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So Jin Park – University of Reading

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  • So Jin Park

    Literature from Reading to Seoul

So Jin Park

Sojin parkSo Jin Park is an alumna of the Department of English Literature at Reading, and now works as an Associate Professor at The School of English in Sookmyung Women's University in Seoul. She is also the director of the Research Institute of Asian Women, which was founded in 1960 and was the first women-related research institute in Korea.


Her interest in English Literature stems from her teenage years, and she found it a fascinating area due to the potential for research and the opportunity to challenge and develop assumptions.

An international search for the right course

So Jin's curiosity into English Literature led her to the decision to study an MA in Children's Literature. Whilst searching for the perfect course, she cast her net internationally, looking  in multiple locations including the United States.

Then, she learned of the Graduate Centre for International Research in Childhood: Literature, Culture, Media (CIRCL) course at Reading, and changed her decision.

"The CIRCL course is a unique and very special program, through which students can understand critical perspectives and develop the deep-thinking ability, not only regarding children's literature but also in one's general attitude concerning academic matters."

Drawn to Reading

The opportunity to study with specific staff on the CIRCL course cemented So Jin's choice, as she knew that her MA Children's Literature would be an eye-opening and deeply intellectual experience.

"It was absolutely critical for me to choose the MA course in The University of Reading. In particular, Professor Karin Lesnik-Oberstein and Doctor Sue Walsh were really helpful in that they sharpened my thinking ability and opened my eyes to understand children's literature. Both these ladies were kind, patient and open-minded. [Their] ways of reading children's literature in a critical manner, were absolutely inspiring to me, and it was helpful for me to approach texts in a very different way.

As a student who grew up in Asian culture, it was a precious experience to learn what academic discussion and debate can be."

A beautiful and relaxing STUDY environment

As an international student, So Jin really appreciated the closeness of Reading to London. She also notes the beautiful campus as one of its most inviting qualities and a main reason for choosing to study here.

"Reading is a good location, and living there is relatively comfortable and safe. I liked the diversity of Reading too, in terms of  friends and students."

 "Being near London allows foreign students to visit the city easily and experience the many cultural resources there."

 Opening doors to a bright future

So Jin believes that her Master's experience at the University of Reading has been a catalyst of her achievements and has assisted her in her current role, where she thrives.

"I am confident that without my master's degree, it would have been difficult to complete my PhD course. The critical ability and the way of reading texts that I learned from the CIRCL course were crucial for my academic success as a PhD student.

While I am working with my students, I often feel that the CIRCL faculty members' openness, enthusiasm, professional ability and kindness inspired me a lot!"

" I am always thankful that I could have an opportunity to study the MA in Reading."

So Jin recommends the CIRCL MA Children's Literature to future graduates.

"If you are interested in serious academic study in children's literature, the CIRCL course is definitely for you. At Reading University, the campus and city life is very enjoyable!"

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