exchange programs in korea

Last Updated on July 30, 2023

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exchange programs in korea

Exchange programs allow Koreans and Americans to form lasting relationships in areas of shared interest and concern. Bonds of friendship and mutual respect are also strengthened through alumni activities.

Professional Exchange Programs

Fulbright Commission in Korea: The governments of the U.S. and South Korea support the Korean-American Educational Commission (KAEC) in its operation of the Fulbright program and other activities set by the KAEC Board. One of these programs, the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) program brings more than 100 Fulbright grantees each year to Korea to teach English in public schools across the country, focusing on regional areas outside of Seoul.

The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) is a professional exchange program in which current and emerging foreign leaders in a variety of fields experience the United States firsthand and cultivate lasting relationships with their American counterparts. U.S. Embassy personnel nominate candidates for the IVLP.

IVLP on Demand provides small groups of South Korean participants the opportunity to meet and confer with their professional counterparts in the United States. U.S. Embassy personnel nominate candidates for the IVLP on Demand program. Please contact the Office of Exchanges and Alumni for more information about Embassy Seoul’s exchange programs.

Student Exchange Programs

The Work, English Study, Travel Program is an innovative exchange program in which more than 3,700 university students and recent university graduates from South Korea have gone to the United States to study English, participate in internships, and travel.  WEST is run by the Korean Ministry of Education with support from the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy Seoul.

Global Undergraduate Exchange Program (UGRAD) provides semester and academic-year scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from under-represented sectors in East Asia, Eurasia and Central Asia, the Near East and South Asia and the Western Hemisphere for non-degree full-time study in the United States combined with community service, and cultural enrichment.

U.S. Congress-ROK National Assembly Youth Exchange Program (CYX) is a unique program designed to broaden the perspectives of South Korean and American young people on the legislative process, the history of U.S. – Korean relations, and current economic, political, and security aspects of the bilateral relationship. The program also provides the U.S. and Korean participants with firsthand experience of each other’s people and culture and creates opportunities for participants to form long-lasting personal contacts. Korean delegates are selected by members of the ROK National Assembly through a competitive application process. The American delegates are selected by members of the U.S Congress through a similar process.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program promotes critical language learning among American youth. NSLI-Y awards merit-based scholarships to high school students for participation in summer and academic year immersion programs in locations where the eight NSLI-Y languages are spoken, South Korean being one of the languages. NSLI-Y immerses participants in the cultural life of the host country, giving them formal and informal language practice.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. Students spend eight to ten weeks abroad studying one of 15 critical languages, which includes South Korean. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains.

The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program provides scholarships to American undergraduate students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, providing them with skills critical to national security and economic prosperity.  The program aims to encourage students to study and intern in a diverse array of countries and world regions. The program also encourages students to study critical need languages, which includes South Korean.



korean exchange programs for high school students

If you dream to visit Korea and wish to learn to speak Korean but feel you have to wait until college or after, you may not have to. You might be able to enroll in a South Korea exchange student program sooner than you think. You could have the opportunity to attend high school in South Korea and truly immerse yourself in the culture. You may stay in Seoul, or you may end up in another city or town in South Korea; however, no matter where you go, you could have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to immerse yourself in the culture of South Korea.

Korea Exchange Student Program

With a program offering a chance to study abroad in a Korea high school, you may have the chance to live with a Korean host family. This may provide you a chance to really see what daily life in this Asian country is like. You might gain far more insights than tourists who never venture into the real Korea. Immersion in a country may also help you to learn the language more efficiently, since you could have opportunities to use it everyday. This may help you in your future, both at college and beyond. In a multi-cultural world, it may be important to know how to interact with other cultures, especially if you plan to pursue a career in a company or organization with international ties.

Study Abroad in Korea High School

If you do not wish to or cannot spend a year of high school in South Korea, it may be possible to spend a few weeks over the summer. The Korean school system typically runs form early March to Late December, so you could have the chance to attend a Korea exchange student program even during your summer break. Some summer programs may also have a particular aim for students, such as exploring peace and reconciliation along with Korea’s past and present. Instead of staying in one location, you may have the opportunity to travel to various regions in Korea and learn from economists and historians. Although you may travel, you may still have the chance to live with a host family and might even have the chance to stay in a Buddhist temple and learn from monks.

In a summer program, you may also be able to enroll in intensive language courses on a university campus to help jumpstart your education in a language designated as a critical language by the National Security Education Program. This might grant you a head start when you enter university, as you may be able to test out of one or more required language classes. The ability to speak Korean may also help you with your future career, as some companies and international organizations may want to have employees who can speak the language.    

Korean High School

A Korea exchange student program could provide you a way to visit South Korea, learn the language, and be immersed in the culture while also having support in country. You might live with a host family and attend high school in South Korea for a real view in the culture of the country. Some programs may also provide you with assistance in planning for the trip, including acquiring any visas or resident permits, preparation for the journey, placement, enrollment in school, tutoring and counseling. Some programs may also organize special trips so that you might see more of the country and region.

There are many considerations to make when determining whether or not to go to high school in Korea, including the length of time, the location, the support, and amenities provided in the program and more. Every person and experience is different, so it may be best to research the different programs and determine which is the best fit for you. You may find our resources beneficial to help when you research if a South Korea exchange student program is the right fit for you.

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