Students Experience a New Culture During Four-Week Summer Study Abroad Trip to South Korea

--Learning Journey Continues with New Korean Studies Minor

Seven William Paterson University students participated in a summer study abroad trip to South Korea that offered a variety of learning opportunities as well as transferrable credits to William Paterson.

The students participated in the program at Ewha University in South Korea from June 29 to July 27, 2022. Most of the costs for the trip were supported by the SEED program funded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies.

“It was a wonderful learning opportunity for our students and it also enabled them to earn six transferable credits to William Paterson,” says the SEED grant director, Keumjae Park, sociology and criminal justice. Park works with co-directors of the grant, Carrie Hong, education, Angie Yoo, communication, and Hye Eun Choi at New York University Shanghai.

“In addition to Korean language classes, students were able to take classes of their own interest,” adds Park. For example, Vienne Voysey, a music major, learned how to play a Korean string instrument called the gayageum and a drum called janggu in a Korean traditional music class.

The group also visited famous Korean landmarks including Gyeongbokgung Palace, N-tower, and Lotte World.

“It was the best experience I’ve ever had,” says Elsie Castillo, a business management major with a minor in international studies. “In one course, international students were mixed with Ewha University students, and we learned from each other,” she says. “We had conversations about the differences and similarities between our cultures. It was a great way to learn, not only about Korea, but about people from different countries.”

Nursing major Rosemarie Beyers took a Korean culture and tradition class where she learned about the origin of Korean beliefs. “I believe that applying my understanding of why some people believe in what they do or act the way they do will help me to communicate with patients and coworkers in the future,” she says.

The students can continue their learning journey with the University’s newly launched Korean Studies minor. It is a flexible minor with one required course and 15 credits of elective courses.  “The minor will help students gain linguistic and cultural proficiency, enabling them to interact with the vibrant Korean community in New Jersey and explore career opportunities serving these communities in various post-graduate and professional settings,” says Park.

The SEED grant team plans to support four additional students’ study abroad trips to South Korea next summer. 

For additional information about the study abroad program and the new Korean Studies minor, contact Keumjae Park at