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Study abroad in South Korea: Educational issues of North Korean refugee community


Daegu, Seoul, Jeju Island, South Korea

Program Description

This program is designed to provide students with opportunities to explore refugee issues in global and Korean contexts through in-depth research and hands-on practices. The overall purpose is to enhance students’ global citizenship and professional competency through rigorous coursework that connects theories and practice, and locality and globality.  This program involves a series of pre-departure seminars at JMU and 24 days of intercultural field experiences in South Korea.

While in Daegu, students will work with a North Korean refugee community and the staff of Center for North Korean Migrants to implement an English Summer Camp. This opportunity will provide special space for students to build relationships through authentic interactions with the campers in out-of-school settings. The course contents mainly consists of three parts:

1. Theories and research on refugee issues

2. Socio-political, cultural, economic, racial, and religious aspects of refugee issues

3. Educational practices and other support for refugee communities

Location Description

Daegu is the third largest metropolitan city in South Korea. It has great city amenities which include a monorail subway system, as well as a countryside feel from the huge nearby lotus field. It is located in South-Eastern Korea about 50 miles from the seacoast. Participants will explore rich cultural and natural properties of Daegu by visiting Buddhist temples, an oriental medicine museum, traditional/modern markets, Chimac festival, and more. Participants will enjoy excursions in Seoul and other places as well.


Shin Ji Kang | | Early, Elementary, & Reading Education


Participants will stay mostly in a hostel located in downtown Daegu where eating/shopping places and public transportation are conveniently accessible. A rooftop terrace, meeting rooms, laundry facilities, and free WiFi are available in the hostel. Simple breakfast will be provided by the hostel in Daegu.

In Seoul, participants will stay in a hotel conveniently located in historic downtown. Complementary breakfast buffet will be offered each morning. Free WiFi and coin laundry will be available.

All lodgings and most public places (e.g., cafes) in South Korea will provide free WiFi.

Complementary breakfast will be offered at lodgings in Seoul and Daegu. A weekly meal stipend will be allocated for the other meals.

Additional Items to Consider

Some Korean or Chinese will be helpful, but not required.

American citizens with valid passports can stay in Korea for 90 days without a visa
(arrival day counts as day number one).

Contact your cell phone provider about international programs.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

No prerequisites needed

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Resume
  • Interview with Program Director
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


EDUC 310: Teaching in a Diverse Society (3 credits)

ELED 310: Diversity in Elementary Education (3 credits)

EDUC 490: Workshops in Education (3 credits)

ELED 490: Workshops in Education (3 credits)

EDUC 501: Workshop in Education (3 credits)

ELED 501: Special Topics in Elementary Education (3 credits)

ELED 510: Creativity and the Arts in Elementary Eductaion (3 credits)

HUM 252: Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Global Cultures (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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