• South Korea
    • Gwangju
Academic Year, Fall, Spring, Summer
Need-based funding, Merit-based funding, General grants/scholarships
Health & Safety

Program Details

Program Type
Apr 03, 2024
Sep 13, 2023
22 travelers are looking at this program

About Program

Live and study in Gwangju, the sixth largest city in one of the most rapidly developing nations in East Asia. Enjoy the beautiful natural habitat, delicious cuisine, and rich artistic history of southwestern Korea. Located in the middle of the South Jeolla province, Gwangju is one of the most historically significant areas within the region. It was established as a city in 57 BC and is the birthplace of the modern democratic movement in Korea. During the period of Japanese rule, students in Gwangju ignited one of the major nationwide uprisings of the colonial period. Fifty years later, Gwangju was the site of the May 18 Democratic Uprising against the then-military dictatorship. It’s now home of the Square of Democracy and National Cemetery that commemorates the 518 uprising.

Video and Photos

Diversity & Inclusion

LGBTQIA+ Support

There are LGBTQIA+ friends, colleagues, and allies throughout the world. However, cultural understanding of gender identity and sexuality does vary from country to country. USAC has compiled a lot of resources to help you through that learning process.

Accessibility Support

USAC is dedicated to working closely with students with disabilities to ensure the best study abroad experience possible. You may request reasonable accommodations after your initial application is complete. We routinely receive requests for scheduling, material, and environmental accommodations for the classroom setting, which may include assistive technology, scribes and readers, printed material, and interpretation.



Environmentally-conscious students choose USAC because many of our programs are held in some of the most sustainable countries in the world. There are options to take coursework in sustainability and the environment, as well as field trips and studies where students can leave a lasting impact on their host country.

Program Highlights

  • Explore one of Korea’s most historic and culturally vibrant cities, home to cultural festivals, art biennales, important historical sites and the birthplace of the modern democratic movement.
  • Choose courses in Korean language, culture and history; business, management, and economics; literature; mechanical engineering; media; political science; psychology; and environmental and health studies.
  • Join in various field trips and extracurricular activities including the Gwangju May 18 Memorial Park, a Korean Folk Village and Temple Stay, Gyeongju, Busan, and the Boryeong Mud Festival.
  • Summer, fall, spring, and yearlong terms are available! Check out the USAC Website for more information.


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USAC Scholarships and Financial Aid

USAC awards over $2 million in scholarships and discounts each year to assist students with their study abroad expenses.

$500 - $5,000

Program Reviews

5.00 Rating
based on 7 reviews
  • 5 rating 100%
  • 4 rating 0%
  • 3 rating 0%
  • 2 rating 0%
  • 1 rating 0%
  • Academics 4.15
  • Support 4.6
  • Fun 4.75
  • Housing 4.15
  • Safety 5
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Abroad Experience Ever!

Most of the classes that I took at Chonnam were geared toward International Students so they were not exceedingly difficult which was great. Even taking six courses, I didn't feel overwhelmed by classes. The best part of studying at Chonnam though was the Buddy program. The university assigns Korean students to International students and my buddies are now my best friends. We spent a lot of time together studying which was fun. I know studying doesn't sound like fun but with the right people in the proper environment, I made memories that my friends and I will laugh about when we are old! I made friends from all around the world. There is an old adage, "you get what you put in," I feel like that is super true for studying abroad. The more you put yourself into the program, the culture, and the people you are surrounded by, the more memories, friends, and experiences you will get by the end of the program. None of us wanted to go back to our home countries. If we could all have stayed in Korea, just frozen the time... We would have been there forever.

  • South Korea is SUPER safe. I never once found myself feeling threatened.
  • The social aspect is great! There are places to eat everywhere!
  • The campus is beautiful and great for families and couples!
  • It can be stinky due to their sewage and trash system
24 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Fall semester ever!

In Fall 2022, I was given the best opportunity to study at Chonnam National University for the Yeosu intensive language program. My goal for studying abroad was to learn as much of the language as I could. USAC helped me achieve that by directing me towards the language program in Yeosu. There couldn’t have been a better option for me! The program was amazing and so well planned out. Living in an area where less people spoke English was intimidating at first; however, I realized that there are so many kind and understanding people outside of my own country. There are also so many resources out there that a language barrier is not really even an issue. I had so much fun and I always felt welcomed!

  • Great and supportive administration at host university
  • Great opportunity to really learn the language
  • So many extracurriculars and trips to be a part of
  • Dorms may need to be updated a little
  • Four hours by bus to get to Seoul
  • No subway
41 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Do yourself a favor, study in Yeosu.

Yeosu campus is less known to most people but it’s such a hidden gem. I believe that the true beauty of a country lies with the smaller cities where there is such rich history and culture, Yeosu is one of these cities. The advisors here plan so many activities and field trips, they try so hard for the exchange students and truly want them to have fun there. The teachers are so kind and patient, they taught us so much Korean and by the end of the program I felt confident to explore all on my own. The Korean friends that I made there are so genuine and they loved showing us the best places in Korea. If you want to make nice friends and feel like you learned the most about this beautiful country this is such a great option. Do yourself a favor, study in Yeosu!!

  • Learning Korean in the intensive language program
  • So many planned excursions and activities
  • The people are so kind here compared to any city I traveled to.
  • Dorms are a bit smaller and a little outdated
  • Farther south so you have to take buses to get to other cities
  • Less people know English here (easily fixed by the language program though)
40 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure

I’m so glad that I was able to study abroad in Gwangju, South Korea. I’d always dreamed of studying abroad, and I finally made it a reality!

USAC was very helpful every step of the way! Korea was a very safe country to study abroad in, so it was great even for solo travel as a woman.

I made lifelong friends during my time in Korea, and went on many adventures that I’ll never forget! The buses allow you to go anywhere in the country, so it’s very easy to get around and take weekend trips. The people are very nice in Korea. I hope to go back someday!

  • Food
  • Safety
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Course Selection in English
  • Air Quality
  • Prices of Fruits & Vegetables
51 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

So amazing I decided to do it again!!

USAC was really amazing. I was nervous about going to another country by myself but with the help of USAC it was so much easier. Everything was prepared for me and all the information i needed to know i could email USAC about and get an answer the same day.The check ins over zoom from the USAC team while abroad are also really great and made me feel more safe and comfortable while abroad. In the middle of my program one of the USAC advisors came to visit the university I was at while abroad and we got to eat dinner together! I really loved getting to meet her. I loved the program so much I decided to do another with USAC!

  • Check ins while abroad to make you feel safe
  • Group flight! Save money and can reschedule easily
55 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Opportunity of a lifetime and the start of my international life

Going to Gwangju was 2 years in the making when I left for South Korea in February of 2021. Despite the constant concerns about another semester getting cancelled and being stuck back in the US, the program teams both at CNU (the host school) and USAC came through and made the experience so worth the wait. I enjoyed every second there, even cried when I left and now miss my life there terribly. My semester in Gwangju has now encouraged me to pursue going back to South Korea to teach English and going to graduate school overseas. There were so many hurdles to get through because of the pandemic, but I always felt endlessly supported and understood by everyone with my program, and it was amazing to have the opportunity to spend time in Korea even in a pandemic. The locals in Gwangju are some of the most layed-back, caring, and thoughtful people I've ever met, and getting to know people was always so much fun even if my Korean language skill wasn't great. From day one, I felt like I was welcomed by the locals and their immense patience allowed me to dive deep and embrace Korean culture even more. Best. Choice. Ever.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I got the chance to eat pig's intestines a handful of times during my stay in South Korea, and also ended up eating raw crab during my final weeks there. As an adventurous eater already, I'm always down to try something new, if only I could get ahold of such delicious, interesting food back home in the USA!
74 people found this review helpful.
faux piano player
Yes, I recommend this program

Nostalgic Gwangju

The Experience was amazing. They provided us with a pick up from the airport, which is was amazing. we were giving a buddy through the program and I was with 4 students as well. We went to a baseball game together and also during the tour program were together. There were do many different student that it was easy to adapt especially because of the buddy. the food was amazing, I had one travel partner when I was there and we went to different restaurants. I am still in contact with her till this day. It is an opportunity to get out your comfort zone. I was able to explore Gwangju and other locations, we went to a temple, Busan, and went to a mud festival and meet some nice people there. my favorite memory was when my buddy had us over for a homestay and his parent cooked for us. They were very amazing people, so kind, and I really appreciated the fact that they took time out of their day to cook for us and talk to us. Some helpful tips are if there is a meeting or activity plan, it is a good idea to go and participant because you never know who you will meet. Make sure you have enough money and budget out how much you want to spend. don't be scare to try something new, you are in a different place and you never know what you might like. This wasn't my original location but I am glad everything fell into place and I went to Gwangju.

What would you improve about this program?
I was alone for abit because my roommate had not showed up yet so it was alittle nerve wrecking the first few days. If there is a way to make sure that people whos roommate are not yet arriving arent alone in room and they are comfortable. that would be resurring for those who come on the trip alone.
92 people found this review helpful.
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