Cross-Cultural Psychology in Seoul, South Korea
Fall 2019 Global Seminar
Seoul is a vibrant, global city located in the heart of South Korea. With its rich history and traditions intermixed with modern elements, South Korea offers a unique setting to study classic psychological theories against the backdrop of a non-Western culture.
Participants in this program will take Cross-Cultural Psychology in South Korea (PSY 3410) and learn cultural constructs, theories, and methods in cultural psychology. These learning objectives will be enhanced through exposure to everyday applications of the psychological theories. For example, we will visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed by the United Nations and North Korea/China in 1953. This program will allow for a contextualization of modern day Korea (both South and North) within the history of the Korean War and how that context shapes the relationship between the South, North, the United States, and the global community. Other possible excursions planned include both traditional (e.g., visiting and participating in a traditional Korean village) and modern experiences (e.g., visiting Korean markets, K-Pop hologram theater) which will allow the students to see how different understanding of self and others applies in private and public spheres of South Korea. Finally, students will have a chance to hear from guest speakers who will discuss how psychology is researched and practiced in a non-Western context like South Korea.
Students will increase their multicultural competence through their interactions with fellow Korean and international students from all over the world, as they will be living in international student housing on the campus of a major university in Seoul, Konkuk University
PSY 3410: Cross-Cultural Psychology (5 credits)
Multiculturalism has been deemed as a “fourth force” in psychology (behind psychoanalysis, humanism, and behaviorism), highlighting the importance of cross-cultural psychological theories and research. In addition, the rapid globalization of our society only strengthens the argument that it is imperative for psychology students to gain an understanding of cross-cultural research and theories. Thus, this course examines the influence of culture on a variety of psychological topics. An emphasis is placed on answering the question: What is universal, and what is culture-specific? Furthermore, students are asked to think critically about the intersection of culture, faith, and psychological processes. This course will be taught in South Korea, which will provide ample opportunities to see how the cross-cultural theories and concepts apply.
Prerequisite: General Psychology. Attributes: CUE, Upper Division
Seoul 2018 Itinerary
Monday, August 27: Depart Seattle
Tuesday, August 28: Arrive in Seoul. Settle in to Konkuk University dorms
Wednesday, August 29: Orientation and Seoul city tour. Gyeongbok Palace, Insadong, Hanbok Trial. Welcome dinner.
Thursday, August 30: Class 9am-11am
Friday, August 31: Namsan Tower, War Memorial of Korea
Saturday, September 1: Day excursion to DMZ with lunch
Sunday, September 2: Free day
Monday, September 3: Class 9-11am. University Tour
Tuesday, September 4: Class 9-11am. Guest lecture
Wednesday, September 5: Class 9-11am. Korean cooking class
Thursday, September 6: Class 9-11am. Korean movie night
Friday, September 7: Overnight excursion to Gyeongju by train. Hotel + breakfast
Saturday, September 8: Sightseeing in Gyeongju. Return to Seoul.
Sunday, September 9: Free day
Monday, September 10: Class 9-11am. K-Pop Hologram Concert
Tuesday, September 11: Class 9-11am
Wednesday, September 12: Class 9-11am. Korean traditional music class
Thursday, September 13: Class 9-11am
Friday, September 14: Day trip to Jeonju
Saturday, September 15: Han River firework cruise
Sunday, September 16: Day trip to Muuido Island
Monday, September 17: Class 9-11am. Lunch (on own) at Gwangjang Market
Tuesday, September 18: Class 9-11am
Wednesday, September 19: Class 9-11am. Lotte Tower
Thursday, September 20: Program ends.
Housing and Meals in Seoul
Students will be housed in shared twin rooms at KU:L House, the Konkuk University student dormitory. SPU students will live amongst Korean and International students. Each double occupancy room includes an internet connection, cable TV with 54 channels, air conditioning, and a shared refrigerator on each floor. Each room has a private bathroom with shower, and is located near the center of campus.
Two to three group meals will be planned for the group. There are dining areas located on campus and plenty of markets and affordable cafes in the surrounding area for students to purchase. We recommend students budget $150 per week for meal expenses. Housing and Meals
Program fees include:
|2018 ESTIMATED Program Fee
|$3,600 + $300 confirmation payment (administrative fee)
Estimated expenses not included in program fees
- Lodging - International Student Housing at Konkuk University, Seoul
- 3-4 group meals.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off at Seoul Incheon International Airport (ICN)
- Public transportation pass for unlimited travel throughout Seoul
- Seoul city tour
- Entrance fees and transportation to all group cultural and sightseeing activities
- Medical insurance for the duration of the program
- Tuition: Credits earned are part of regular fall tuition
- Airfare to Seoul: Approx. $1,000
- Meals: Approx. $150 per week (on-campus or local restaurants)
- Personal expenses (souvenirs, snacks, activities, etc.) - varies
- Trip cancellation/interruption insurance - varies
*Costs are estimated and may be adjusted in response to unanticipated price changes or foreign currency fluctuations.
Students on the Seoul Global Seminar may be eligible for financial aid, including state and federal aid. Check with Student Financial Services to determine your exact aid eligibility before applying.
Airfare is not included in the program fees to give you maximum flexibility and control.
Please do not book your flights until you have been accepted to the program and your place has been confirmed by the study abroad office. As a courtesy, we will identify a 'preferred' flight that students may book through SPU's travel agent or on their own. Specific information about flights will be provided in your study abroad account. There is no chaperone to accompany students on their flight(s) from the US, but students will be given a time frame to arrive and will be greeted at the airport and transported to student housing. At the end of the program, return airport transportation will be provided.
On this program, students will arrive into Seoul Incheon Airport (airport code ICN). Students who plan to arrive early will be responsible for their own transportation to meet up with the group in Seoul and we will provide advice for the best transportation options.
Once your flights are booked, you must complete the flight information questionnaire in your study abroad account at least 3 weeks prior to departure, providing the study abroad office with flight numbers and times.
Please note that if it is necessary for SPU to cancel the program or if you have reason to cancel after your ticket has been purchased, SPU is not responsible for reimbursing the cost of your ticket. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to purchase flight insurance. We are happy to advise you on cancellation insurance options.
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Dr. Kim has been teaching Cross-Cultural Psychology at SPU since 2010. From the first time he taught the Cross-Cultural Psychology course, he has actively sought ways to improve the course and make it a more integral part of the Psychology major; since Dr. Kim started teaching the course, it went from a 3 credit to a 5 credit course, and from being an elective course to a required one. He is excited about helping students contextualize the cross-cultural psychological theories taught in this course in a global city like Seoul.
Dr. Paul Kim
Associate Professor of Psychology,
Faculty Scholar for the Living Well Initiative
Office: Marston 113
Dr. Kim is Korean by birth but grew up in the Philippines as a child of cross-cultural missionary parents and thus identifies as a missionary “kid.” He wrote his dissertation on the psychological experiences of Asian international students and thus is familiar with the cross-cultural adaptation process of college students. He spent the 2017 Autumn term in South Korea teaching General Psychology to a diverse group of students at Sogang University. He has professional and personal connections in South Korea, which will serve the students well during their study abroad experience.