South Korea Cultural Information

Know before you go!
 
The following resources will help you prepare mentally for your study abroad experience! The more you learn about your host destination pre-departure, the richer your experience will be!
 

South Korea Official Travel Guide

Culture Gram

Local News

Television and Films

 

Recommended Readings

  • The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong: The Autobiographical Writings of a Crown Princess of Eighteenth-Century Korea (JaHyun Kim Haboush)
  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea (Barbara Demick)
  • When My Name was Keoko (Linda Sue Park) 
  • To Kill a Tiger: A Memoir of Korea (Jid Lee)

Music

 

Cultural Activities

  • Pay a Royal Visit to Gyeongbokgung in Seoul
  • Get a  tour of the Demilitarized Zone
  • Explore the jumunjin Beach in Gangneung

 

Recommended Websites

Common South Korean Cuisine

  • Soondubu jiggae
  • ddukbokkie
  • Hoeddeok
  • Kimchi
  • Bulgogi

 

Prominent South Korean Figures

Park Ji-Sung is a South Korean footballer who plays as a midfielder for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, on loan from English club Queens Park Rangers. He was also the captain of the South Korean national team until his retirement from international football. He is the most decorated Asian footballer in history, as the first Asian footballer to have won the UEFA Champions League trophy, as well as the first Asian footballer to play in UEFA Champions League Final

Lee Byung-hun is a South Korean actor, best known for starring in Joint Security Area (2000), A Bittersweet Life (2005), The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008), I Saw the Devil (2010), Gwanghae (2012), and RED 2 (2013). Lee, along with Ahn Sung-ki, are the first Korean actors to imprint their hand and foot prints on the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

General Douglas MacArthur though not south Korean the commander of the Allied forces during the Korean War helped with the freeing of South Korea from the attack by North Korea.

Kim Yuna is a South Korean figure skater. She is the 2010 Olympic champion in ladies' singles, the 2009 & 2013 World champion, the 2009 Four Continents champion, a three-time (2006–2007, 2007–2008, 2009–2010) Grand Prix Final champion, the 2006 World Junior champion, the 2005 Junior Grand Prix Final champion, and a five-time (2002–2005 & 2013) South Korean national champion. Kim is the first South Korean figure skater to win a medal at an ISU Junior or Senior Grand Prix event, ISU Championship, and the Olympic Games. She is the first female skater to win the Olympic Games, the World Championships, the Four Continents Championships and the Grand Prix Final. She is one of the most highly recognized athletes and media figures in South Korea. She is the current record holder for ladies in the short program, the free skating and the combined total under the ISU Judging System. She has broken world record scores 11 times under the ISU Judging System since 2007, eight of which being records she herself set. She is also the first female skater to surpass the 140-point and 150-point free skating mark and the 200-point total mark under the ISU Judging System. She has not finished off the podium in her entire career.

 

 

 

 

 

Politics

Park Geun-hye is the eleventh and current President of South Korea. She is the first woman to be elected as President in South Korea, and is serving the 18th presidential term. She also is the first woman head of state in modern history of Northeast Asia. Prior to her presidency, she was the chairwoman of the conservative Grand National Party (GNP) between 2004 and 2006 and between 2011 and 2012 (the GNP changed its name to "Saenuri Party" in February 2012). Park was also a member of the Korean National Assembly, and had served four consecutive parliamentary terms as a constituency representative between 1998 and 2012; starting her fifth term as a proportional representative from June 2012. Her father was Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea from 1963 to 1979. She is generally considered to be one of the most influential politicians in Korea since the presidencies of the two Kims: Kim Young-sam and Kim Dae-jung.

Jung Hong-won is the current Prime Minister of South Korea. He was born 9 October 1944 and graduated Bachelor of Laws (undergraduate) from Sungkyunkwan University. After passing the Judicial Examination, he became a prosecutor. He became known after solving several high-profile cases, such as the Lee-Chang scandal, in which relatives of President Chun Doo-hwan were prosecuted, the Walker Hill Casino scandal.He resigned from his prosecutor job in 2012,but was nominated for 1st Prime minister candidate of Park Geun-hye's government. On February 26, 2013, after the South Korean National Assembly confirmed his nomination, he was formally sworn in.

Ban Ki-moon is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations, after succeeding Kofi Annan in 2007. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

 

 

Page last modified March 7, 2014