Study abroad with Penn State—in South Korea
The "Korean wave" heavily influences today's college students, encompassing music, videos, cuisine, and traditional herbal remedies. Our embedded travel program immerses students in South Korea's rich tapestry, from ancient villages and UNESCO sites to bustling metropolises.
As a student in Plants, People, and Places, you will:
- Students study rice's pivotal role in Asian civilizations. In Korea, they'll experience sustainable rice cultivation spanning millennia and engage in making traditional dishes like bibimbop and kimchi.
- Learning about the Silk Routes' impact on cultural exchange, students in Gyeongju will discover Buddhism's introduction via the Silk Road, visiting a UNESCO site displaying ancient Buddha statues. At Yangdong folk village, they'll uncover five central Confucian principles and observe how these values influenced village design.
- Classroom teachings on plants' cross-cultural uses lead to hands-on experiences in Korea. Students will explore the making of Korean rice wine, hanji paper production from trees and sap, the use of ginseng and gingko in Hanbang (traditional medicine), and the significance of tea in Korean society.
- Addressing the global decline in biodiversity, a trip to the DMZ offers insights into one of the world's unique "rewilded" zones, untouched by human activity.
- Students will note South Korea's investment in popular culture, especially in Busan, aiming to augment its global cultural influence.
Throughout the journey, you will engage in discussions and reflective journaling. By the semester's end, you will present a project on plants central to Korean culture, like rice or tea.
Travel Itinerary (subject to change)
- Day 1 Overnight flight to Seoul.
- Day 2 Arrival in Seoul
- Day 3 Journey from Seoul to Jeonju, a UNESCO Creative Gastronomy City
- Kimchi and bibimbap cooking class, Traditional Wine Museum visit, and exploration of hanji paper-making at the Paper Museum
- Day 4 Head to Gyeongju, Korea's ancient capital
- Yangdong Folk Village, Cheomseongdae Observatory (Asia's oldest), and the Anapji Pond within Gyeongju National Park.
- Day 5 Visit Bulguska Temple, Seokguram Grotto, Gyeongju National Museum, and Bomun Lake.
- Day 6 Travel to Busan, the K-pop culture hub
- Yongdusan Park exploration, Daejeo Ecological Park tour, visits to Jagalchi fish and Kukje markets, and university student interactions
- Day 7 Return to Seoul via KTX train
- Explore Insadong Cultural Street, Cheonggyecheon Stream Canal, Namsan Hanok Village, and ascend N Seoul Tower.
- Day 8 DMZ tour: observation from Dora Observatory, 3rd Infiltration Tunnel, and Peace Nuri Park.
- Day 9 Departure to Philadelphia
International program costs, estimated at $2,500–$3,500 (subject to change), will be applied to your bursar account upon enrollment in the course, and are charged in addition to tuition paid. Grants and scholarship monies may be retroactively available through Penn State. Underwriting for each program is provided by Penn State Abington to maximize opportunities for our students to study abroad. Program costs include round-trip airfare, local ground transportation, all lodging, and some meals.
Non-U.S. citizens may require a visa in addition to their passport. Non-U.S. citizens should consult their embassy for information and may ask the Office of Global Programs for guidance.
About Embedded Courses
Traditionally, “study abroad” meant that students spent a semester in another country and attended classes at an accredited university. Short-term, faculty-led courses with an international travel component are viable alternatives as they offer solid academic international experiences at a reasonable cost with a reduced time commitment.
Students who are enrolled in a course within a faculty-led embedded course are taking an internationally focused class that includes a ten-day travel component. These study abroad programs are anchored on Penn State Abington’s campus with travel occurring over fall or spring break. Course material and lectures prepare students both academically and culturally for the short international excursion to the country of focus in the program.
Penn State Abington is committed to providing meaningful opportunities to study abroad. Exposure to other cultures is a vital step toward becoming a global citizen.
The goal of the courses with an international travel component is to embed the students into the life and culture of the university and the country they visit. Therefore, including international faculty and students at the host institution in academic and cultural activities is a highly regarded and critical component of all of Abington’s faculty-led programs.