Business and Culture in South Korea

Seoul Tower city skyline

Business and Culture in South Korea

Gain a first-hand understanding of the social, cultural, political, business and legal environments of South Korea at the country, firm, and individual levels.
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: Business
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Visit multiple world-class companies with a variety of sizes in South Korea.
  • Explore important cultural sites in Seoul.
  • Gain an understanding of how the Korean market operates through lectures and company visits.

This study abroad program enables students to gain a first-hand understanding of the social, cultural, political, and legal environments of South Korea at the country, firm, and individual levels. We will visit multiple world-class companies in South Korea and numerous cultural sites where students can experience the past, the present, and the future of South Korea. Through program activities, students will learn about deep and rich culture of Korea and cultural differences in business in South Korea.  The company visits will enrich our students and better prepare them to be global business leaders who can connect US and South Korea and Asia in the future.

During this 14 day program, participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn the strategies and activities of Korean companies.
  • Learn how Korean companies are operating in South Korea and globally.
  • Learn about the opportunities and challenges of living and working in a foreign country.
  • Visit important cultural sites to better understand Korean history and culture.

Program Dates:
Depart US: Thursday, May 18, 2023
Arrive in Seoul: Friday, May 19, 2023
Depart Seoul & Arrive in U.S.:  Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Seoul, South Korea:

Seoul, with a population of over 26 million in its metropolitan area, is one of Asia's largest cities and is the political, financial and cultural center of 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.


Students are required to participate fully in all pre-departure meetings and coursework, as well as all scheduled activities in South Korea. All students will prepare a pre-program background paper, a post-trip research paper focusing on a specific South Korea business topic of their choice due at the end of the Summer term, as well as maintaining a personal journal/blog during the program.

Program Course:

IBUS 500 Individual Research in International Business (3 hours)


BBA 500 Individual Research in Business (3 hours)

Participants will stay in double occupancy rooms in a hotel in Gangnam area of Seoul.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Considerations for South Korea:

The response to homosexuality is mixed in Korea. While consensual same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized and there are no specific laws that discriminate based on sexuality, same-sex marriages are not legally recognized. Korea is a conservative country in regards to LGBTI issues. However, there are an increasing number of LGBTQIA+ -oriented clubs, festivals and NGOs advocating for LGBTQIA+  issues. There is an LGBTQIA+ subculture in the more urban cities but it is not openly displayed in public, although platonic displays of affection between same-sex friends is very common. As is often in the case in a society that is both homogenous and traditionally conservative, it is the experience of many students that being open about your sexuality in any context is seen as unusual and curious, sometimes shocking.

Generally speaking, most facilities in Korea have been made to be accessible for wheelchairs. Students with physical disabilities may find it difficult to navigate public transportation in Korea. Access to transportation in most areas is somewhat limited, although there are various government initiatives designed to make public transport more accessible. Students with vision impairment may have difficulty, as most Braille or audio transportation information is exclusively in Korean.

Korea does not have a homogenous religious culture and throughout its history, a wide variety of religious movements such as Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Christianity have shaped the culture dramatically.

Source: U.S. Department of State country information pages and Diversity Abroad.

This program is open to KU undergraduate students of all majors. Priority will be given to business undergraduate students. There is no language requirement. Minimum 2.5 GPA required, though exceptions will be considered after submission of a petition.

Dr. Midam Kim will lead the 2023 program. Dr. Kim teaches a variety of management courses at the University of Kansas including Organizational Behavior, Ethical Decision Making in Business, Change Management, and International Management. Originally trained in linguistics and cognitive science, she has worked on the intersection between language, human factors, and business decision making, and enjoys bringing research topics to life on these study abroad programs.

Contact Information:
Midam Kim, Lecturer
School of Business
Capitol Federal Hall
Room 3152 and