This maymester study abroad program explores one of the world's largest and most technically advanced cities, while also taking students into remote traditional Korean communities, including mountain hikes to shaman sites and overnight stays at traditional Confucian villas. By exploring the palaces, temples, and coastal communities of traditional Korea, students will encounter the challenges involved in transitioning from traditional life to becoming a global economic powerhouse. We will explore the legacy of the Korean War and the process by which a devastated country rose to experience the most rapid urbanization project in world history.

Students will explore these themes against a backdrop of Korean traditional, Confucian culture, examining the ways in which traditional culture continues to shape Korean life and the ways in which globalization dynamics are uprooting traditional culture and with what consequences. Field explorations to traditional Korean communities along the northeastern coast, in the Gyeongju area, and at a Buddhist mountain temple will allow us a first-hand look at Korean traditional culture. We will also explore the importance of the Korean War in shaping current Korean dynamics.