South Korea: Peacebuilding & Modern Culture

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Begin your journey with peacebuilding workshops and immersion in Seoul. Hands-on seminars will introduce skills for peace advocacy.

Excursions to diverse regions will provide new perspectives on typical life in South Korea and the country’s modern perspective related to peace and development. Deepen your knowledge of Korea’s socio-political development by visiting places of historical importance and engaging with peace activists. Take Korean classes and 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 with your new host siblings. Complete a community service project alongside Korean youth. During the program’s temple stay, learn about religious traditions and the art of meditation alongside Buddhist monks.

Return to Seoul to visit sites such as palaces and museums, learn new moves in a K-pop dance class, and reflect on your journey.

  • Peace, Politics & Human Rights
  • Social Change
  • Community Service
  • Language
  • Homestay

Questions & Answers

Hi Maricela, Thank you for your interest in our South Korea: Peacebuilding & Modern Culture program. Yes! All high school students can apply for our programs – the only requirement is that the student needs to have completed 9th grade prior to the start of the program. In regards to your question about cost, the program fee for South Korea is $6,720 plus the cost of the international flight from...


based on 4 reviews
  • Growth 7.3
  • Support 7.5
  • Fun 8
  • Housing 6.8
  • Safety 7.8
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Wonderful Time

The South Korea program was such an exciting trip and experience. The culture in the country is something I have never experienced. To learn about how this small country went from being so poor to now thriving and a technologically advanced was mind blowing. The trip showed me that old traditions and new modern trends can come together beautifully. The Korea trip is in the summer so it gets quiet hot so i recommend packing light clothes and keeping water on you at all times. It was supposed to be their rainy season but it barely rained. Coming home from the trip I hope to tell my experience to whoever will listen in hope to spread the idea that there is a whole world out there beside our country worth learning about.

How can this program be improved?
As much as i love going to museums, we went to so many. It felt like every museum talked about the same things. The tours became repetitive and boring.
Yes, I recommend this program
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An Unforgettable Experience

My experience in Korea over this summer was just a magnificent experience. This program was filled with amazing peers, great leaders, and an incredibly humorous in-country leader. Each stay was so unique in its own way, so that we were able to experience all aspects of Korean culture. From visiting the Blue House Museum, to the Demilitarized Zone, to a Buddhist temple stay, each experience was immersive and spectacular. Although some accommodations required us to sleep on the floors, it was completely bearable, and somewhat easy to get used to. Overall, the accommodations were wonderful, and all of the owners were incredibly kind and welcoming. To top it off, the food was always wonderful. There wasn't a day where our entire group wasn't eager to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. My experience in Korea was simply unforgettable, and I'll always be grateful for this opportunity to tour and learn about peace building in Korea.

How can this program be improved?
This program can be improved by sticking to the schedule that we were expected to follow, and to allow the group to travel in the city more during the night. It also would've been better if we were given more time to shop for gifts and souvenirs rather than just the last day of the program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Overall Experience: Okay. I am half- Korean and expected to experience better food than in the States, learn some Korean, make some Korean friends, and really gain independence and explore South Korea. However, the food was okay (we went to the cheapest places for the budget - disappointing especially if you are paying the full price), we only had one Korean class that basically told us the translations of phrases rather than teaching us how to form and understand basic sentences and tenses, I made about two Korean friends and that was only because I met them by chance and outside of the program, and no one was allowed to walk a block alone despite how safe Korea is (being from NYC). When I was with my mom's family in Korea, the Korean group leader called me every hour because she didn't "find being with my blood-related family" safe enough without checking in. The plus of the program was that I experienced some new things (Buddhist temple, I can only think of about one) and made more friends (but they were all from the group). Do not go on this program if you want to be more independent and explore on your own, meet Korean people and truly experience the culture (not have a tourist experience), and learn the language; Instead, I would suggest doing a university program on the Korean language.
Academics: The Academics were boring and remedial. We had two full days in a classroom while in Seoul; something we could have done online before the program in order to avoid wasting such precious time. We learned about the definition of "peace" and "social justice" for an hour each day. Let this sink in-- a full hour for a simple definition we learn in elementary or middle school. Then the speakers were all one-sided; the program did not provide two perspectives (very anti-America). Furthermore, as previously mentioned, we did the Korean class for half an hour and only learned phrases to memorize. I had thought I would learn Korean from speaking with Koreans and taking actual lessons on grammar and structure and verbs, etc. but all I spoke was English and only know a few new words.
Living Situation: The living situations were not bad; the hostel was modern and clean. The Center for Reunification was nice (dorm-style) and the Buddhist temple as well. The stay in Gwanju was interesting (traditional house). However, the hostel only had 2 bathrooms for around 20 of us, the Center of Reunification was filled with bugs and we were not allowed outside after dark "because of wild animals" although in a lit, building-filled complex (I live in Westchester; we have coyotes here and we still go out after dark), the Buddhist temple monk controlled every aspect of our lives (we had no freedom), and the traditional house in Gwanju had all the girls in one room (about 17 of us) and only one bathroom for the twenty of us. I was sick during the latter half of the trip and couldn't sleep when the rest of the people came back from restaurant and turned the lights on, stepped on me (we were sleeping on mats on the floor), and talked very loudly.
Cultural Immersion: Very little cultural immersion. I guess my anyeong-haseyo skills have been refined and I now know mashi-seyo. However, I didn't learn really any of the language, the food was blah, and I interacted with very few Koreans besides the group leaders.
Health & Safety: Very safe if you want to be prevented from walking to the cafe next door or the laundromat down the street. However, I got food poisoning and suffered for the majority of the trip (not very safe as we should be eating at clean places not just the cheapest ones).
Program Administration: Ok. The American group leaders were very nice but one main Korean group leader was very controlling. She had everything planned out, we could make no choices (restaurants, going out), and had very little freedom (she barely let me visit my blood-related family).
Social Life: Only could go out some nights in groups of 3+ and had very early curfew. Didn't meet any Koreans, only fellow group members.

Response from The Experiment in International Living

Dear Samantha,

Thanks for your review. We are carefully considering your feedback as we plan next summer's Korea program.

Warm regards,

Heather Beard
Director of Admissions
The Experiment in International Living,
a program of World Learning

No, I don't recommend this program
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Korea: An amazing summer!

I think going to Korea with the experiment in international living was a great experience. I stayed in a Buddhist temple, learned how to meditate, painted a mural for comfort women and so much more. I experienced Korea as both a tourist and a native. Everyday I learned something new about Korea and was never bored.

How can this program be improved?
I would have loved to have more Korean Language Lessons. It would also have been fun to go to a concert.
Yes, I recommend this program

About The Experiment in International Living

The Experiment in International Living is the most experienced provider of summer abroad programs for high school students. For more than 85 years, our immersive programs have allowed participants to explore the world in an authentic and impactful...