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[Diplomatic circuit] Polish, UK envoys encourage students to reach for their dreams

By Jo He-rim
  • Published : Aug 27, 2019 - 17:23
  • Updated : Aug 27, 2019 - 17:23

The Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy and the Young Opinion Leaders’ Knowledge Forum -- youth camps tailored for interaction with foreign diplomats, business leaders and renowned scholars -- have inspired future generations of leaders.

The event at Yonsei International Campus in Songdo, Incheon, from Aug. 2 to 4 attracted over 200 elementary, middle and high school students, providing a platform for differentiated learning, discussion and communication in English.

For the annual event, Polish Ambassador to South Korea Piotr Ostaszewski and British Embassy Economic and Prosperity Counselor Mark Buttigieg shared their experiences as diplomats and encouraged the students to reach for their dreams.

Polish Ambassador to Korea Piotr Ostaszewski speaks to students at the Young Diplomats Academy in Songdo, Incheon, on Aug. 2. (The Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy and Young Opinion Leaders’ Knowledge Forum)
British Embassy Economic and Prosperity Counselor Mark Buttigieg speaks to students at the Young Diplomats Academy in Songdo, Incheon, on Aug. 2. (The Korea Herald Young Diplomats Academy and Young Opinion Leaders’ Knowledge Forum)


As this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Poland and Korea, Ostaszewski discussed bilateral relations, highlighting the commonalities between the two countries such as their geopolitically significant locations and histories that include division.

As a diplomat who had visited Korea several times before being appointed ambassador, Ostaszewski also pointed to facets of Korean society that he found especially interesting.

“How South Koreans make a living, what are the social structures here and how they work, and the peculiarity of being a highly competitive society,” he said.

Buttigieg from the British Embassy spoke of his life and the diverse experiences that had made it possible for him to be where he is now.

After marrying a Korean woman in Gunsan, he sought a stable job to care for his family and applied for 45 jobs related to diplomacy. Before taking up his post at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he served in various positions within four other government bodies.

“Every experience is important and for those who want to be a diplomat, it is worth it to take the time to keep up with one’s career. Eventually, all experiences can be a milestone to becoming a diplomat,” he said.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)