South Korea

K-Culture & Peacebuilding

Explore themes of peace and conflict resolution while experiencing South Korea’s distinct blend of modern K-pop culture and ancient traditions.

  • Certificate

  • Language

  • Peace, Politics, & Human Rights

WHY EXPLORE PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN SOUTH KOREA?

Begin your journey through South Korea’s past and present in Seoul, a leading and modern global city. You will visit places of great historical importance, such as the 14th-century royal palaces of the Joseon Dynasty, then deepen your understanding of the country’s split with North Korea through an excursion to the DMZ. Hands-on peacebuilding workshops will broaden your understanding of conflict analysis and introduce skills for peace advocacy in any community. Meanwhile, you’ll also immerse yourself in South Korea’s contemporary culture, learning some new moves during a K-pop dance class in the breakdancing capital of the world.

Travel to diverse regions to gain new perspectives on typical life in South Korea as you continue to explore topics of peace and development. Interact with Korean youth to discuss peace on the peninsula and learn about their daily lives and perspectives, from K-culture to Reunification. Engage with local activists and develop peace sensitivity while sharing your thoughts with your peers and local students. Take basic Korean language classes while continuing to immerse yourself in contemporary life; then go from modern to ancient as you spend the night in a Buddhist temple to learn about religious traditions and the art of meditation from Buddhist monks.

Experience daily life with a Korean family during your homestay and try out different flavor combinations during dinner, which can be something of a feast. You’ll also complete a community service project alongside Korean students. Return to Seoul to visit cultural sites such as Seoul Tower, enjoy a traditional theater performance, and reflect on your journey with your group.

At the conclusion of this program, each participant will earn a community service certificate noting the number of hours of community service completed.

LEARN BY DOING

The Experiment’s programs are designed to build skills that will help you succeed. In South Korea, you will learn:

Technical Skills

  • Korean language
  • Community service certificate  

Interpersonal Skills

  • Intercultural communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Adaptability
  • Relationship-building  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

  • Temperatures and humidity can be high in South Korea during the summer.
  • Come prepared with clothing that is modest and culturally appropriate yet will keep you cool, i.e., during the overnight stay in a Buddhist temple.
  • Explore urban life by foot (lots of walking!).
  • Meat and fish are staples in South Korean cuisine; students following a vegan diet need to be aware that most food is cooked in meat or fish broth. Buddhist temple food is usually vegan/vegetarian.
  • Access to the internet is limited and internet speeds and connectivity vary.
  • South Korea is a conservative country regarding LGBTQ+ issues. We encourage students to approach the program staff for support on gender and sexuality questions and concerns.
  • The diverse personal and social identities of participants may, in part, shape their experience abroad. In-country partners will discuss cultural norms and the local context during orientation. Please read our approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for further information. All students will have a safe space within the program spaces and with the local staff and group leaders.

AT A GLANCE

Program Availability

Filling

Program Date

Jul 1 - Jul 29

Prerequisite

None

Program Fee

TBD

Group Airfare Cost

TBD

WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Certificate of completion
  • Lodging
  • Meals
  • All program activities
  • In-country transportation
  • Health insurance
  • Experienced group leaders
From visiting the Blue House Museum, to the Demilitarized Zone, to a Buddhist temple stay, each experience was immersive and spectacular. My experience in South Korea was simply unforgettable, and I'll always be grateful for this opportunity to experience and learn about peacebuilding.

Sample Itinerary

This itinerary is only a sample and is subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and availability of in-country offerings such as festivals, your experience — including sites visited and the number of days spent in each location — may differ somewhat from the one presented below.

View Itinerary Details

Days 1-8

Orientation and Thematic Exploration in Seoul

  • Learn about the history and social-political development of Korea and explore contemporary generational perspectives of the country.
  • Get to know other members of your group during activities and group discussions.
  • Visit famous sites and museums on a scavenger hunt throughout the city.
  • Explore a mix of historic and contemporary neighborhoods, sample Korean cuisine at traditional Korean markets, and engage with local artists who will discuss their work.
  • Begin survival Korean language lessons and practice your skills.
  • Visit the DMZ including the peace train, the infiltration tunnels, the Unification Platform, and see North Korea from an observation deck.
  • Interact with Korean university students as they accompany you on some activities.
  • Participate in peacebuilding workshops and activities that discuss issues of conflict in Korea, colonization, and the current relationship between North and South.

During the orientation period, you and your group will stay in a centrally located guest house.

Days 9-10

 Cultural Exploration & Community Service in Goyang  

  • Visit historical sites of Goyang.
  • Participate in peacebuilding workshops.
  • Complete a community service project.

Days 11-13

Gwangju

  • Learn about traditional Korean culture through martial arts and music experiences.
  • Eat unique Korean foods at the night market, and browse the local art and crafts.
  • Get a unique hands-on art experience with local street artists.
  • Visit museums and speak with local activists working on diverse social justice issues.

During this period, you and your group will stay at a guesthouse.

Days 14-18

Buddhist Temple Stay

  • Learn about Buddhism and Buddhist religious traditions.
  • Live, work, and meditate with the temple’s monks.
  • Participate in a bowing tradition, lotus lantern making activity, Dahdoh Tea Ceremony, and meditation.
  • Discuss the influence of religion in conflict and peacebuilding.

During this period, you and your group will stay at a Buddhist temple.

Days 19-26

Homestay

  • Become fully immersed in the daily life of a Korean family and community.
  • Go on excursions or do activities with your host family.
  • Explore your host community and soak up the scenery with your group.
  • Participate in cultural activities to learn more about Korean culture and traditions.
  • Complete a community service project alongside Korean youth.
  • Participate in a Peace Workshop and create a related project with Korean youth.

During this period, you will stay in the home of a family. Sample host communities: Samcheok, Busa, Jeonju, Goyang

Days 27-28

Program Reflection and Wrap-up in Seoul

  • Reflect with your group on your experiences during the program.

During the reflection period, you and your group will stay in a centrally-located hostel.

Day 29

Departure

Experienced Group Leaders

The Experiment’s group leaders go through a rigorous selection process and have extensive experience with youth education, local expertise in the country or region of their program, language abilities, knowledge in their program theme, travel logistics and management know-how, and experience with health, safety and risk management.

LEADER HIGHLIGHT

Christina Solinger

Hometown: Minnesota
Education: University of Minnesota
Experience in: South Korea

View Full Bio

Christina grew up in Minnesota and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in school counseling from the University of Minnesota. Her love for travel was sparked during a global travel program through her college alma mater, St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. During this trip, Christina explored Egypt, India, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. During this trip and in college, she was involved in numerous cultural psychology, global religion, history, and sociology classes and is passionate about using travel and experiential learning as a platform for leadership development. Christina has numerous years of professional experience working with youth through her roles as the education director for a nonprofit youth arts organization and as a camp manager for a summer camp in Minnesota. She is so excited to lead students across the world in this life-changing program!

Program experts

Experiment programs are led by accomplished and experienced faculty and staff who typically live in the country of study. Program leaders are responsible for instructional content, classroom and field experiences, and daily program operations.

Yonghan Kim

Yonghan Kim has been engaged in intercultural understanding and training for 20 years as a facilitator and trainer. In cooperation with local nongovernmental organizations and governments, he has organized more than 200 projects to help broaden the perspectives and thinking of international youth. He designs workshops and programs based on his belief in the power of non-formal education.