With a population of 25 million, Seoul, South Korea, is home to royal palaces, trendy shopping districts and, as of this summer, six Southern Utah University students.
Thanks to a scholarship from the South Korean government, Dobong District, SUU can now offer its students a new international experience to teach English at elementary schools in Seoul, all expenses paid.
In its inaugural year, this student exchange program will offer six students a chance to live in South Korea for five weeks this summer, an opportunity Johnny Oh, director of the University’s Asian Integration Program, explained as a complete paradigm shift.
“This is an exceptional opportunity for any student,” said Oh. “To travel for free to this amazing country and drink in a culture that is so rich in history will change a student’s perspective for the rest of his or her life.”
In addition to teaching at a Korean elementary school while on their five weeks abroad, selected students will live with local host families and have the opportunity to travel to a traditional Korean village. They will also enjoy modern cultural experiences, including attending a K-Pop concert or joining in the Boryeong Mud Festival. For those five weeks, these students will be entirely immersed in the Korean culture.
Of this, Oh, who was born in South Korea, said, “Traveling to a foreign country opens the student’s mind and allows them to step out of their own world, literally, and learn something entirely new, something they wouldn’t be able to otherwise.”
Students from all academic disciplines and backgrounds are welcome to apply for this unique opportunity. Beyond that, Oh explained, “We will teach the students what they need to know before they leave. We just want students who are self-motivated, willing to learn, and who can come back to SUU with a deeper respect for different cultures.”
Before leaving for South Korea at the end of June, selected students will receive a four-week cultural training in which they will learn some of the language, details about Korean culture and how to adapt to ethnicity differences. Enrollment in this course is required of all students who will participate in the South Korean program, and students must pay for the two SUU credit hours toward which the training will count. All other expenses will be covered by the Korean scholarship.
All interested students may apply online until Friday, March 22, at suu.edu/applications. Eligible students must be studying at the undergraduate level, have a 3.0 GPA or higher and be willing to act as a trusted ambassador for the University.