ISA Seoul Summer Internships

Image of Seoul, South Korea
Students will participate in an international internship that allows them to experience the benefits of studying abroad while also gaining real-world professional work experience.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: -Open to All Majors
Program Type: Internship

  • Gain in-demand global skills and hands-on experience in your field during this 8-week summer program
  • Build your resume and expand your professional network
  • Internships are conducted in English so there is no language requirement
  • Earn KU 3-6 credits for your internship
  • Explore Seoul & South Korea during weekends
  • Learn about the placement process at ISA Internships Program Overview and view sample placements at ISA Internships Program Locations.
  • A significant number of $2,500-$5,000 scholarships are available to participants in this program. See Freeman East Asia Internship Scholarship on KU Study Abroad Scholarships to learn more!

Seoul is both the largest city and capital of South Korea. It enjoys a central location within East Asia with China on its west and Japan to its east. Seoul is truly a representative global city in the ways that it integrates traditional culture in contemporary life, making it an ideal place for students who are interested in interning abroad in South Korea to learn a little Korean language and traditional culture. Seoul is one of the world's top ten financial centers, and is home to some of the largest technology corporations such as Samsung and LG. The city hosted the 1988 Olympics, the 2002 World Cup, and was designated the 2010 World Design Capital. 

Internships in Seoul will provide invaluable international career building experience, and introduce students to Korean culture and society.  In addition to interning, students will take ISA's Global Internship Course, allowing them to gain knowledge and skills specific to their internship site and articulate the diverse set of skills they have acquired from their international internship experience. 

Applicants may choose from two 8-week summer sessions:

Session I - May 25 - July 23, 2022  (Jan. 15th application deadline)

Session II - June 15 - Aug.13, 2022 (Feb. 15th application deadline)

Participation in an international internship allows students to experience the benefits of studying abroad while also gaining real-world professional work experience. Only a small percentage of students study abroad – and even fewer intern abroad - so participation in an internship overseas can give you the professional advantage you need to succeed by giving you in demand global skills. The University of Kansas (KU) has partnered with ISA, an internship and study abroad program provider, to offer high-quality placements in Seoul, South Korea. The internships, for which you earn academic credit from KU, are unpaid. They are available in a wide-range of fields including the arts, business, communications, education, events, fashion, hospitality, information technology and computer science, media, and PR. Other fields are available on a more limited basis so if your field is not listed, please inquire with ISA.

ISA strives to place students in internships that directly relate to their course of study, thus ensuring the quality and academic relevance.  Placements are based on student skills, interests, and professional goals as well as the project needs and work cycles of internship sponsors. The companies and organizations selected as internship sites are carefully monitored by site visits and student assessment.

Read about the ISA placement process at ISA Internships Program Overview and view sample placements at ISA Internships Program Locations.

In addition to interning, students will take ISA’s Global Internship Course (.pdf), which is taught in an online learning environment alongside the 8-week, full-time internship. Participation in the integrated academic seminar is mandatory for all participants. It is designed to prepare students for leadership in a globally interdependent and culturally diverse workforce. Credit has been pre-approved to transfer to KU in the following ways and will post to each student’s KU transcript after the conclusion of the program.

Please Note: Some academic departments offer departmental internship credit not listed below so students are encouraged to check with their department about credit options.  Past students have received internship credit through ACCT, ADS, EVRN, FMS, HNRS, HSES, SPLH, etc.

  • LA&S 490 – Internship Exploration (5 credits)  Open to students of any major and level.Fulfills KU Core Goal 6.1 Integration and Creativity.
  • GIST 495 – Global Internship (3 credits) Open to students of any major and level. 
  • BUS 310 (1 credit) + BUS 400 (5 credits) – Business Internship (6 credits total)  Open to business majors who have completed BUS 210 or equivalent.
  • JOUR 507 - Practicum in Journalism (3 credits) Open to journalism majors who have completed either JOUR 415 or JOUR 560 (or Jour 435) with a grade of 2.0+, and at least eleven hours of journalism with a GPA of 2.5+, both overall and in journalism.
  • PSYC 483 – Undergraduate Internship Psychology (3 credits)  Open to psychology majors and minors.

Interns can expect to stay in either furnished apartments or Goshitels, which are essentially en-suite studio apartments. Both options are conveniently located near public transportation and necessities such as grocery stores. Intern housing assignments are made approximately three weeks prior to the program start.

Bridging Cultures Program:

Upon arrival in Seoul, you will participate in the Bridging Cultures Program (BCP), a multi-day, in-country orientation that blends adventure, lecture, and culture into an exciting and informative introduction to South Korea. Each Bridging Cultures Program is designed to:

  • Inform participants of the cultural and professional experience that lies ahead.
  • Guide each participant through a goal-setting activity to encourage them to reflect on their expectations for their experience abroad.
  • Introduce participants to the local culture, in and out of the workplace.
  • Prepare participants for health and safety issues in their host country.
  • Provide participants an opportunity to socialize with other ISA participants.

Interns will have a welcome meal together as a group, be given a city tour, and shown how to navigate the public transport system for their daily commute.

Professional Development & Cultural Activities

In order to maximize cultural immersion, ISA develops unique professional development and cultural activities. These activities invite students to experience the local color of their host city, while learning about the history and culture of their new surroundings, as well as various aspects of the business culture of their host country. Cultural activities may include museum visits, attending sporting events, dance classes, cooking lessons, art and cultural festivals, etc. Cultural activities vary by site. Professional development events could may include company visits, teambuilding exercises, personal branding workshops, or guest speakers.

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.

Additional Resources

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

ISA Internships are available to current students who are 18 years of age or older, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and are proficient in English. Internships can also be arranged in Korean for students who are proficient.

Please note that ISA requires all progarm participants to be fully vaccinated two weeks prior to departure.

Step 1: Complete the KU Application

Complete the KU application by January 15th if applying for Session I or Feb. 15th if applying for Session II. Below is a list of the required documents and questionnaires:

  1. Statement of Purpose Essay
  2. GPA Requirement Questionnaire
  3. Un-official Transcript or Advising Report
  4. One recommendation - academic or professional
  5. Authorization to Release Student Information
  6. ISA Academic Plan & Approval Form
  7. Student Conduct Verification
  8. Financial Aid Questionnaire
  9. Passport Information Required Reading
  10. ISA Application Instructions Required Reading

Step 2: Complete ISA's Seoul Internship Application

Complete ISA's Seoul internship application by February 1st if applying for Session I or February 15th if applying for Session II. See the ISA Application Instructions in the Required Readings section of your Jayhawks Abroad account for details.