Elon Students Participate in Spring Break Program to South Korea
Two Elon University students were among a group of US university students who were selected to travel to South Korea as part of the Korea-US Youth Network during Spring Break.
Two Elon University students were among a group of US university students who were selected to travel to South Korea as part of the Korea-US Youth Network during spring break. Brett Evans and Margaret Selid were among a group of about 75 students who took part in the program which is organized through a partnership between the CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange and the Korea Foundation. Participation in the program is fully funded through scholarships.
Selid is a first-year student from Columbus, Ohio. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics. She said she had applied to the program because she “wanted to learn more about Korea's language, foreign relationships, and culture firsthand in order to develop my world view.” She added that, “learning about Korea, its culture, democracy, economy, and work force will not only teach me about Korea, but it will also help me to see the world differently by understanding how it looks from another perspective.”
Evans, a sophomore from Purcellville, Virginia is majoring in Religious Studies with minors in Nonviolence Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Asian Studies. When asked why he applied to the program, he said, “I felt that my knowledge of South Korea was mainly limited to its ongoing conflict with North Korea. I currently view South Korea through an American lens and lack a strong understanding of its broader culture and history.”
Upon his return, Evans was asked what one moment stood out as a real cross-cultural learning experience. He responded, “As a Religious Studies major, I was fascinated by Buddhism’s still strong role within South Korea, despite the large population of quite evangelical Christians now present there. An especially memorable moment occurred in a vegan restaurant near a Buddhist temple in Seoul. I was seated near a friendly Buddhist nun with some English speaking ability, and we were able to have a great conversation over dinner. The experience of engaging with her allowed me to move beyond what I had read in my coursework and to understand more fully Buddhism as it is practiced in a South Korean context.”
More information on the program can be found at www.ciee.org.