Wheaton logo 2020 color version also for mobile

Wheaton in Korea

Learn about Korean history, culture and theology in Seoul!

Program Overview

Seventy years ago, South Korea was a war-torn society still reeling from decades of devastating colonialism. Today, it is one of the most developed nations in the world, a global entertainment hub and the vibrant center of Asian Protestantism. Wheaton in Korea students will experience this fascinating story through courses on modern Korea and Christian thought, site visits to historic locations, and immersion in Seoul's bustling cultural life. 

  • Sponsoring Departments: History; Biblical and Theological Studies
  • Program Leaders: Dr. Hanmee Kim, Assistant Professor of History; Dr. Gregory Lee, Associate Professor of Theology and Urban Studies; Pastor Raymond Chang, Chaplain’s Office
  • Term: Anticipated Summer 2022
  • Anticipated Online Dates: May 9--May 27, 2022
  • Anticipated International Dates: May 30--June 24, 2022
  • Estimated Cost:  $6,700 (airfare not included; cost subject to modest change) 
  • Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211; OR BITH 213 or ARCH 213 or BITH 317 (for Christian Thought in Korea)
  • Eligibility: Open to Wheaton students in good standing at the College
  • Highlights: Site visits throughout Seoul will bring class material to life. Students will learn about Seoul’s urban renewal projects by visiting an urban sky park and a recreation stream at the heart of the city. They will visit historic sites such as Gyeongbok Palace and its massive six-hundred-year-old grounds for insight into the nineteenth-century monarchy and its power structure. They will learn the history of Christianity in Korea by visiting sites like Ewha Girls’ High School, one of the first institutions established by Western missionaries and a crucial site for Korean Christian resistance against colonial rule. Informal outings to art districts, handicraft shops, and traditional villages will offer immersive experiences in Seoul’s vibrant culture and history. Students will also enjoy an array of local food options and unique cafes.

Course Offerings

HIST 205: From Palaces to Sky Parks: A Historical Tour of Modern Korea (HP, GP, pending approvals)

This course will historically explore the development of modern Korea from 1876 to 2000. These developments included a forcible break from dynastic traditions as well as Japanese colonization, the Korean War and postwar reconstruction in the Cold War era.  In particular, the course will use historical and commemorative sites in Seoul as focal points by which to access major developments and themes in this history such as modernity, colonialism, war, division of the peninsula, industrialization, urbanization, democratization, and globalization. Through examinations of these sites, the course will also raise questions on how the past is remembered, which narratives are emphasized and left out, and thereby discuss issues of historiography as well as collective memory in South Korea. Ahead of each site visit, the course will build historical contexts for these sites through lectures and close analyses of primary and secondary sources.

BITH 329: Christian Thought in Korea (Christian Theology, pending approvals)

An investigation into the basic beliefs of the Christian faith, with special attention to their implications in Korea. Fulfills the Christian Theology general education requirement. Only offered as part of Wheaton in Korea. Prerequisites: BITH 211 or 221 or ARCH 211; OR BITH 213 or ARCH 213 or BITH 317.

Anticipated Additional Fees

Estimated International Airfare (students will purchase their own flights; costs will vary widely depending on departure location) $1,500.00
Visa Fees (for US citizens; citizens of other countries may pay higher fees) $10.00
Textbooks/Course Materials $200.00

Learn More

For information, contact Dr. Hanmee Kim and Dr. Gregory Lee at wik@wheaton.edu.

How to Apply

To apply, visit GoGlobal, Wheaton College's registration system for off-campus study and international travel, research, and internships.