South Korea: Peacebuilding & Contemporary Culture

Peace, Politics, and Human Rights

Explore themes of peace and conflict resolution while experiencing K-culture and traditions in South Korea.


July 4, 2018



Peace, Politics, & Human Rights


Community Service


Outdoor Activity


Temple Stay

Program Description

Begin your journey through Korea’s past and present with peacebuilding workshops and cultural immersion in Seoul. Hands-on workshops will broaden your understanding of conflict analysis and introduce skills for peace advocacy in any community.

Excursions to diverse regions will provide you with a new perspective on typical life in South Korea and the country’s modern perspective related to peace and development. You will deepen your knowledge of Korea’s socio-political development by visiting places of great historical importance and engaging with peace activists and local youth.  You will take essential Korean language classes and, throughout the program, immerse yourself in contemporary life and K-culture.

Discover daily life with a Korean family during your homestay, where you will cook bibimbap or listen to K-pop as you get to know your new host siblings. You will have the opportunity to complete a community service project alongside Korean youth. During the program’s temple stay, you will also learn about religious traditions and the art of meditation alongside Buddhist monks. You will return to Seoul to visit cultural sites such as palaces and museums, learn new moves in a K-pop dance class, 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.






July 4, 2018 - August 1, 2018 (4 weeks)

Program Fee:


(does not include airfare)
Group Airfare Cost:


Depart/Return City:

San Francisco


Seoul, 7 days


Samcheok, Jeonju or Busan*, 7-10 days

Other Accommodations:

Guest house, temple, dormitory, and hostel

Sample Itinerary

    Days 1-7

    Orientation 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 artist 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 8-11

    Culture and Activism in 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 experiences 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 13-15

    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 16-26


    • 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

    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


    Please note: 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 above.

Itinerary is subject to change.

Past Group Leaders

  • Ariana Chomitz

    Apart from three years of growing up in Indonesia, Ariana’s home base is usually Washington, DC. While she tends to prefer either warmer climes or buzzing cities, she lived quite happily for some time in neither, earning her BA in anthropology from rural Ohio’s Kenyon College in 2013.

    Ariana’s passion for cultures and international education has taken her around the world, through Europe, Asia, and South America. Since her gap year in India, she has been a full convert to the transformational wonders of hands-on education, spending two semesters overseas with SIT Study Abroad in Bali and Brazil, and then, after graduation, leading two Experiment programs to South Korea in 2013 and 2014. In the year between, she worked for the Experiment domestically, managing social media and assisting the admissions team.

    Her latest adventure in 2015 will take her to California for some much needed sunshine and to serve as an experiential educator for the Pali Institute’s science and outdoors youth programs. When not traveling or teaching, Ariana is training in dance and capoeira, writing for various online outlets, or traipsing about with a coffee in one hand and camera in the other.

  • Peter Plass

    Peter Plass was raised partly in New Jersey, somewhat in the Bahamas, and minimally in England, and has been an avid traveler ever since. His favorite part of the US is New Mexico, where he graduated from the College of Santa Fe in 2002 with a BBA in arts and entertainment management before heading off to work for a while as a cowboy. His legacy at World Learning begins with attaining his master’s degree in international education from SIT Graduate Institute in 2009 and then working professionally with the World Learning in-bound youth programs. Most recently, he has been serving as an Experiment admissions officer since 2013, and he led the summer 2014 Experiment program to Korea.

    Pete’s well-worn passport has taken him through Europe, Latin America, and Asia in roles such as science teacher in South Korea and economic development specialist for the US Peace Corps in Costa Rica. Pete enjoys the arts, being outdoors, biking, and kayaking, as well as all things goofy and geeky, from board games to Doctor Who. Ever a biology nerd, he would love to tell you why beetles are his favorite thing ever.

Student Voices

  • “Never have I ever been placed in an environment so peaceful, a place that allows you as an individual to become one with yourself. I remember watching the low lying clouds engulf the temple with a misty alacrity and thinking just how amazing it is that I am here right now, over six thousand miles away from the home I knew so well.”

    Thomas, Tuckahoe High School
  • “I really enjoyed my experience in Korea. I’ve learned a lot about how to immerse myself in new cultures and how to communicate and connect with people despite language barriers. I’ve learned these things by actually trying to communicate with Koreans and observing and interacting with Korean culture.”

Pre-departure Documents

Summer 2018

Congratulations on your upcoming Experiment summer on the South Korea: Peacebuilding & Contemporary Culture program. Visit our pre-departure page for information about our expectations, communications, and travel planning. In early 2018, our summer international information will be published in a secure page, found in the Parent Portal.

In early spring 2018, the following program-specific documents will be linked to this page:

  • Participant Handbook
  • Parent Handbook
  • Health Guidelines
  • Personal Funds Handbook
  • Accident and Sickness Insurance
  • Packing List

Many questions can be answered by reviewing these materials, but please do not hesitate to contact us if further information is required. To submit or update your domestic travel and emergency contact information, please login in to the Parent Portal.

Important Passport and Medical Information

If you do not yet have a passport, or if you have not applied for one, you should do so immediately.

If you have not had a physical with your doctor since June 2017, make an appointment as quickly as possible, as your health form must be filled out based on a current physical.

Please bookmark this web page for easy use in the future.