South Korea: Seoul

Program Snapshot
Semester: Fall
Offered: Annually
Estimated Dates: Fall: Late August to late December
Program Focus: Regional Area Study
Prerequisites: AS 251: Contemporary Korean Culture. Other Asian Studies courses may be substituted with prior approval of Overseas & Off-Campus Programs Director. Minimum of 2.5 GPA. Students must satisfy the Words and Numbers CORE requirement before participating in an overseas program.
Housing: Dormitory or Host Family
Campus Contacts:

Susan Glosser
Associate Professor of History and Program Director, Asian Studies, 503-768-7488

Program Design

In cooperation with the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE), Lewis & Clark offers this program at Yonsei University in Seoul. A special in-depth orientation and extracurricular program helps students get to know the country, along with 15 weeks of courses in English and Korean with the Yonsei University’s Division of International Education. The program also includes visits to places of cultural and historical significance, an excursion to the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea, and a three-day trip to the countryside. Students have the opportunity to get involved in the community by volunteering at local organizations, joining a student club on campus, or becoming a conversation partner through the Seoul Mates program.

Situated on the Han River, densely populated Seoul is the capitol and largest city in South Korea. This vibrant business and financial hub and cultural center is home to more than 100 museums, numerous religious monuments, parks and surrounding mountains, markets, festivals, sports teams, and tourist attractions including the Gyeongbok and Changdeok palaces.

Onsite Staff: The Resident Director of CIEE South Korea is Suzanne Han. Suzanne’s love of Korea began more than 30 years ago as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer. She completed her two-year term of service in a rural health center in Chungju and later became an in-country Peace Corps staff. She has taught at several Korean universities, including Yonsei University, Chung-ang University, and Hankook University of Foreign Studies. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. An accomplished author, Suzanne has written many books and articles on Korean customs and traditions. Her stories based on Korean folk tales are included in a number of anthologies and children’s reading textbooks in North America. Suzanne is vice president of Friends of Korea (an organization started by former Peace Corps Korea Volunteers dedicated to enhancing cultural awareness and friendship between Americans and Koreans), and vice president of the Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch.

Recommended Pre-Program Course:
HIST 297: Intro to Korean History (4 credits) - taught by Susan Glosser

In this class we’ll explore key moments in Korea’s long history through philosophy, poetry, religion, art, trade, and material culture. The three periods we’ll focus on are Korea’s interactions with China in the years of Korea’s earliest development, its contact and clashes with Japan during the Medieval ages, and the country’s international and national history from the 19th century to the present. First year students welcome!

Other recommended courses: 

  • ART 151: East Asian Art (4 credits) - taught by Dawn Odell
  • ART 154: Buddhist Art (4 credits) - taught by Dawn Odell
  • HST 110: Early East Asian History (4 credits) - taught by Andrew Bernstein
  • RELS 242: Religions and Culture of East Asia (4 credits) - taught by Jessica Starling
  • AS 410: Asian Studies Colloquium (4 credits) - taught by Jennifer Hubbert


The CIEE Study Center is based at Yonsei University, the most prestigious private institution of higher education in Korea. Founded in 1885, the school has 18 graduate schools, 21 colleges, and a student population of over 30,000, including more than 1,000 students from 20 countries. The university is located less than 20 minutes from downtown Seoul on a large sprawling campus that is hilly and forested.

Requirements Fulfilled:

GE prior to Fall 2020 - This program fulfills the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement for students who successfully complete 12 or more semester credits. 

GE Fall 2020 and later - This program fulfills the Global Perspectives general education requirement for students who successfully complete 8 or more semester credits.

Major Requirements: This program fulfills the overseas study requirement for the Asian Studies major.

Credits: Credits earned varies based on courses completed. Students may earn up to 19 credits. Overloads are not permitted.

Curriculum: In addition to an optional intensive Korean language class, students have access to a host of elective courses through direct enrollment at Yonsei University. Courses are offered in a wide range of subjects in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and the arts. All courses are taught by Yonsei University faculty. A sampling of the courses and course descriptions are available on the CIEE Seoul Arts & Sciences program page under the Academics tab. 

Excursions: A number of excursions are built into the program, including visits to the wetlands of Suncheon, a trip to Hwaeomsa to discover the symbolism of lions in Buddhism, and a trip to the tea fields of Mt. Chirisan. In addition, special lectures and cultural activities are woven into the program throughout the semester, including visits to Korean organizations, museums, temples, and historic sites. Students will also participate in a two-night homestay with a Korean family, which allows them to experience firsthand what life is like in a Korean home.

Student Life

Housing: During their semester in Seoul, students live in the SK Global House dormitory. SK Global House, completed in spring 2010, is conveniently connected to the New Millennium Hall - where many of the classes taken by international students are taught - and to the Korean Language Institute. It has seven floors above ground and four underground, with separate floors for men and women. In addition to beds, desks, and chairs, each double-occupancy room has Internet access via LAN line and is equipped with a separate air conditioning and heating system. Each room has a toilet and shower. Linens (sheets, pillows, blankets) are provided.

Each floor has a lounge equipped with a computer, public phone, and TV, a seminar room, and a study room. The dorm also has a computer room equipped with public-use computers and printers, a soundproof music practice room, a fitness center, a large kitchen that students can use, and coin-operated laundry facilities (washing machines, dryers and irons). The dormitory kitchen has toasters, microwaves, and refrigerators for students to share. Students are responsible for purchasing and preparing their own meals, but the Overseas Office will give them a stipend to cover the cost of their food. Students can eat at the dorm food court, campus cafeterias, and restaurants, and snack bars, and restaurants throughout Seoul. Students can also use the dorm kitchen to prepare meals.

Students also have the option of living with a host family, although there is a limited number of host families available. 

Volunteering: Volunteer placements are encouraged and can be organized by CIEE. Past volunteers have worked with orphans and with children with developmental disabilities to help them gain skills to integrate into society. Past students have also taught English to North Korean refugee students. Volunteering is a great way for students to get involved and be more connected to the host community.

Cultural Reimbursement Program: To help students enrich their study abroad experiences in Seoul, CIEE offers the Cultural Reimbursement Program. This program reimburses students for their participation in local cultural activities, such as Korean movie screenings, traditional music concerts and theater, and visits to local museums and historic places of interest within Seoul.

CIEE Seoul Mates Program: Recruited and trained students from universities across the greater Seoul metropolitan area, called Seoul Mates, assist students with language study and help them adjust to their new environment and expand their understanding of Korean culture and society. In addition to organizing various social events, the Seoul Mates help with orientation as well as various cultural activities and workshops. Through ongoing interaction with the Seoul Mates, study abroad students are able to meet local Korean students and learn firsthand about student life in Seoul.

Student Clubs: Students have the opportunity to join regular Yonsei University student clubs, which cater to a variety of interests, and many clubs are open to international students. The themes of these clubs range from music and dance to hiking, sports, and community service. Joining a club is a great way to get involved on campus and meet local students outside of the academic realm.


2022-2023 Fee Breakdown*

Total Fee (includes Tuition, Program Fee, and Health & Wellness Fee): $37,679

Tuition: $29,625

Program Fee: $8,017

Health & Wellness Fee: $37**

Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, and administrative fees. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals. 

*Fees are updated every February for the following academic year.

**The Health & Wellness Fee supports the operations of Wellness Services staff in delivering pre-program orientation services, as well as in providing health-related consultation regarding participant health needs. All students in the College of Arts and Sciences pay a mandatory fee of $37 per semester.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to ICN): $800 - $2,000

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $120 - $170

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,860.50

All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Students must first submit a Lewis & Clark application. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary, or program sponsor, application, and will receive a separate notification letter from CIEE.  Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these again to CIEE or you will need to re-write the essays.  Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Seoul airport (ICN). Students arriving during a pre-arranged window of time will be greeted by the Seoul staff if they inform the staff in advance. Students who are unable to meet with the resident staff at the airport will receive instructions regarding where to meet the staff approximately 30 days prior to the program arrival date.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to South Korea.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s South Korea page.

South Korea