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Home >Academic >Korean Studies Summer Program (KSSP) >Academic Courses
The courses are subject to change but typically include the following:
Korean Science and Technology
Korea has been a technological innovator for some time, for example in the year 1234 Choi Yun-ui developed the world’s first metal moveable type print appeared in Korea, keep in mind Guttenburg created his press around 1450. Korea also had the first iron clad ships known as turtleships that were developed in the 16th century this was before the famous ships the Monitor and the Virginia developed during the US Civil War. Korea never stopped innovating and is now leading in innovations in everything from microchips, IT, and even shipbuilding. This course will look at all of the amazing innovations that have come from Korea and to what possible ways Korea will change the shape of modern science and technology.
Korea has one of the lowest illiteracy rates on Earth. King Sejong the great was the creator of the written style of the Korean language, Hangul. Before the creation of Hangul, scholars and officials used Chinese characters to write and only nobles and the rich who could afford the education knew how to read and write. King Sejeong designed the Korean language to be simple to learn. It was created in the most scientific manner possible in order for people to be able to learn to read and write easily. As a result Hanghangul has been hailed by linguists around the world for its organized and scientifically created structure. During this course students will learn in English about the rich history of hangul as well as the basics of reading, writing, and conversation. Let’s learn the Korean Language.
Everyone needs clothes and every country has its own unique styles of fashion. Scotland has kilts, Japan has kimonos, and India has the sari. Korea like every other country has its own unique look which can be seen during holidays and big events such as weddings. So, the question is what is Korean fashion and what is the significance of the clothing worn? This course will look at all of the beauty of traditional clothing. As part of this course students will be allowed to try on some traditional clothing
Korean Cinema and Culture
Korea is famous for its films many of which have been remade in other countries. Films such as My Sassy Girl, The Lakehouse, were originally Korean films. Maybe you’ve heard of some Korean celebrities have been in the entertainment industry outside of Korea such as Rain, Jun Ji-hyun, Yun-jin Kim? Well, even if you haven’t this course will help you come to a greater understanding of life and culture in Korea as captured through the movie lens. There are those that say that a film is a snapshot of the time in which it is made and from it certain attitudes and thoughts can be expressed. During this course many different films from different genres will be explored with each film teaching something about the Korean context. Issues explored will include gender, class, changing social values, rural and urban life, and the influence of Hollywood and commercial concerns.
“What’s for dinner?” This is perhaps the most popular question on Earth because everyone has to eat. Korea is a country full of unique and delicious cuisine. Korean styled barbeque, sweet rice cakes, spicy rice cakes, mixed rice, spicy kimchi, and many other amazing dishes will be discussed in this course. If you are ready to learn about the unique flavors of Korea then we are ready to teach you. During this course students will be taught how to cook a traditional Korean delicacy and will be equipped with knowledge about a variety of Korean foods.
South Korea has become a country torn apart due to the Japanese occupation and the Korean civil war and yet reborn in the modern age. This course covers the period from the mid-nineteenth century up to the present. It focuses on the character of Korean modernity and its relation to traditional society and then the details main historical events and social, political, intellectual, and economic developments. This course will deal with how development and modernization has affected Korean society and culture. Students will also examine Korean culture historically. This includes rethinking Confucian and Buddhists influences, the role of the Japanese and American Military Government, military dictatorship, and democratization process. In the class, many social issues such as economic development, the recent issue of social inequality, population, family, and environment will be extensively discussed.
From the beauty of Gyeongbokgung Palace to the harmony and simplicity of the traditional Hanok home to the shining tall skyscrapers of today there is much that can be learned from architecture. Building design expresses cultural roots and social values.
A look at traditional and modern architecture will give insight into the natural, political, and religious influences that shaped the Korean peninsula. Students will appreciate the information gained in the classroom as it will be enhanced by relevant field trip experiences.
Economics might not sound like an exciting topic but it is and this lecture was highlighted as a favorite with past participants. This lecture will focus on the complexities of the Korean economy and how it has an effect on the economy around the world.
Korean Martial Arts
Asia is famous for its various martial arts skills and South Korea is no exception having given the world, Taekwondo.The class is designed to give the student an appreciation of taekwondo, both as a sport and as an art. Emphasis will be placed on performance and understanding basic taekwondo techniques. One fifth of the class time will be devoted to the understanding of the said arts and the other four fifths for learning basic skills.
Are there different styles of communication between East and West? What about differences between Korea and everyone else? This course serves as an introduction to the field of intercultural communication by looking at the practical application of theory and research. It identifies the key challenges presented by intercultural interaction both at home and abroad and how those challenges affect people, their jobs, and their relationships. It focuses on the strategies and skills needed to deal effectively with these challenges in a broad variety of interaction contexts.
Korean Family and Society
Each culture has its own unique approach to both family and society. Korean people are known for their strong family values which are so strong they have spilt out into the greater society. This course is designed to help students understand why these familial bonds are so strong.
Korea 101 or Help I’m New Here
This humorous orientation course will provide students with the basics of how to adapt to their new environment. This crash course will place emphasis on simple language skills since everyone needs to know how to ask where the bathroom is and where a taxi needs to take us. Other emphasis is put on basic Korean culture, styles of food, and more importantly where the good food is.
Korea 102 or Nunchi and Other Things to Ponder
The second part of the orientation section will provide students with a deeper understanding into the thought process and the heart of the Korean people.