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GLBL 3581 6.0 - South Korea: The Politics of Youth and Old Age

GLBL 3581 6.0 - South Korea: The Politics of Youth and Old Age

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GLBL 3581 6.0 - South Korea: The Politics of Youth and Old Age

This course studies the politics of contemporary South Korea with a focus on the political debates and cultural shifts - including intergenerational conflicts - that arise from a rapid industrialization and aging population. 

In the first week of the course, taking place at York University’s Keele campus, students will learn about the history and politics of modern Korea, from the start of the 20th century to the present. Following this week of intensive learning, students will travel to Seoul, the capital of South Korea and the home of half the nation's population. In Seoul, learning is composed primarily of guided experiential opportunities, including visits to museums, universities, and cultural and historical sites including palaces and temples. 

Field visits include the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, the Seoul Museum of History, the National Museum of Korea, the Seodaemun Prison History Hall, and the War Memorial of Korea. The site visits will be preceded or followed by a short lecture to relate the visit to the course material. There will also be a full-day guided tour to the DMZ (the border between North and South Korea) that is located 75 kilometers north of Seoul. 

Students will spend time at Yonsei University and Chung-Ang University in Seoul to attend lectures on Korean history, politics and social policy with Korean students. The visits to universities and the Canadian embassy in Korea will allow students to gain a first-hand appreciation of the current political dynamics of Korea, as well as the lives of young people in the country.

Course Details


Seoul, South Korea

Course Director

Prof. Thomas Klassen, School of Public Policy and Administration (

Course Dates

May 6 – 10, 2024 at York University; May 13 – June 1, 2024 in South Korea


This course is not open to students who have completed fewer than 60 credits.

Maximum Enrolment

16 students

Program Activities & Excursions

  • Bongwonsa Temple
  • Korean cooking class
  • Cheongwadae (Blue House) Presidential residence
  • Gyeongbokgung Palace
  • Canadian Embassy in Seoul
  • DMZ Tour
  • Seodaemun Prison History Hall
  • Non-verbal show
  • And more

Accommodations and Meals

  • Students will stay in shared rooms at the Ever8 Premium Business Hotel in Seoul. The hotel is walking distance from multiple public transit options and is close to lots of restaurants, bars, and shops. Each shared room has a private bathroom, kitchenette, desk, and washing machine.
  • There is no meal plan at the hotel, but students are welcome to purchase meals from the hotel’s restaurant or cook their own meals in their in-room kitchens.


There is no group flight for this course, and all admitted students are responsible for booking and paying for their own flights. If you wish to arrive in Seoul earlier than the course start date, or stay after the course is complete, you will be responsible for finding and paying for your own accommodations.

Entry Requirements

  • Students are responsible for knowing South Korea’s entry and exit requirements and ensuring they have the appropriate travel documents. Please refer to the Government of Canada’s travel advisories and information for South Korea. Students should consult the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea’s website to see if they require a tourist visa based on their country of citizenship. Students requiring a tourist visa should apply for one at least 2 months before their scheduled departure.
  • Students travelling with a non-Canadian passport may need to obtain a Korea Electronic Travel Authorization (K-ETA).
  • Any students with layovers in another country en route to South Korea must also check that country’s entry and exit requirements and obtain a transit visa if one is needed.

Program Fee

Estimated Program Fee $3,370 (based on 10 students)

Approximate Total Program Costs (subject to change)

Domestic Students $7,860
International Students $13,452

Included in Program Fee

Included in program fee: accommodations in Seoul, all site visits and excursions, welcome and farewell meal, professor-related costs (travel, accommodations, meals, incidentals).

**Program fee subject to change based on final number students and final course itinerary.

Not Included in Program Fee

  • Flights to/from Seoul $2,000 Estimate. Depends on departure location and date of purchase.
  • Travel Insurance $50 Estimate. Students are required to purchase insurance.
  • Spending money $1000 Variable. All students should budget additional funds for meals, transportation, gifts, personal travel, etc.
  • York University Tuition (Domestic) $1,440 Based on Summer 2023 tuition fees. Subject to change.
  • York University Tuition (International) $7,032 Based on Summer 2023 tuition fees. Subject to change.

Study abroad courses are an amazing opportunity to learn, make new friends, experience new places and take part in amazing travel opportunities. 

— Parmeen Khaira, GLBL 3581, Seoul, South Korea, Summer 2023

Studying abroad in South Korea was an amazing academic adventure. From immersing myself in the rich Korean culture to exploring breathtaking sights and landmarks, every day brought new discoveries and personal growth. The experience broadened my global perspective and ignited a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our world.

— Imáni Kyei, GLBL 3581, Seoul, South Korea, Summer 2023

Learn More

For more information, students can connect with LA&PS Study Abroad Coordinator (