Hanna Song (class of 2015)

hanna song

Major: Politics, Psychology and International Development

Further education: I am planning to start a Master's Programme in September 2020 either in International Affairs or in Public Policy.

Current occupation: I am currently working as a researcher in a Seoul-based NGO which investigates human rights violations in North Korea.

What do you like most about your current job? 

Working on issues related to North Korea, which is the most closed-off country in the world, is difficult. As a researcher unable to conduct research in North Korea itself, I meet with North Korean defectors who have resettled in South Korea. I have met over 300 North Korean defectors and their stories of survival, escape and freedom will never get old. I am so grateful I am able to work with such powerful people every day and help them raise up their voices to share their stories.

How did University College Utrecht prepare you for your life after the college?

A holistic approach is needed when doing human rights work. University College Utrecht's liberal arts education allowed me to see the same issue through different academic lenses and the international community allowed me then to see that issue through different regional and cultural lenses. As a researcher who is also responsible for briefing diplomats, foreign correspondents and other members of the international community on major human rights issues in North Korea I need to be able to frame these issues in the right way. My University College Utrecht education has been invaluable in preparing me for this.

What is your best memory of University College Utrecht? 

The field trip and internship I took part in through the UCU East Africa programme was not just an unforgettable experience, but it also shaped my career path to work in an NGO and continue my interest in international affairs.

Do you have any advice for current and future students? 

Make use of the resources that are provided outside the classroom: committees, off-campus lectures and your tutors.