Semester or Year in South Korea

Image of Street Life in South Korea
Spend a semester or academic year in South Korea
Location: South Korea
Language of Instruction: KoreanEnglish
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

International Student Exchange Program (ISEP) is a total immersion program. In most cases, ISEP participants register as a regular student at the host institution, take the same courses and have the same assignments, and participate in the same activities as the local students at that institution. This means that a student applying for an ISEP site must be more proactive and prepared to handle being in a location where they may be the only KU student in the program.

For more information check out International Student Exchange Programs (ISEP) in South Korea.

Interested in Asia or simply want to learn a new perspective? Korea is the perfect destination to study abroad.and you don’t have to speak Korean. A wide range of courses are taught in English at all five ISEP institutions.

Semester and full year exchanges are available at all ISEP Korean member institutions.

Six week summer programs are available at Ajou and Yonsei.

Explore the Korean Folk Village, the famous Hwaseong Fortress, and the World Cup Stadium while studying at Ajou University in Suwon. Ajou is particularly recommended for business students.

Take the popular Korean Ceramics course or study international trade at Ewha Womans University (also open to male students).

Spend a semester or year at Keimyung University and tour Gyeongju, the ancient capital of the Silla Kingdom and one of the most celebrated tourist destinations in Korea.

Study a range of subjects in the hilly Anam-dong section of Seoul at Korea University or in the wooded hills of western Seoul at Yonsei University.

Chances of Placement

Chances of placement are good to excellent.

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 LGBTQA+ 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.

Contact Kaitlyn Johnson at for more information.

Further information on programs can be found on the ISEP Website.