is primarily to help Korean Waseda alums to meet and make the most of their mutual association. It is safe to say that Waseda’s Korean graduates are an unusually smart and talented group, and thanks to them the future of our organization looks bright. Our office is located very near to Gangnam station in Seoul, so we hope you will pay us a visit the next time you are in Korea: we welcome all Waseda graduates regardless of nationality!
Byung Suk Hwang (Graduated 1995 MA, Graduate School of Economics)

A party held with currently enrolled Waseda Students

List of Overseas Branches/
Overseas Tomonkai/
Overseas Tomonkai
Branches Located in Japan

Overseas Branches
Alumni Association in China / Alumni Association in Korea / Alumni Association in Taiwan
Overseas Tomonkai
Alumni Association in China, Overseas Branch /
Bangalore Tomonkai / Bangkok Tomonkai / Beijing Tomonkai / Cambodia Tomonkai / Dalian Tomonkai / Hanoi Tomonkai / Hong Kong Tomonkai / India Tomonkai /
Jakarta Tomonkai / Kanan (South China) Tomonkai / Malaysia Tomonkai / Manila Tomonkai / Mumbai Tomonkai / Myanmar Tomonkai / Saigon Tomonkai / Seoul Tomonkai / Shanghai Tomonkai / Singapore Tomonkai / Suzhou Tomonkai / Taipei Tomonkai / Ulan Bator Tomonkai
Brisbane Tomonkai / Melbourne Tomonkai / Perth Tomonkai / Sydney Tomonkai
North America
Boston Tomonkai / Chicago Tomonkai / Georgia Tomonkai / Hawaii Tomonkai / Los Angeles Tomonkai / Michigan Tomonkai / New York Tomonkai / San Francisco Tomonkai / Seattle Tomonkai / Toronto Tomonkai / Vancouver Tomonkai / Greater Washington Tomonkai
Central and South America
Brazil Tomonkai / Chile Tomonkai / Lima Tomonkai / Mexico Tomonkai
Belgium Tomonkai / Berlin Tomonkai / Denmark Tomonkai / Dusseldorf Tomonkai /
Frankfurt Tomonkai / Geneva Tomonkai / Moscow Tomonkai / Netherlands Tomonkai / Paris Tomonkai / Stockholm Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai
Middle East
Abu Dhabi Tomonkai / Dubai Tomonkai / Qatar Tomonkai / Tehran Tomonkai
Egypt Tomonkai / Johannesburg Tomonkai / Kenya Tomonkai
Overseas Tomonkai Branches Located in Japan
Bangkok Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Beijing Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Dusseldorf Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Gaoxiong Tomonkai Alumni Association / Hanoi Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Jakarta Tomonkai Alumni Association / Los Angeles Tomonkai Japan / New York Tomonkai Tokyo Branch /
Paris Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Saigon Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Shanghai Tomonkai Tokyo Branch / Singapore Tomonkai Japanese Branch / Tokyo Brazil Tomonkai / Tokyo Hong Kong Tomonkai / Tokyo Melbourne Tomonkai / UK Tomonkai Tokyo Branch