Divided Koreas: A Nation Seeking its Grief
Far and away the per-capita leader in outbound international students, the site of the ‘Miracle on the Han’ has a wide network of academic, diplomatic and economic relationships. As changes in the global political economy continue to heighten the geographic significance of the Korean peninsula, the dense web of connections results in a true global ‘hotspot’.
This program focuses on the impact of the DPRK/ROK split on the economies and the people from each respective nation. We learn about both the inherent sadness related to the division as well as the enduring hope for reconciliation.
Having moved from the OECD list of recipients to donors of development aid, the Republic of Korea is a true success story of economic growth and industrialization. The country now stands as a global industrial powerhouse, known around the world for advances in shipbuilding, steelworking, and electronics. This climb, however, has created a mania for competitiveness that has given rise to elevated rates of depression, alcoholism, and suicide. As a post-industrial culture radically different than that of the United States, the exploration of South Korea is critical to understanding the true benefits and costs of economic growth.
Goals and Objectives
Learn the elements of conflict between the two Koreas
Learn how individuals and civil society have responded to the reality of a divided nation
Inspire students to understand that there are different ways to respond to conflicts, and build respect for the resiliency of nations and individuals
Evaluate the types of international conflict resolution methods that have been undertaken on the Korean peninsula
Inspire an appreciation for the emotional turmoil created by war
We journey to the infamous “DMZ” and Panmunjom village to gain a better perspective on how the perpetual threat of invasion from the North has influenced development in the South.
We interview local residents of Seoul and learn their personal and familial experiences of the Korean War, including how they have been impacted by the divergent paths for the two Koreas.
We love through the lively Myeongdong and Gangnam areas, experiencing modern Korean youth culture and developing a deeper understanding of the cultural shifts that have taken place since the Korean War.
We have the unique opportunity to interact with a group of North Korean defectors studying English in Seoul. Following a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, this person-to-person interaction allows for a deeper and more emotional understanding of the immense sadness surrounding the split of the Korean peninsula.
Designed to enhance the public’s understanding of Korean Buddhism, a typical temple stay program entails participation in ceremonial services and Zen meditation. Meals are taken in complete silence with no wasting of food. Students engage in an overnight stay at the temple at the close of our time in South Korea.
We delve into the range of Korean popular culture, including fashion, film, and music that has made South Korea the preeminent conveyor of ‘modern Asian’ culture to the West