Yonsei University, Seoul Director Fall 2011: Professor John D. Palmer, Educational Studies
Yonsei University, Seoul
Director Fall 2011: Professor John D. Palmer, Educational Studies
South Korea offers a dynamic experience for any Colgate University student due in part to its efforts to become a leader in the newly forming globalized world in which we live. South Korea is highly regarded for its rapid modernization, yet the people still hold to its traditional ways in mind and spirit. The educational goals of study abroad to Korea are multifaceted.
While the focus will be on students’ development of educational studies theory and practice from a global perspective, they will gain a fascinating socio-cultural experience that offers direct exposure to: 1) a political arena where remnants of the cold-war era left the Korean peninsula divided for over 60 years and military coups ruled the country from 1960-1992; 2) an economy that is looked to as a model for rapid post-colonial/post-war development that resulted in South Korea being referred to as “The Miracle on the Han;” 3) an educational system that is attempting to move away from “high stakes testing” in order to develop future global leaders while at the same time holding to a “tracking” system; and 4) a country where the host language is not English, yet English is used in nearly all government and social institutions, which will lead them to question the “power” and “privilege” of English around the world.
Seoul is the capital city of South Korea with a current population of over 10 million people (23 million if the satellite cities are included). Seoul is filled with traditions of old and bursting with the changes brought on by the new globalized economy. Throughout the city one can see artifacts of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) with the palaces, parks, and city gates, while at the same time have access to the burgeoning global economy throughout the financial districts. In 1988, Seoul was host to the Summer Olympics and in 2002 was co-host for the FIFA World Cup.
Yonsei University will be the host institution. Established in 1885 by Christian missionaries, Yonsei is the oldest private university in Korea. Moreover, Yonsei's International School is one of the long standing aspects of the University, which now includes the Underwood College and Graduate School of International Studies.
"Yonsei’s main campus is ensconced in a spacious, picturesque and natural setting located minutes away from the economic, political, and cultural centers of Seoul's metropolitan downtown. Yonsei has 3,500 eminent faculty members who are conducting cutting-edge research across all academic disciplines. There are 18 graduate schools, 22 colleges and 133 subsidiary institutions hosting the most selective pool of students from around the world." (http://www.yonsei.ac.kr/eng/about/overview/
Students will enroll in a three-week intensive Korean language course prior to the regular semester during the month of August. Students will be placed in a course according to their Korean language ability. Students will earn a course credit provided they have a passing grade.
Following the three-week program, students will be required to enroll in four courses. The director will provide two courses for the students (see description below). Students will then take two courses from Yonsei University, Underwood College. Yonsei University’s regular campus also offers a variety courses in English, yet these will need approval from the individual Yonsei professor. Students must enroll in at least one course on the topic of Korea or East Asia. The other course will be determined in direct consultation with the director. Students will have the opportunity to enroll in courses taught in Korean upon passing a Korean language examination.
EDUC 313 Basic Issues
Students will enroll in this advanced undergraduate course. In a seminar setting students will engage in educational theory and practice -- especially in relationship to the evolving globalized world. Leading Korean scholars will provide guest lectures that relate to Korean and East Asian educational systems.
EDUC 391 or ASIA 391 Independent Study
Students will enroll in an independent study guided by the Director. The students will enroll in either EDUC 391 or ASIA 391. Students will have the opportunity to gain field experience in a wide variety of institutions located within Seoul. For example, students interested in Educational Studies will have the opportunity to conduct service learning projects in public K-12 schools, public universities, and pre-schools. Students interested in social justice work will work with Yonsei University and their partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations. Students interested in conducting research in the region will have the opportunity to study with scholars at the Institute of Modern Korean Studies and Korean Educational Development Institute. For students more interested in community service type projects Yonsei has contact with orphanages, elderly care, and homeless shelters.
Students will have the opportunity to join any of the student groups on campus. These include a number of sports clubs, hiking, photo, just about any interest or hobby is offered. This will be a great opportunity to experience the culture of Korean university students first hand.
The students will have several opportunities to engage in both historical and present-day cultural and social activities as they tie in with taking EDUC 391/ASIA 391. Within Seoul alone there are several palaces and museums (e.g., Kyungbok Palace, National Folk Museum, Changdeok Palace and the Secret Garden, the DMZ, National Museum, the Korean War Memorial). Outside of Seoul we will have a few overnight stays to Gyeongju. We will also meet for a few social gatherings. For example, we will visit the infamous outdoor market of Namdaemun and the recently converted University Road that plays host to several theaters (live plays). There are a plethora of activities the students can also engage in on their own. The public transportation system is safe and efficient and most importantly, everything is written in English script.
It is expected that most participants will be sophomores and juniors in the fall semester of 2011. First-year students will only be considered under unusual circumstances. Students need not be Educational Studies or Asian Studies majors to apply. However, completion of either EDUC 101 or one of the following CORE Cultures courses is required of all students (CORE 165, 167, 178, or 182). Courses must be completed by the spring semester prior to departure. The criteria and timetable for selection of members will be mainly based upon the students’ maturity as well as activities that indicate the student is prepared to cross-cultural boundaries. Specifically, students will need to illustrate that they are open to new learning environments, especially environments where they may not speak the language and may be in the racial minority. Students will be required to submit a letter of application, resume, and two letters of recommendations. Students will also be interviewed by the director.
Students will stay in the international dormitory. Students will be responsible for their own meals, except for the occasional group meals on field trips and with guest lecturers. Students may eat at the student cafeteria or at many of the eateries throughout the city. Public transportation is all the students need while in Seoul. Yonsei will make transportation available to and from Incheon International Airport at a reasonable fare.
Costs above Colgate’s tuition are estimated at $1,800 for round-trip travel to Seoul, plus room and board, airfare, and necessary out-of-pocket expenses. On the average, students can expect to spend about $5,000 to $8,000 more than the cost of an ordinary on-campus semester. These increased costs are used in calculating the aid packages of students who receive financial aid, provided this is their first study group experience. Students who are planning extensive personal travel will need to increase their budget accordingly. Estimate of student expenses for the Korea Study Group
The deadline for applications has already passed.