During the January Interterm, Sukhee Kang, former mayor of Irvine and Dr. Fred Smoller took 13 Chapman students to Korea to explore the county’s history, politics, and economy.
During this trip the students visited the national assembly, Sejong dae-ro (King Sejong’s statue), the Korea Broadcasting System, Seocho City Hall, Kyonggi provincial hall, Samsung, Hyundai, Korea University and Ewha University, Imjingak (DMZ).
Despite the busy schedule of the Kyonggi province Governor Kim Moon-soo and the Hyundai motor group’s Vice Chairman, Yang Woong-Chul, the two men took the time engaging in conversation and hosting a dinner for the students and professors.
“I hope that as these bright students mature into society’s great leaders, they also maintain the good relationship with Korea as this is my primary objective to initiate this travel course,” said Kang.
According to the two faculty, the students have ‘fallen in love’ with Korea after the trip. Upon their return, the students presented papers on various topics revolving around their trip and what they learned.
“I have served in Korea before as a U.S. Soldier and thought I had a great knoweldge about Korea, but through this trip I learned so much more on a more academic level and a new experience for me,” said Myeongeun Chong, (MAIS ’15) Chapman student.
“This (was) my first time visiting Korea. One of the revealing things I saw occurred when I was on the subway. A lady spilled her coffee on the floor. She immediately wiped it away using her own napkins. This shows Korea’s concern for public space and attitude, which was reflected throughout Seoul, which was far cleaner then my hometown of New York City,” said Dr. Smoller.