Gender and Culture in South Korea

Seoul, South Korea

June 1- June 14, 2018

Program Highlights

  • Enjoy two weeks traveling extensively in and around Seoul with guided travel
  • Visit historically famous attractions like the Changdeok Palace Secret Garden, Bukchon Hanok Village and the War and Women's Human Rights Museum
  • Spend a day visiting the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the North and South Korea and having a guided tour into the Joint Security Area
  • Learn about gender equality by visiting Ewha Woman's University, the Seoul International Women's Film Festival, Yonsei University, and the Korean Institute for Gender Equality, Promotion and Education
  • Learn from guest speakers about the history and current realities of South Korea with a focus on gender equality- experts in topics ranging from South Korea's famous pop culture to lawyers and academics
  • Overnight excursion to Suwon: stay at the Bongnyeongsa Temple, which is located at the foot of Mt. Gwanggyo and which serves as a residence and university for Buddhist nuns; explore the opportunity to learn about Buddhism in relation to gender roles
  • Lunch and learn through interaction with Korean college students
  • Be introduced to South Korea with a traditional meal and savor Seoul's world famous street food at Gwangjang Market with a guided street food tour
  • Learn about local customs and skills for exploring one of the world's largest cities on your own using walkways, subways, and buses (there will be a scavenger hunt!)
  • This course has a GEND designation (pending approval)

Program Description

This program comprises of a wonderful fortnight centered in Seoul, South Korea. One of the largest cities in the world, where tall skyscrapers coexist with ancient palaces and Buddhist templates and located on the Han River, Seoul represents a classic confluence of tradition and modernity. Part of a civilization which dates back thousands of years, modern South Korea was born in 1948 and then established as a nation with the help of the United States in 1953. With a culture imbued with Buddhist, Confucian, and Japanese influence and an economy which skyrocketed in the post-war years, South Korea embodies a unique combination of historical richness coexisting with some of the best technological and industrial advance of the 20th and 21st centuries. Yet, the same military discipline and the famous "Korean Work Ethic" which has led to South Korea's success has resulted in a culture where South Korean women struggle to find equality with men, in ways that are strangely similar yet different from the experiences of women in the United States.

During our two weeks in South Korea, we will spend our time exploring this intriguing space with the help of locals, learning about Korean culture, understanding the similiarities and parallels in gender norms and how progress in gender equality has been achieved through the work of non-profit groups, academic efforts, films and public policy. While in Seoul, we will visit educational institutions and nonprofit organizations, attend the International Film Festival and learn from scholars and experts who will teach us about gender equality in a diverse spectrum of areas ranging from pop culture to law to history. Through experiences like savoring the world famous Korean street food, stepping into the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, interacting with Korean college students, and spending time at a Buddhist temple, you will have an unforgettable experience of living and learning in a culture that is all at once young but centuries old. Our study abroad program will comprise of time spent in guided group activities in a variety of settings as well as time to reflect, regroup, and spend exploring independently. 

Course Information

Course Name: Gender and Culture in South Korea

Course Code: GEND 180 

Credit Number: 2

Designation: Gender 

Program Cost

The estimated Program Fee is $3550 plus the cost of 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $615 per credit). 

This price includes:

  • Accommodations during the program
  • Local transportation 
  • All course related excursions as outlined in the itinerary, including guest lecturers, museum admissions, film tickets, etc. 
  • Program administrative costs and fees
  • Some meals, including all breakfasts

The Program Fee does not include:

  • Round-trip international airfare to South Korea (estimated at $1500)
  • Some meals (estimated at $250)
  • Personal money (estimated at $500)


Students will be staying in double hotel accommodation. Accommodation includes breakfast and wireless internet and the use of fitness centers. 


Sucharita Mukherjee is an associate professor Economics and Gender Studies. She has a keen interest in studying gender issues, especially in Asian contexts. She has led previous gender study abroad programs to Scandinavia and is excited for the program in South Korea, which is one of the countries she regularly teaches about in class.