Bradley plans first study abroad program in Korea

Students who are looking for a more unique experience abroad are in luck. For the first time, a study abroad course in Korea will be available this summer.

Dr. Ji Young Kim of the communications department will be teaching Bradley’s first exclusive trip to Korea during the 2013 May interim. The course, COM 494: Culture and Business in Korea, will meet on campus May 20 to 25, May 27 and June 7. The class will then travel to Seoul, Korea May 28 to June 5.

“Personally, I have been in study abroad programs and I learned a lot through first-hand experiences,” Kim said. “The course is taught on campus so that students can focus on experiencing the culture, society and business world of Korea during the visit.”

Kim said the cost is regular tuition for a summer course plus a $3,300 travel charge, which includes round-trip airfare, accommodations, breakfast, a city tour, cultural and industry field trips, site visits, activities in Seoul and an International Student ID card.

Learning the language is not required, but some of the language basics will be taught.

The program was created in response to student requests, according to Kim.

“There aren’t many courses in Asia,” Kim said. “But student interest in Asian culture has increased, and this gives them the chance to meet the people, taste the food and explore many cultural relationships between the West and Asia.”

However, some faculty members have their reservations because of the program’s infancy.

“I’d love to see the course enroll, I’m just not positive it will,” said Director of International Programs Christine Blouch. “At least [not] the first time, because it’s a new venue and not many students know about it yet.”

Blouch also said that the higher cost of airfare could affect the program, and it may take a second year to become a popular program.

President of the Asian American Association Christine Gale said she thinks the new program is impressive.

“I’m very impressed that we have a Korean study abroad program,” she said. “Actually one of our members, Mary Schwark, went to Seoul this semester and seems like she is having a great time being [immersed] in the culture.”

Gale also said she thinks the program will succeed, and that she hopes students will take advantage of the opportunity to study in Korea.

The course will include international business and communication strategies in the curriculum, but Kim stated that the class is open to all majors.

Students can start signing up in April, and Kim recommends that students personally sign up to her. Kim said she hopes to do it again next year and change the seminar topics, either annually or biannually. The class size will be eight to 10 students. Students can contact Kim via email at jkim2@mail.bradley.edu.