Engage in your own unique combination of opportunities while traveling through and settling into South Korea.
BUSINESS & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
One of the world’s fastest-growing economies from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, South Korea continues to be a regional economic powerhouse today. Like its other "Asian Tiger" peers, today’s South Korea boasts a high-income, highly industrialized economy with a highly-skilled workforce.
While it’s home to many thriving tech startups, South Korea’s business culture is also heavily influenced by large family-run industrial conglomerates known as chaebols. Despite its small geographic size, South Korea is frequently ranked among the top 15 largest economies in the world by GDP.
Visit the headquarters of an online entertainment startup to learn about the inner workings of the K-pop industry or embark on a company visit to a major South Korean animation studio.
Then, learn about Seoul’s online gaming industry during a visit to a popular video gaming company, explore the factory headquarters of a major Korean cosmetics manufacturer during a behind-the-scenes tour and visit a South Korean start-up hub to chat with entrepreneurs working in the pop culture industry.
HISTORY & CULTURE
According to traditional founding myths, Korea, or "Old Joseon," was founded in 2333 BCE. Its long and tumultuous history features many periods of prosperous independence as well as periods of invasion and domination by neighboring foreign powers including China and Japan.
As a result of its close proximity to China, traditional South Korean culture was heavily influenced by Chinese Buddhist and Confucian ideas. Although both North and South Korea share the same rich cultural traditions, they have developed very differently since World War II, when the Korean Peninsula was split in two.
Witness the Changing of the Royal Guard at the stately walled Deoksugung Palace. Learn about South Korea’s unique Buddhist traditions while exploring the beautiful cliffside Haedong Yonggongsa Temple and gain insight into imperial Korean history while wandering the grounds of the beautifully-restored Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Then, tour the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), catch a glimpse of North Korean territory and gain first-hand insight into the fascinating history of the Korean War before sampling traditional Korean street food during a visit to Gwangjang Night Market.
South Korea is a major world center for high-tech manufacturing that’s home to many technology companies which have become household names around the globe, including Samsung, LG and Hyundai. In 2021, South Korea ranked 5th in the Global Innovation Index.
Home to a highly educated workforce, the country boasts booming biotechnology and robotics sectors, making it a hub for the advancement of modern science and technology.
POP CULTURE & FASHION
Beginning in the 1990’s, South Korea developed a vibrant entertainment industry. A thriving economy and an openness to both traditional and global cultural influences led to a boom in many forms of pop culture including film, TV dramas and pop music.
In a phenomenon known as the "Korean Wave," Korean pop culture first spread to neighboring Asian countries, but in the last decade, this wave has swept across the world. Recently, US and global audiences have discovered the infectious melodies of K-pop bands like BTS.
The Korean movie Parasite became the first non-English language film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and interest in Korean TV drama soared after the award-winning Squid Game series proved immensely popular with viewers around the globe.
Visit Shinsegae Department Store, recognized as the largest department store in the world by the Guinness Book of World Records, or spend an afternoon exploring the affluent Gangnam neighborhood, made famous by South Korean rapper Psy’s song, "Gangnam Style." Then, discover all the newest K-pop hits while enjoying a festive KTV night at an authentic karaoke club.