Spend your summer studying international politics on our Summer in Seoul – Politics & International Relations program. Kyung Hee University is steeped in history and the academic study of it. The Central Library boasts an archives room featuring materials published in North Korea and by the pro-North Korean residents’ league in Japan. It’s the perfect location to study up on the political history of one of the most contentious borders in world history. After class, students can take in the natural beauty of the “campus within a park,” gaze up at the Neoclassical and gothic buildings that feel like they’ve been borrowed from the District of Columbia, and sample foods from the on-campus eateries.
- GPA Requirement
- Application Deadlines
- Avg Course Load
- 1-2 courses (3-6 U.S. credits)
- Language(s) of Instruction
- English and Korean
Key Program Highlights
- Active student clubs, including the International Friends and Culture Club
- Calm park-like campus away from the city’s hustle and bustle
- Library archives with materials published in North Korea
- Three museums on campus
- Kyung-Hee University official transcript
Your Journey Begins Here
Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.
Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.
Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.
WHY THIS UNIVERSITY?
With three museums (a Natural History Museum, Cultural History and Antiquities Museum, and a map museum) Kyung Hee University is steeped in history – and the academic study of it. The Central Library boasts an archives room featuring materials published in North Korea and by the pro-North Korean residents’ league in Japan. It’s the perfect location to study up on the political history of one of the most contentious borders in world history.
Kyung Hee University’s values are best articulated through a description of their mascot, the Laughing Lion, and their mark, the Magnolia. To them, the Laughing Lion “embodies the human capacity for both inner ferocity and magnanimity, and the ability to overcome the self to show consideration for others.” The Magnolia, a well-known cultural symbol in South Korea due to the South Korean song “Magnolia Blossom,” symbolizes the university’s resilience, beauty, generosity, and unity.
After class, students can take in the natural beauty of the “campus within a park,” gaze up at the Neoclassical and gothic buildings that feel like they’ve been borrowed from the District of Columbia, and sample foods from the on-campus eateries (featuring korean food, hamburgers, and a bakery). To meet other students, join the cheering squad or the International Friends and Culture Club.
How to Choose Your Courses
Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page. Once you’ve decided which courses you want to take, fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.
Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.
If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.
Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.
The following courses were offered in the 2018 summer term. The list for 2019 courses will be available in February of 2019 for the Summer 2019 term. For now, please use the following as a basis for what courses will most likely be offered in the 2019 term.
What Makes Us Today: Capitalism, Desire, and Culture (syllabus not yet available)
This course will explore the basics of critical thinking and writing by introducing students to capitalism and its relationship to culture and politics. What is capitalism? We will address this over-simplistic question by engaging with the theories of Karl Marx and Jacques Lacan, and using examples from cinema and literature. Students will work through the basic concepts of critical theory and learn how to apply their knowledge to critical and creative writing.
In this course, we will explore the question of “the posthuman,” which has come to the forefront of popular culture and many academic disciplines around the destination of the human in advanced capitalist and technological societies globally. The question that we will ask is why the post human has emerged in the contemporary cultural moment to represent a future that, in some respects, has already happened–the question of how we actually (already) became post human?
This class is for students who want to learn and use Korean language. This class is designed not to be instructor-centered, but rather to be student interactive. Thus it is a hands-on class focusing on speaking activities.
Also, there is substantial use of visual materials and other media pertaining to course content so as to fully engage students cognitive abilities. In the interest of developing both students’ Korean language fluency and language accuracy, there is also thorough inclusion of grammar activities.
Is culture what we do? Or is culture who we are? Culture is everywhere. But what lies beneath the veil? Are we all, as Shakespeare writes famously, “players” on the stage of culture? If so, who is “directing” us? Like inhabitants of The Matrix, do we live without knowing it in a culture dictated by other people’s desires—what the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan calls the “desire of the Other”? In other words, are we all acting out someone else’s fantasy? How realistic is it to imagine that we could leave these desires implanted by culture behind and live in a fantasy-free world? What would such “reality” be like? Perhaps we already inhabit such a world, and just don’t know it yet. In this three week course we will journey together into the sublime unconscious of contemporary culture and politics. The course will provide an introduction to such concepts as the ego, superego, and id; pleasure and enjoyment; desire and drive; fantasy and reality; sexuality and repression; identity and alienation; language and the body; society and the individual; and the psychopathologies of everyday life. Course materials will consist in films and television, popular culture, literature (short stories), artworks, and theoretical essays.
This course examines a broad range of Korean literary and cinematic texts focusing on three intertwined themes: love, marriage, and family. Viewing these not simply as universal human experiences but also as ever-changing cultural institutions, this course will ask what roles Korean literary and cinematic texts have played in reproducing socially sanctioned modes of intimacy and at the same time in challenging and redefining them. How have Korean love stories changed from the time when marriage was in principle a family matter, presided over by the authority of the patriarchy, to the time when the mutual feeling of love has become a precondition of marriage? To what extent have Korean writers reworked modern European notions of love and home since the early twentieth centuries? How have Korean literature and film challenged heteronormative intimacy and family?
Over the last fifteen years, Hallyu — the Korean wave — has spread across Asia and, increasingly, the West. From Winter Sonata to BTS, Korean cultural contents have become increasingly visible in global mediascapes. Significant academic attention has been devoted to explaining and theorising the reasons for this global interest in Korean popular culture, as well as its future. How did Korean popular culture become a global phenomenon? What exactly do non-Korean fans find attractive about Korean popular culture? For how long will Hallyu continue, and what are its opportunities and threats? This course explores the development and socio-cultural aspects of Korean popular culture both domestically and globally, and aims to develop students’ understanding of transnational and transcultural aspects of Korean popular culture. We will explore various pop culture and content industries, ranging from K-pop, film, television, and webtoons, to Korean food, fashion and beauty. This course will investigate the economic and strategic factors underlying the growth of Korea’s cultural contents industries, and their spread beyond Korea. Additionally, we will apply key theoretical concepts in media and cultural studies to analyse and critique the production, consumption and meanings of Korean popular culture. Key themes and topics include: modernity, globalisation, postcolonialism, hybridity, nation branding and soft power, and the internet and social media.
Taekwondo is Korean traditional martial arts as well as the most representative of Korean sports. Today, it has been popularied at more than 200 countries and was first adopted as an official Olympic sport in the year 2000 at the Sydney Summer Olympics. In Taekwondo, only hands and feet are used to attack and defend without any aids of weapons.
Besides the physical aspects of the sport, it helps developing upright character and stronger mental discipline. In addition, Taekwondo helps building confidence through various techniques including kicking, sparring, self-defense etc. This course not only teaches history of Taekwondo, but also provides opportunities to improve physical health, coordination, and balance.
※ A Taekwondo suite is required for all students. More details will be provided at the first session.
Philosophy of science addresses fundamental questions about the nature of scientific knowledge. What is science? What makes it different from, or better than other systems of belief and knowledge such as religion or traditional medicine? Does scientific knowledge necessarily progress? What are the methods by which scientific theories are generated and validated? These questions may seem trivial, but you will find that deeper reflection reveals nearly insurmountable challenges in giving satisfactory answers to them. The main objective of this course is to cultivate your ability to think through these difficult issues — clearly, systematically, and critically.
History of the East Asian countries – China, Korea, and Japan – has been deeply intertwined with one another, whether politically or culturally. It goes without saying that the close connection among the three countries continues today. But each country’s modern fate in the 19th-20th centuries was anything but similar. China, which had long been the center of the East Asian world, had to experience a century long “humiliation” of foreign interventions before it finally became a socialist country; Japan swiftly transformed itself from a loosely united feudal society into a modern industrial nation-state and eventually imperialistic superpower, colonized Korea, and invaded China; and Korea’s road to modernity was informed as well as thwarted by Japanese colonial rule. What accounts for these markedly different paths the three countries walked? This course aims to introduce students to the historical backgrounds of modern trajectories of the three East Asian countries. In doing so, we begin by examining the “early modern” period of each country. Besides basic political histories of each country, issues of their social structures, traditional thoughts and beliefs, and indigenous efforts to modernize themselves will be examined as well.
This course is a broad introduction to the politics of international relations. It seeks to acquaint students with the major theories, concepts, and debates about world politics. It will begin by looking at the great theoretical debates in the field – particularly between the realist and liberal schools of thought. The topics will include: the nature of the international system and states; the rise and transformation of the international order over the centuries; the origins and consequences of war; international institutions and the problems of cooperation; the interaction of domestic politics and international politics; the role of ideas and norms about sovereignty; the rise of transnational challenges; the changing character of American hegemony; the rise of China; and the future of international politics. At the heart of this course is a grand debate over the “problem of order” in world politics. This is a debate over rival visions of world politics. How is order created and maintained in a world of sovereign states? Who commands and who benefits? Do we live in an international of laws that govern the behavior of states and peoples, or are we at least on the road to such an order? Or is all this a sham, and the reality is that we live in a state of international anarchy, where the rules are set by those with the power to make them, and states abide by them only when it is in their interest to do so? Is it a world of Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Morgenthau, or a world of Kant and Wilson? Or is it something in between? This course will explore these grand questions through a focus on theory, history, and current global policy problems.
The United Nations is the largest comprehensive international organization in human history. Pursuing international peace and security, the betterment of human life and dignity, and the preservation of the planet earth, the UN system has served as a most dynamic and useful multilateral instrument and actor in international society. This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the role of the United Nations system in global affairs, with a brief review of the concepts, evolution, contribution, and actual activities and workings of the organization. The students can acquire a broad overview about how the UN organizations are designed and work in diverse activities in dealing with various global issues, as well as how the member states, and the international community as a whole, work with and in the United Nations system.
From its early days the United Nations System has had an ever-growing partnership with NGOs and Civil Society Organizations, building on shared values enshrined in the UN Charter and in the ideals and ethics of Civil Society. Again just a few illustrations are found in the defense and promotion of human rights, responses to humanitarian needs, rescuing and rehabilitating war victims, promoting democracy and accountability, fostering the rule of law, combating trafficking and corruption, seeking disarmament and peace.
The 2018 Course will trace the 70-year history of these shared ideals and values, their ups and downs, the obstacles and achievements along the way, with reference to some of the leaders whose vision and drive have made a real difference. The Course will provide building blocks for a discussion of the opportunities that are opening up for the shared futures of the UN and Civil Society, whose cooperation and interaction must further intensify to meet the needs and challenges of today’s and tomorrow’s world. The Course can also provide ideas and pointers to students wondering whether, and how, they might embark on an international career.
How should we view North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: DPRK)? In order to answer this question, we need to study the history of the North Korean regime and the establishment of its political system and ideology. In week 1, this course will review political and military structure, and its foreign policy and relations, so that we can not only figure out North Korea’s past and present, but also predict its future from the historical-structural perspective. Existing research on North Korea focuses overwhelmingly on “hard security”, i.e., national security and foreign policies. North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile threats have been thoroughly analyzed, as well as the regime’s conventional threats. In week 2, this course aims to introduce students to the latest developments in the field that uses remote sensing information, public health data, and mirror trade statistics from China.There is more awareness and concern among the international community than ever before about the human rights violations committed in North Korea, for example, evidenced by the establishment of a UN Commission of Inquiry (CoI). However, so far, the international community has not been able to find a clear solution to the human rights problems in North Korea. In week 3, this course will review major human rights issues in North Korea and what will be an appropriate approach to enhance human rights situation in North Korea either at international, regional or domestic level. It also examines the persistent and changing attitudes of South Korean public toward the issue of reunification of the two Korea.
This course offers a challenging introduction to the main debates within the study and practice of humanitarianism, and provides students with a range of conceptual tools for understanding the politics and everyday practice of humanitarianism. We examine the work of UN agencies and international NGOs in response to armed conflict, famine, and natural disasters. We discuss how politics and principles interact to shape the priorities, practice and outcomes of humanitarian response in countries like Haiti, Afghanistan and Syria. Does the massive expansion of the humanitarian sector suggest the world is becoming more compassionate and civilized? How do the political interests of donor governments drive humanitarian priorities? Does aid do more harm than good? How does humanitarian aid differ from human rights or development work? Should humanitarian action be political? How does law protect in war? The course will grapple with these, and other, important questions regarding the ethics, law, politics and practice of humanitarianism. Each class is divided into two parts. In the first half of the class, we discuss a case study focused on the international response to a particular humanitarian emergency. In the second half of the class, we turn to a more general theme or topic. Wherever possible, the case study humanitarian emergencies have been chosen as particularly pertinent or interesting examples of the issues and debates in the general topic covered in the second half of the class.
The purpose of the course is for students to acquire the foundational tools necessary to think critically about counterintelligence. This should appeal to students of international relations, history, economics, and business as it will assess the past, current, and future role of counterintelligence in confronting threats to the nation’s physical security and economic competitiveness. This course will address the conceptual and practical issues in the practice of counterintelligence as it relates to the work of the intelligence community, national defense, economic competitiveness, and foreign policy decision-making. We will explore recurrent and prominent themes of intelligence failures, the trade-offs and calculations of a strong CI infrastructure as it relates to ethics, democracy and national power and prestige. We will examine numerous historical cases that shape our understanding of the subject. Students will gain an appreciation of how the intelligence function and counterintelligence required to protect a nation’s secrets has been utilized by government, specifically: its structure, analytical processes, organizational culture, ethical issues that shape legal and policy constraints on the intelligence community. This class is, in essence, a primer on the diverse array of counterintelligence applications – within and beyond the government domain.
This course deals with the new stage of modern China that was reached in the endeavors of successive Chinese elites to meet domestic problems inherited from the late imperialist era and to respond to the century-old challenge posed by the indu-strialized western world, from 1949 to present. It carries a guiding assumption that the complex, often bewildering events at home and abroad of the contemporary China are always evolving out of the Chinese state’s continuing efforts to pursue for independence, modernity, rejuvenation and the complex relations between P.R. China and other international actors around the world. The foreign model of revolution and nation-building fitted the Chinese situation sometimes superficially, sometimes more fundamentally. The Chinese state domestic and foreign behaviors in their contemporary guise are end products of a largely separated evolution, comparable but not at all identical with that of the West. By the end of this course, students will be able to identify the key stages of Chinese political, economic and social developments since 1949 and their implications on world politics; to interpret landmark Chinese domestic and foreign behaviors in the political and cultural context of its period; to apply their established knowledge about modernization theories to contemporary China studies; to evaluate, in light of the context, whether the Chinese leadership did the right thing (and for whom); to assess the future trends and challenges that P.R. China face in a world full of uncertainty and ambiguity.
Creativity and innovation are the hallmarks of success and what employers are looking for in hiring new employees. Everyone wishes to be creative and innovative but it seems difficult and illusive. This seminar will engage students in studying and researching an interesting and exciting phenomenon in the world of nonprofit (nongovernmental) organizations (NGOs); how are these organizations become innovative? Who are the people that make them innovative? While innovation requires creativity; it is the process of innovation that leads to transformation and success. This seminar will demystify the process of innovation and will help students understand innovation and be able to undertake their own innovation when time will come.
Take one look at the smog that hangs over the former Olympic host city Beijing and it becomes abundantly clear—globalization and economic expansion come at a price. Resource depletion, worker exploitation, pollution and corruption—this is the dark underbelly of globalization that has raised alarm bells around the world. Thankfully, more and more individuals and organizations are waking up to the social, environmental and ethical costs of a global marketplace and are making a sound business case for a new era of moral capitalism. Leading the way in this regard is the United Nations with its groundbreaking Global Compact initiative. Launched in 2000, the UN Global Compact (UNGC) as of January 2016 had more than 12,800 participants—including 8,300 businesses and 4,500 non-business participants in 150 countries around the world—making it the world’s largest voluntary corporate social responsibility project. The course will explore the meaning of sustainable development and how it might be realized through the UNGC and leaders in the public and private sectors.
This course will provide students with a theoretical and practical framework to understand why individuals across the world either donate money or time or both. Students will consider the what social, cultural and religious norms support philanthropy and their role in a historical context leading up to the present day, for different national contexts.
In addition, we will explore the role of government support, earned revenue, corporate philanthropy and private philanthropy in nonprofit management and fundraising when contextualizing philanthropy. Through visits to local corporate foundations and NGOS, students will gain practical knowledge about how these support systems are utilized and accessed.
Along with the growing threat of global warming and environmental degradation, the growing divide between the economic power of the globe’s most wealthy citizens and everyone else is one of the most important threats to the sustainable economic and social development. The purpose of this course is to consider the politics of economic inequality and redistribution within contemporary advanced industrialized democratic states. Some decades ago, political scientists began to refer to political contestations over the distribution of social resources as ‘old politics,’ with the implicit suggestion that new political cleavages were slowly replacing concerns rendered less important or irrelevant by the economic progress of the world’s most productive economies. Given the gradual decline in the rates of per-capita economic output and increasing levels of economic inequality that have characterized these states’ economic development, however, it seems unsurprising that distributional—and redistributional—issues and public policies have once again reemerged as critical arenas of political competition. In this sense, the primary subject of this course is ‘new old politics’: the reemergence of the salience of political cleavages between those who have more and those who have less.
Life in Seoul
Welcome and Orientation
Upon arrival, you’ll take part in both the university and CISabroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “dos and don’ts” of living in Seoul, South Korea. What will your site director cover? Where to go to enjoy some social, cultural and recreational activities, how to stay safe, and where to shop are just a few topics. Oh, and there’ll be a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy, as Korean cuisine is known to be one of the best in the world!
Farewell and Re-entry Program
Though you’re not an astronaut returning from space, re-entering your home culture after being abroad can be shocking to the system. We’ll walk you through some of the things to expect, rehash your time abroad so that you can remember the highlights and, yep, we’ll feed you one last delicious Korean meal before you go!
Live in on-campus apartments, fully furnished with single bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms. Shared kitchen and living areas, linens, and 24-hour security are also included.
- Outdoor Parks: Walk over the pedestrian-only bridge on your way to Seonyudo Park, an island on the Hangang River that was formerly an industrial water treatment plant, but is now home to the Hangang History Museum and Botanical Gardens.
- Cooking Class: Food is a huge staple in Korean culture - everything revolves around it. Learn to cook and then eat like a local.
- Local Cultural Festivals: No shortage of celebration here! Seoul boasts the Lotus Lantern Festival, the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival, the Seoul International Fireworks Festival, and the Seoul Kimchi Making & Sharing Festival, among many more.
- Learn to write Hangul: Hangul is the official written language of both South and North Korea, and is touted as the simplest language systems in the world. If you already don’t know it, see how quickly you can pick it up!
- Visual & Performance Art: Take a selfie in the wildly colorful Ihwa Mural Village, a revitalized artist neighborhood adorned with murals and filled with galleries, cafes. After, check out these gems within walking distance: Lock Museum, Ihwa-dong Village Museum, and Blacksmith Museum.
More About Seoul
South Korea has everything: the longest subway system in the world, one of the most efficient writing systems, large and abundant forests, AND the world’s fastest internet connections (Take that, Netflix lag!). Seoul is a “dynamic city” that, according to Lonely Planet, “mashes up palaces, temples, cutting-edge design and mountain trails, all to a nonstop K-Pop beat.”
Still have stars in your eyes from the 2018 Olympics opening ceremony? You’re in luck! Just a 2-hour train ride from Pyeongchang, Seoul is the 9th most visited city in the world and the 4th largest earner in tourism. The metropolitan area around Seoul contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine, Namhansanseong and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.
While participating on a CISabroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Bamdokkaebi Night Market
Discover unique and experimental treats made by creative young chefs at this food truck market, open only two nights per week at Yeouido Hangang Park. At night, traditional and modern cultural performances are held against the backdrop of the Han River. Learn about one-of-a-kind handmade items created by artists and designers in a nearby cute shopping street packed with tents.
Take in a masterful performance at this award-winning theatre with a rich history. Jeongdong Theatre regularly hosts free performances and produces a number of traditional nonverbal musicals, full of fast, energetic music and powerful dance. Arrive early? Browse the nearby National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art to get yourself in the creative zone.
Namhansanseong Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Located on Namhansan Mountain, this fortress was originally built during the Goguryeo period about 2,000 years ago and after many renovations, it became a designated UNESCO World Heritage site in 2014. Choose your level of difficulty with five courses to walk along the fortress, which showcases amazing views of the mountain during all seasons of the year. Climb to the highest peak, Iljangsan, for a wonderful view of Seoul.
“I have made several Korean friends who have introduced me to their country through music, food, popular culture, politics, and history, all of which intrigued me.”
Your Support Staff
Travel Tip: Expect the unexpected! Sometimes culture shock is stronger in countries where you expect things to be more similar to your home country and environment. Traveling abroad is an excellent way to learn more about your own culture, habits, style, and adaptability.
Travel Tip: We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us be it through a phone call, email or personal visit, you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.
ArrivalJune 26 (Estimated)DepartureJuly 26 (Estimated)PRICE$3,990
CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.
SAVE $250 off our 2019 South Korea summer program with the promo code SOUTHKOREA on your application.
Consider getting a headstart on your experience in Asia with two weeks of Japanese language or culture on our Summer in Asia – Japan & South Korea program.
As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.
Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:
- Full-time tuition and fees
- Academic advising
- Medical and accident insurance
- CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
- Financial aid counseling
- Assistance with travel arrangements
- Pre-departure orientation
- Airport pickup
- CISabroad on-site orientation
- On-site support
- Seoul Walking Tour
- Day trip to the DMZ and one or more overnight excursions
- NYTimes Digital Subscription
- La Vida Local cultural program
- Kyung-Hee University official transcript