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A warm welcome in South Korea and Japan

The Alumni Engagement team, in the company of Professor Chris Breward, Principal of Edinburgh College of Art, travelled to Seoul and Tokyo to reconnect with our graduates and develop fresh links and new friendships.

A warm welcome in South Korea and Japan

The visit was an opportunity to meet potential University partners in the region and host receptions for our growing numbers of alumni in South Korea and Japan.

Starstruck in Seoul

An extremely welcoming crowd of 60 graduates, friends, and prospecive students, joined us at the Sheraton D Cube hotel in southwest Seoul for our first alumni reception.

Professor Chris Breward raised the curtain on the event by evoking nostaligic Edinburgh memories and feelings of pride for our graduates, and a sense of expectation for those considering pursing their education at Edinburgh.

Mr Andrew Dalgleish, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy in Seoul, followed with praise for the University's dynamism in promoting the mutual benefits of good alumni networks.

Our alumni were also joined by notable attendees including Mr Sangkoo Yun, the son of former President Mr Yun Posun, who graduated from Edinburgh in 1930 and Mr Choong Hwan-Kim, who graduated in 1965, and was Director-General of the Organising Committee for the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.

Local news

Enjoyment and recognition of the event was not limited to those in attendance as there was, thanks to our friends at the Embassy, also significant coverage in the local press.

Coverage on Naver (Korean language)

Lost and found in Tokyo

Our second reception followed in the footsteps of Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, as 85 alumni joined us at the Park Hyatt, Tokyo - the setting for the 2003 film Lost in Translation.

The mood was again one of nostalgia and pride with particular excitement evoked by photographs of the refurbished Old College quad.

The transformation especially resonated with those graduates whose exams in this iconic venue were accompanied by views of gravel and parked cars.

Old College quad then and now

The highlight of the event was, however, much more personal, as it provided the setting for an unexpected reunion for two of our alumni who had not been in touch for 36 years.

Just the beginning

Thank you to everyone who attended our events, especially to those who volunteered time and local knowledge.

We plan to return to the region annually - safe in the knowledge that South Korea and Japan are home to vibrant and evolving alumni networks.