The Korean study abroad program provides students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve their teaching and expand their own cultural understanding. Students will receive first-hand exposure to Korean culture and some of the country’s best elementary education methods. The program comprises two courses: Foundations of Mathematics I and II (Math 1350 and Math 1351). Instruction begins on June 4 at Lone Star College-Cy Fair on Mondays through Thursdays, where we cover a bulk of the course content and provide travel orientation. On June 29, we board a plane to take our classroom across the world. Classes are held in South Korea until July 8, and a final class is held at the LSC-CF campus on the 16th.
One of the components of Math 1350 course is to plan and develop a hand-on activity that we will work with Korean elementary school students. This component will be a group assignment that needs to be completed before our travel to Korea. For the Math 1351 curriculum, an emphasis on symmetry and patterns will be put to practice in Korea as students will take a travel journal to record their daily observations of geometric shapes and patterns in Korean art and architecture. They will also record their experiences with cultural differences as well as their leanings from Korea’s teaching methods.
We will depart Houston on June 29 and arrive at Incheon Airport on June 30. We will stay two nights at a hotel in Incheon. There is an extensive subway system in Seoul to connect easily with its neighboring satellite cities. We may visit Seoul for the night of June 30, using this subway. On July 1, we will have a guided tour of Seoul that includes a palace, markets, a Buddhist temple, and a traditional village in the north of Seoul, learning a brief history of the 2000 year-old city that has served as the Capital of the country for 617 years. In the evening of July 1, we will travel to Jeonju by a rental bus with a driver. This bus will be our transportation for the following five days.
On July 2, we will visit Jeonju National University of Education to meet their students. Jeonju National University of Education is one of 13 universities that educates mainly elementary school teachers. The competition rate to these universities is as high as that to a medical or law school. Our tentative plan for the day would be a meeting and discussion with these future Korean elementary school teachers, majoring in mathematics and English education and an observation in one of the classes at Jeonju National University of Education. On July 3, we will visit the Attached Elementary School of Jeonju National University of Education. This elementary school is known to be the best elemenetary school in the city of Jeonju. It is also one of the elementary schools where the student teachers will go through a month-long training under an experienced teacher. At this elementary school, our tentative plan is for our students to do the group activities with Korean children. On July 4, we will visit the same elementary school to observe one or two of their exemplary classes so that students can learn their teaching methods. We will repeat these activities at Moonhak Elementary School on July 5 and July 6. July 2 through July 6 we will also have lectures daily either in the morning or in the afternoon at a classroom of Jeonju National University of Education. Our hope is to be able to use their computer lab if available.
In Jeonju, we will stay at least two nights at a Korean traditional house and a hotel for the other nights. Our daily lectures and school visit will finish around 4 pm, after which we will have an opportunity to visit Buddhist temples in and near Jeonju and beautiful beaches at the Korean west coast.
On July 6, we will travel back to Incheon. On July 7, we will have a guided tour to Demilitarized Zone, in short DMZ, the border between North Korea and South Korea. The Demarcation Line is at the latitude 38 degree North, hence its name the 38 Line. DMZ stretches 2 km to the north and 2km to the south from the Demarcation Line, total 4 km wide. We will visit one of the tunnels North Korean dug as they planned to invade South Korea in 1970’s.
We will fly back and arrive in Houston on July 8. We will have one last meeting on July 16 to finalize our program and students will present their travel experiences. We hope this will be an eye-opening and unique learning experience for each student to cherish and to grow forward from then on.
Fees and Cost:
The program fee is $2800 if you share a room with another student or $3100 if you require a single room. This amount includes round trip airfare, ground transportation, lodgings and meals and two guided tours. Full payment of the program fee will be required no later than March 1, 2012. Pending available space, students may apply for the course after March 1, 2012, but full payment of the program fee is required with the application. Program fees will be non-refundable after March 1, 2012. Students will also be required to pay Lone Star College tuition and fees for the two courses. The complete tuition and fee schedule may be found here. Scholarships are available for this study abroad program. The scholarship application can be downloaded and completed. Applications are due by November 14, 2011. A second round of the scholarship applications will be accepted by February 6, 2012. Students who are applying for a scholarship and/or would like to be eligible for financial aid must complete the FASFA.