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Government Policies & Sustainable Economic Development in South Korea

Government Policies and Sustainable Economic Development in South Korea
Study the economic, political, and social transformation of South Korea since WWII and its rising significance in the global economy while exploring Seoul during this winter break program.
Seoul, South Korea
Language of Instruction: 
Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: 
East Asian Languages & Culture
Political Science
Public Administration
Program Type: 
  • Discuss factors that contribute to South Korea's competitiveness in the global economy today.
  • Opportunities to learn from distinguished professors at Seoul National University.
  • Meet with local leaders to understand the vision and challenges of creating a sustainable city.
  • No language experience is required.
Program Summary: 

For the past few decades, South Korea has transformed itself dramatically from a country that was devastated by wars to one of the most advanced economies in the world. Today, it produces some of the most well-known brands, such as Samsung and LG in consumer electronics and Hyundai in the automobile industry. According to the 2013 Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum, South Korea is the 19th most competitive country, ahead of Australia and France.

This course gives an overview of the economic, social, and political transformation of South Korea since WWII, its rising significance in the global economy, and how public policies, national culture, and social development contribute to the country’s sustained economic competitiveness for the past few decades. In addition, the course examines how the Korea society and government policies are preparing the country for long-term development and sustainability concerns, and how public policies encourage conservation, environmental protection, and reduction in energy consumption.

Through this overseas experience, students are challenged to think about the factors that contribute to a city’s or a country’s competitiveness in the global economy and the implications for US public policies today. The study abroad program will be held at Seoul National University and will have numerous site visits in Seoul as well as a day excursion to Sejong City, the new capital city of Korea.


Seoul National University

Seoul National University (SNU) was founded in 1946 as the first national university in Korea and has close to 28,000 students. Participants will be staying at SNU accommodations near the Gwanak campus which is a modern and expansive campus in southern Seoul. The university offers world class education, cutting edge research and is ranked number one in Korea and ranked 35th in the world according to the 2013/14 QS World University Rankings.

Seoul, South Korea

South Korea has a 5,000 year history with ancient palaces, pagodas and stunning green landscape with majestic mountain tops. It also has ultra-modern skyscrapers and a fast paced city life. In addition, it is one of the world's most technologically and scientifically advanced countries due to companies such as Samsung and LG serving as global leaders in electronics. Seoul, with a population of over 20 million in its metropolitan area, is one of Asia's largest cities and is the political, financial and cultural center of Korea.

Academic Information: 

Prior to departure to Korea, students will complete readings and online assignments to gain some background understanding of Korea. During the program in Korea, students will have lectures at SNU as well as visit governmental offices, commercial and educational facilities and historical landmarks. Students will also have the opportunity to interact with graduate students of Seoul National University in class discussions to exchange ideas and understand various development and policy issues from the local perspective.

The class will also visit the City of Sejong and meet with local representatives to understand the vision and challenges of creating a sustainable city and a high-tech hub of education, commerce and government administrative offices from scratch. All reading materials, lectures, and site visits will be in English.

All students will take the following course:

PUAD 694 Topics in Public Administration: Sustaining Competitiveness: the Case of South Korea (3 hours)


Participants will stay four nights at a centrally located hotel in Seoul and six nights at the Hoam Faculty House which is located near the Gwanak campus of Seoul National University (double-occupancy).

Life Abroad: 

Depart US: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Arrive in Seoul: Thursday, January 2, 2014
Depart Seoul and arrive in US: Sunday, January 12, 2014


Open to KU and non-KU undergraduate and graduate students. The program may be of interest to students majoring or minoring in Public Administration, Political Science, EALC and Economics. Public Administration Professionals may also apply. Minimum 2.8 GPA required. Exceptions considered after submission of a petition.

Further Reading: 

Useful Websites:

Seoul National University: http://en.snu.ac.kr/

Korea Tourism Organization: http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/


Deadlines Extended for Summer, Fall and Academic Year Programs.

See list of programs below:

Study Abroad Financial Advising

The Office of Study Abroad has weekly 'You Can Afford to Study Abroad' Financial aid and Scholarship Info Sessions/Open Meetings on Wednesday afternoons from 4:00-5:00 pm and Thursday afternoons from 12:30-1:30 pm in room 203 Lippincott Hall.  For those that can not attend the weekly Info Sessions, we also offer individualized study abroad financial planning as well as financial aid and scholarship advising for students.  Please visit 108 Lippincott Hall or call 785-864-3742 to set up an appointment.

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More than 160 study abroad programs in 75 countries, with instruction in all disciplines and 20+ languages
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Financial aid is applicable to study abroad programs, and most KU scholarships and grants can be applied to study abroad
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