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A conversation with Wang Yili, one of Busan’s honorary citizens

증명사진-왕의립 1

Daily Busan interviewed honorary citizen Wang Yili. He spoke about his life in Busan and shared his perspective on Busan’s ambitious English-Friendly City initiative.

Q. Please introduce yourself to Daily Busan subscribers. 

I am Wang Yili from Tsingtao, China. I consider Busan as my second hometown. I am the 270th honorary citizen of Busan.

Q. How long have you been living in Busan?

For the last 19 years, almost half of my entire life, I have lived in Korea, which is known as the country of courteous people in the East. I first came here in 2008 as an international student.

Q. Could you tell me about your life in Busan?

For me, Busan is a city of luck and happiness. I was lucky enough to get a job right after I graduated from Busan University of Foreign Studies. I started my career as a contract employee in the Office of International Affairs and later became a permanent employee. 

I mainly worked on international student admissions and management. Whenever delegations from high schools and universities in China visited Busan, I guided them to tourist spots such as the Busan Museum, Nurimaru and Songdo Air Cruise to promote the city. For me, no other city can compete with Busan in terms of life satisfaction. That’s why I settled down here with my family.

Q. What are the good parts of living in Busan? 

Busan, a global hub city, is comparable to Seoul in many aspects of life, culture and education. Prices are relatively low, and the weather is mild and nice throughout the calendar. That’s why tourists and students from overseas visit and live here. I have always highly recommended Busan to my foreign friends as the best city in which to live.

Q. What is your job at BUFS?

From March 2012 to December 2023, I worked in the Office of International Affairs. I oversaw international student admissions and exchange and cooperation programs with China.

This year, I transferred to the Graduate School Academic Affairs Department. I am in charge of academic administration, graduation procedures and ceremonies for about 600 graduate students.

Q. Busan is becoming more global than in the past. Do you have any ideas about how to make Busan more global? 

Although Busan was not selected to host the World Expo 2030, I think the application process was really meaningful as central and local governments, organizations, the Busan Global City Foundation and citizens worked together toward one goal.

We successfully promoted Busan's vision, allure and future worldwide. As a member of the Busan Foreign Residents Representatives, Busan Foreign Resident Advisory Council and EXPO Friends, I actively participated in missions to promote Busan. I strongly believe the city should continue to promote itself worldwide.

Q. Busan is currently implementing the English-Friendly City policy. Please share your opinions about it.

I served as a member of the Civil Activists to promote the Busan English-Friendly City policy. I believe that the initiative is a prerequisite for being a global city. To establish Busan’s reputation as a city where international students can study and live without language barriers, I think each university should open more courses delivered in English.


For example, BUFS offers English-only classes in Global Business Administration (GBA) and the Electronics and Artificial Intelligence Convergence major. Thus, I hope the city implements more support for those universities that offer English-based curricula.

Q. As a foreign resident, do you have any recommendations for enhancing the city's appeal or amenities?

I hope the city implements settlement support policies for Busan’s international residents. As far as I know, City Hall and the Busan Global City Foundation have offered summer internship programs to international students since 2013. By doing so, international students' satisfaction will increase, which will naturally lead them to work and live here much longer. I wish the city and its affiliates focused on policies related to international students studying, working and living in Busan.

<Today's Vocabulary - 오늘의 단어>

courteous: 정중한 delegation:대표단 comparable:비교할만한 allure: 매력 affiliate: 부속 기관

Editor: Song Soomi

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