Leadership in a Korean Context

The South Korea Program is an experience designed to take advantage of the numerous learning opportunities in South Korea that hold direct connections with the program pillars in the Center for Service and Global Citizenship: global studies, sustainability, and a dedication to service, while allowing students to understand and further define what it means to be a leader.

Throughout the experience, students will study Korea’s remarkable economic journey in the post-war period, while strengthening their skills and deepening their understanding of leadership in action in the world. We will analyze the benefits and costs of this development to modern Korean society, and we will explore the tension between cultural traditions and the forces of modernity within the country. Visiting sites, participating in cultural experiences, and meeting with businesspeople, government officials, and non-profit leaders, students will gain a more textured understanding of leadership in a South Korean context.  Throughout, students will have the opportunity to lead their peers and/or see leadership in action.

The trip concludes with an overnight meditation at a local Temple designed to offer a time for students to reflect on their experiences and their growing awareness of themselves in the context of others and the place around them. Students will return to Deerfield with memories of Korea and a deepened understanding of what it means to turn ideas into action as leaders in a rapidly changing world. 

Program Notes

  • This trip conflicts with the June 8 ACT test date.
  • Families are responsible for transportation to and from  U.S.-based airport to the for the beginning of the trip and the remainder of summer break
  • During this trip students will stay in a hotel and a traditional temple. Meals will be shared at restaurants and on-the-go. While at the temple, all meals will be vegetarian.

Program Dates

June 1 – 10, 2024

Program Eligibilty

This trip is open to all students with a preference for those with a demonstrated interest in developing their leadership skills. All interested students are encouraged to apply by November 5. Financial Aid is available to all qualifying students.

Faculty Trip Leaders:

Nina Otterson; John Lim; Emma Hodge


Deerfield Academy’s Center for Service and Global Citizenship strives to make all of our travel programs affordable and accessible for all students while ensuring a high-quality global education experience. While the costs of travel around the world have been rising steadily over the past several years, all of our trips are subsidized, and thanks to the generosity of many we are able to provide robust financial aid for qualifying students.

Helpful links

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2024 Preliminary Itinerary

June 1: Flight from NE/NY airport to Seoul

June 2 – 7: Based in Seoul, students will visit key buildings, parks, museums and meet with local leaders such as business people, government officials, non-profit leaders, and more.

Site visits could include:

  • Local temples, markets, & gardens
  • Downtown Insadong, Myeongdong area & Hanok Village
  • Hike to Bukhansan Mountain
  • Group interaction with North Korean defectors and visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)
  • Visit to Hyundai Heavy Industries’ main shipyard

June 7 – 8 : The group will travel from Seoul via bus to participate in an overnight Temple Stay emphasizing the understanding of self – this culminating experience will present an opportunity for reflection and contemplation of our various roles as leaders in the world.

June 9: Seoul

  • Student led city explorations
  • Baseball Game 
  • Final program closing dinner

June 10: *Fly back to U.S. based airport

**Families are responsible for transportation to and from  U.S.-based airport to the for the beginning of the trip and the remainder of summer break.

Notes from Abroad

South Korea 2019

South Korea #7: Gratitude & Cultural Differences

Lily Steinwold ’21 shares a powerful experience while visiting the DMZ (North Korean Demilitarized Zone) and Chase Mathis ’21 describes the differences between Korean and US culture.