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9 posts categorized "Resident Director"


Spring 2018, Issue 1


DMZ tunnel cropped

CIEE Seoul Welcomes Spring 2018 Students

This semester we have 65 students from 44 different schools across the United States. They have settled in nicely following a week-long CIEE orientation to help them adjust to their new environment. Orientation included a number of info sessions and workshops to introduce the CIEE program, academic policies, safety and security and the like. It started with an interactive workshop to introduce students to Korean etiquette and various other aspects of Korean culture and society, including Korean traditional clothing. Orientation also included a photo scavenger hunt to help the students learn how to get around the city as well as various tours of the campus and surroundings. Some of the activities involved CIEE Seoul Mates (Korean buddies). To wrap up our orientation, we had a 2-day excursion to introduce the students to other parts of the country as well as many of the elements that make up the Korean cultural fabric and psyche. We stayed overnight deep in the mountains, visited a Buddhist temple and a Confucian academy, made paper-crafts, learned mask dance, hiked in the mountains, and more.

The first Saturday after classes started we had our first CIEE day trip—an excursion to the DMZ that separates the two Koreas. It included visiting an infiltration tunnel, a military observation post, and the Joint Security Area (JSA). And, this past weekend we had our always popular K-Pop tour.

The following are some photos from our CIEE orientation and our last two weekend activities.

Scenes from Orientation


In addition to introducing Korean history, customs and traditions, the Korean Spirit and Culture Workshop included information about Korean etiquette such as how to wear the Korean national dress, sit properly and bow to elders as well as some things about Korean food and modern society.


Bowing 3333


CIEE orientation also included a briefing by U.S. Embassy officials (below)


Scenes from Overnight Excursion


During the excursion, students made a colorful box out of traditional handmade paper (above) and learned about Korea’s long tradition of mask dance dramas and some of the dance moves (below).

Mask dance

Dance moves

Day Trip to DMZ

In jsa

Some students pose alongside a guard in the conference room at the Joint Security Area (above) and some take a group photo with the conference room and North Korea’s pavilion in the background.

Tunnel DMZ

Scenes from K-Pop Tour

Btts kpop

Students pose with a statue honoring the group BTS

Dance class

Students learn K-Pop moves from a K-Pop choreographer

Indie concert

The K-Pop tour ended with an Indie concert.




Fall 2017

End of Semester Greetings

Happy holidays! Today is Christmas Eve and our fall 2017 semester program ended yesterday. Over the past four months our students immersed themselves in Korean culture and society by joining student clubs, spending time with Korean friends, exploring the country, and participating in CIEE activities, workshops and excursions. Here we take a look back through photos.

Cultural Activities

Students are putting the finishing touches on the boxes they created in our CIEE paper-crafts class, a Korean traditional handicraft.

_hanji class cropped

Students learn about some “scary” parts of Korean history during our Halloween “Ghost Tour” of Seoul.

_ghost tour


Students visited many fun places on our CIEE K-Pop Tour.

K tour 2 cropped

Posing with the Gangnam Style sculpture in Gangnam (above) and with images of popular idols (below).

KPop 2


Seoul Mates

Our CIEE buddies, called Seoul Mates, organized lots of fun weekend activities to help our students learn about Korean society and student life.

Seoul Mates pottery

Learning pottery with Seoul Mates (above). A student shows off his creation (below).

Seoul Mattes indiv pottery

Seoul Mates game

Playing Korean games with Seoul Mates (above) and enjoying food in a traditional market (below)

_gwangjang market



Visiting a mural visit during the CIEE excursion to the Pusan International Film Festival (below)

_gamcheon cultural village

Students pose for a photo at the Joint Security Area in the DMZ with North Korea in the background during our DMZ Excursion (below).

DMZ2 cropped

Several students pose in front of the traditional house where they slept during our Explore Korea Excursion (below).

Studentts at house

Crossing a stream during the excursion (below)

Water crossing cropped



Spring 2017


  Pic for let
End of Semester Greetings

It’s hard to believe spring semester has come to a close, yet students have departed and summer students have arrived. It’s time for a long overdue look at some of the things students did during the spring semester. Let’s take a look back through photos, starting from the beginning of the semester.


Hanbok trio

Being cute in hanbok, Korea's costume, during our Korean Spirit and Culture workshop (above & below).

Males in hanbok


Photo scavenger hunt mission to take group picture in front of CIEE Seoul Study Center (above) and with Comfort Woman Statue (below)


We had two overnight excursions: Explore Korea Excursion during orientation and South Island Excursion mid-semester.


Learning about the statues in a gate at a Buddhist temple
Processing green tea

Sp trash beach xxxx

Cleaning the beach during island excursion
Harvesting salt during island excursion
Observing creatures that inhabit mudflats

Community Service

Students could choose from a variety of volunteer opportunities such as teaching English to North Korean defectors or senior citizens, mentoring underprivileged children, making audio books for blind children, holding infants at an orphanage, or walking dogs at an animal rescue center.

Xxx mentoring

Our student mentors help underprivileged children living in Shinchon area. On the first day (above & below), each mentor took a picture with their mentee to be printed on postcards and given to each mentor and mentee at the end of the program as a souvenir. 
  Xxx mentees 2
Spring mentoring
Students and mentees enjoying an outdoors activity (above)


Teaching English to senior citizens (above)

Audio 1

Audio 2

Two students took part in making audio books for blind children. They read Korean folktale story books written by the CIEE Resident Director Suzanne Crowder Han in English and two weeks later, the audio books they recorded were available for blind children at Sungbook Library for the Blind.


Seoul Mates

Students interacted with our CIEE Seoul Mates (Korean buddies) one-on-one, in small groups and in a monthly large group activity. Check out these short videos made by some students and Seoul Mates:






SM hearts xxxx

On a Seoul Mate mission to the DDP (above) and learning about Buddhism while doing a temple stay program with Seoul Mates (below)

SM temple stay


Other Activities


Because many students are interested in cooking, we had a cooking session with students at a girls high school. They were divided into small groups and, led by the local students, each group made different types of Korean food such as kimbap and tteokbokki, which they all shared (below).  

Xxxgirls HS 1

Xxxgirls HS 2

Some students attended a smaller cooking class in a private home (below)

Xxxxcooking class



Many students are into K-Pop so we had a K-Pop Tour whereby we visited major entertainment companies such as YG, JYP and SM artium, and walked along the K-Star road to experience K-pop music and culture. We also attended an indie concert to learn more about Korean music. After the concert, we took a group picture with the musicians and had a chance to chat with them (below).




 We also went to a modern pansori (a Korean narrative, epic, dramatic folk vocal art form performed by one person accompanied by one drummer) concert; many students got their CDs signed by performers (below).
















Fall 2016, End of Semester

NewsletterBannerSeoul686x101 S&c workshop group pic

Greetings from Seoul!

It's hard to believe our fall semester has come to a close. It was a very busy, exciting and productive semester. Over the past four months our students immersed themselves in Korean culture and society by joining student clubs, spending time with host families and Korean friends, exploring the country, participating in CIEE activities, workshops and excursions, and doing community service. Here we take a look back through photos to the beginning of the semester.

Santa mentor

As part of the CIEE community service program, CIEE students mentor Korean students with learning disabilities. Here, one dressed up as Santa Clause and surprised the kids during the farewell party to teach about Christmas traditions.

Hongdae live club day

Some of our students enjoyed Hongdae Live Club Day with our CIEE Seoul Mates.

Korean indie musician interview

Three of our students interviewed Indie musicians to write an article for a website.

Alumni dinner

The CIEE staff arranged a dinner meeting with some CIEE alumni who have returned to Korea for work so that students can hear their stories and advice.


As part of the CIEE community service program, CIEE students help North Korean defectors learn English.

Teaching seniors

CIEE students teach English to senior citizens as part of our CIEE community service program.


Students on a seaside hike during our CIEE excursion to the Busan International Film Festival.

Cooking class with HS student

CIEE students enjoyed cooking with students at a local high school.

Mt inwang hiking

Some students high atop a mountain overlooking the city of Seoul during a CIEE hike.

Games with SM

Seoul Mates organized a day of fun and games to teach students some of the games Koreans play.

Photo jaunts_1

A CIEE staff member takes a selfie with some students on a CIEE Photo Jaunt to introduce students to little known areas in the city.

Making fans with Seoul Mates

Students and Seoul Mates made fans together while exploring a neighborhood of traditional Korean houses.

Impromptu lecture exc

Students listen to an explanation by our tour leader during our CIEE Explore Korea overnight excursion.


Students attended a pottery workshop during our CIEE Explore Korea overnight excursion.


Students are waiting for monks to appear during a tour of a Buddhist temple.


During our overnight stay in a traditional village, students had a chance to make scarves using natural dyes and to also learn Korean traditional percussion instruments (next photo).



A team of students take a photo in front of a palace gate during an orientation activity at the beginning of the semester.  



Summer 2014, Issue I


CS hanbok cropped
Summer Greetings!

Our summer students started classes Tuesday after a week-long orientation. They arrived Friday, June 20, together with the summer rains. The next day we started our orientation with a session to introduce them to the CIEE program, academic policies, safety and security and the like. This was followed by an interactive workshop to introduce students to Korean etiquette and various other aspects of Korean culture and society, including Korean traditional clothing. We ended the first day with a street food tour that had to be moved to a traditional market due to heavy rain. The next day students learned about the university campus, Seoul transportation, and various historic sites and monuments by doing our CIEE Navigating Seoul activity. The evening was spent with local Yonsei students as they attended Akaraka, the university’s spirit festival. Early Monday morning we set out on a 3-day excursion to the coast and mountains of Gangwon-do province, the site of the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics. Students learned about Korean traditional lifestyles, various religions that have shaped the Korean psyche, traditional architecture, Korean cuisine and more. Since returning from the excursion, students have opened bank accounts, got cell phones, and attended Yonsei University’s orientation. In addition, we had a lecture about the DMZ, the Korean War, the military alliance and state of inter-Korean relations and then went on an excursion to the DMZ, and on Monday we had a guest lecture on Korean literature and attended a non-verbal performance to celebrate the start of classes the next day.

The following photos offer a glimpse into what students have done in the last two weeks.


Guys in hanbok cropped
Students getting dressed in traditional Korean clothing at Korean Culture & Spirit Workshop

  Chicken feet cropped
Trying chicken feet at the traditional market

Eating in market cropped
Learning about noodle dishes in the traditional market Waiting for akaraka
Having snacks prior to the start of Akaraka, Yonsei University's spirit festival

Explore Korea Excursion

Rain 2 cropped
An impromptu lecture about a revered Confucian scholar Image (1)
Carving a miniature of a traditional Korean sculpture

     Temple lec
At one of the many halls of a Buddhist temple Trying spring water
Trying spring water at a pavilion on the temple grounds

Students with an actor in the drama "Hotel King," which was filming nearby where we stayed

DMZ Excursion

Photo 5
A ROK soldier explains about an infiltration tunnel Selfies at the DMZ 2
Selfies at the Joint Security Area (JSA) DMZ group
Group photo at the JSA with North Korea in the background




Spring 2014, Issue II

NewsletterBannerSeoul686x101End of Semester Greetings

It’s hard to believe spring semester is coming to a close, yet students have been departing over the last few days and summer students have arrived. It’s been a very busy semester! Students have had lots of fun hanging with our CIEE Seoul Mates, volunteering, participating in student clubs, attending sports events, and traveling, not to mention studying, improving their language skills, and increasing their knowledge of things Korean. It’s time for a long overdue look at some of the things students did during the semester.

Field Trips & Cultural Activities

Mt. Inwangsan


Hiking on Mt. Inwangsan  

We had a hiking-lecture excursion on Mt. Inwangsan, which offers some fantastic views of the city. The hike took us past a number of important historic and sacred sites. Many trees were in bloom,adding to our viewing pleasure.  

Earlier, during Orientation, we went to the DMZ, where we visited OP Dora observation post, the 3rd North Korean Infiltration Tunnel and the Joint Security Area.

3rd tunnel

At a North Korean infiltration tunnel

Indie Concert

After concert 
Posing with performers after an Indie concert

Community Engagement

We had a number of students teaching English and Chinese at a center for senior citizens. In addition, we had a number of students volunteering at the Sarang school for students with learning disabilities, the Eastern Social Welfare Society’s baby care center, and the UNESCO Cross Culture Awareness Program, to name a few.

  English for Ch NK refugees

Teaching English to Chinese-speaking North Korean refugee students

Mentoring students

Mentoring students

Teaching seniors
Teaching conversational English to senior citizens


In May we had two excursions, one for spring participants and one for our academic year participants. These were designed to introduce the students to other parts of the country as well as to enable them to experience firsthand rural coastal and island life and how important products from the sea, mudflats, and wetlands are to the Korean diet and economy. These excursions provided quite a change from urban Seoul. Our spring students visited Jeungdo, an island off the southwest coast, known for its salt flats as well as its mudflats. Our AYP students traveled to the south coast where they visited the wetlands of Suncheon and stayed overnight in a very small rural village and on an island known for its boulder-strewn beaches.

Photo 3

Examining a small creature in the mudflats

  Photo 1

Harvesting salt

These were in addition to our 3-day Explore Korea Excursion that took place during Orientation. At that time we traveled to Namwon, the setting of Korea’s most famous folk tale, and Jeonju, known since ancient times as a city of culture, arts, and good food.


Making paper-crafts in Jeonju

Seoul Mates

In addition to interacting one-on-one with students and in small groups, our Seoul Mates (local Koreans recruited by CIEE to serve as buddies for our students) organized a number of group activities for our students. These included a cooking class in Buddhist temple cuisine, learning Korean games, making and flying kites, Korean slang classes, making a seal, a picnic at the Han River, and a “Running Man” activity.

SeoulMates cooking

One of several Seoul Mates cooking classes

SeoulMates slang class

Learning Korean slang and colloquial language

SeoulMates stampmaking

Students with Seoul Mates during stamp making activity





Fall 2013, Issue 3

Farewell greetings from Seoul!

Happy holidays! Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. It’s hard to believe that the fall 2013 program has come to a close. It seems like only yesterday that we were doing orientation, yet final exams ended Friday and students began departing over the weekend.

To help our students prepare for re-entry into their home culture, the previous Saturday we had a reverse culture shock workshop led by three professionals in the field.  It was a great opportunity for the students to share their feelings about leaving Korea and their new friends as well as their concerns about returning home. Later that day, we had a farewell dinner so that the students could spend one last evening together before hitting the books for final exams.

Our CIEE Korean Language Study Hall was so popular during the last two weeks we had to extend the hours and offered it daily as many students sought help preparing for the Korean language exam.  The CIEE staff helped with vocabulary review, pronunciation, and such. It was also a time for saying goodbye.

The following are some photos from some of our last CIEE activities.

Max leah mandu  final
Max and Seoul Mate Leah showing their handiwork at our cooking class.

  Paper students
Students with lamps and pencil holders they made in paper-crafts class.

A scene from our CIEE farewell party



Fall 2013, Issue 2

NewsletterBannerSeoul686x101Greetings from Dynamic Korea!

안녕하세요!  Annyonghaseyo!  

Just a few days ago, we had our first snow. It was lovely but it didn’t stick. It’s very early this year—the trees are still in their multi-colored coats of red and gold. And it’s cold. Fortunately, we have no more events or activities taking place outdoors.

To look back on what we’ve done since my last posting, October 6-8 we had a 3-day CIEE excursion to the port city of Busan on the southern coast to attend the 18th Busan International Film Festival, which screened nearly 300 films from countries all around the globe including many Korean films. To help students see more of the city, we had a scavenger hunt to introduce some of Busan’s historic sites and other attractions. The excursion was very successful and many students suggested it be made a regular fall event.

Scenes from the Busan International Film Festival

     BIFF pics
Students after a movie, posing with a film director, and with a movie poster

October 19, we had our excursion to the DMZ that separates North Korea and South Korea. We usually do the excursion during orientation, but this semester we had to reschedule the excursion. The day began with a lecture about the Korean War and the state of the armistice. We then boarded a chartered bus to travel north to the DMZ. Following lunch, we visited an observation point, toured an infiltration tunnel made by North Korea, and, the highlight of the day, visited the Joint Security Area where the armistice talks are held.

 Students with the armistice buildings and North Korea behind them

In early November, we had a half-day hike to the top of Mt. Inwangsan, one of Korea’s most sacred mountains, which is only a few bus stops from the CIEE Study Center. The mountain is dotted with historic and sacred sites and is well-known for its shaman shrines. We were lucky to happen upon a shaman ceremony.

Shaman 1

Shaman 2
A shaman prepares to walk on knives (top) and walking on knives (bottom).

Last weekend we had a field trip to a photo exhibition about the introduction of photography to Korea and its development up through modern times with a focus on sociological studies.

Photo exhibit
Some students and staff pose at the entrance to the photo exhibition.

Our CIEE Seoul Mates and students harvested rice at an island in the Han River and they also had a K-Pop dance class together. These group activities are in addition to their regular individual meetings.

Rice harvesting
Students and Seoul Mates harvesting rice

We have been having a night of Korean movies in the CIEE lounge every other Friday night since the first week of October. And, we have a paper-crafts class that is also being held every few weeks in the CIEE lounge.

Scenes from Paper-crafts Class

Papercrafts 1

Papercrafts 2

Thursday we celebrated American Thanksgiving early with turkey, ham, and all the trimmings. 


 Spotlighting a Student

Check out the following links to a newspaper article and YouTube video by CIEE participant Young Kim from Northeastern University. Young is interning at DailyNK, an online newspaper focusing on North Korea and North Korean refugees, defectors, and other related issues.





Fall 2013, Issue 1


Welcome to Seoul! Fall 2013!

안녕하세요!  Annyonghaseyo! Greetings!

Fall has arrived and is a time of change. And it’s noticeable everywhere.  The hot humid days of summer are slowly giving way to the crisp days of autumn. The sky is high and blue.  The rice fields are turning gold.  The lush green foliage is starting to change. And, our fall students have settled into the school routine, having attended classes for four weeks. They have been busy with schoolwork and various activities, from exploring Seoul and meeting new friends to getting involved in CIEE community engagement projects and university clubs.

To help them transition into Korean university life, we had a 2-week-long orientation.  In addition to discussions about health, safety, security, and academic policies, it included lectures on Korean pop culture, Korean cinema, and life in North Korea, a culture shock workshop, a photo scavenger hunt to help the students learn how to get around the city, and more. Some of the activities involved CIEE Seoul Mates. To wrap up our orientation, we had a 3-day excursion to introduce the students to other parts of the country as well as many of the elements that make up the Korean cultural fabric and psyche. We stayed overnight in Korean traditional style houses, visited a Buddhist temple and a Confucian academy, made pottery and did literati painting, hiked in the mountains, and more.

Here's what one student wrote about orientation and settling in:

SF 11 




Sarah Fewell, University of the South

Coming in to the program as the only person from my university and not knowing anyone, I was pretty nervous about coming to a foreign country where that lack of relationships would be even greater. But from the time that I arrived, I quickly started to get to know everyone in the program through the many activities that the CIEE staff had prepared for us; from the Seoul scavenger hunt to the three day excursion, we all were getting to know the people that we would be sharing this program with, while simultaneously learning about the country we are going to be calling home this semester and in some cases year.  We had talks on Korean media and even heard a lecture from one of the top North Korean experts in the region. But my favorite event that we have had so far would have to be the three day/two night trip to the central Korean Mountains. It was so much fun going outside of the city and to see the countryside and to see how life is outside of the capital. Plus the food was really good!

 When I talked to some of the other international students here and have heard their experiences about applying and adjusting to life here in Korea, I am so glad that I decided to apply for the CIEE program. I could not even imagine trying to apply for all the proper paperwork and trying to navigate the ins and outs here in Seoul by myself having never been exposed to living in a large city, especially when the city is in a different country and works by different cultural norms. Suzanne, Tina, and Boram really take good care of you and are always willing to help you out with any question you might have. They really try to cater to the interests of the group by organizing lectures, activities, and trips that the group seems interested in. I am really looking forward to the future programs that CIEE has prepared for us; from trips to the DMZ and Busan to the cultural workshops, I am looking forward to my upcoming year here in Korea!

Scenes from Orientation

Korean Spirit & Culture Workshop

Ksp saebaeLearning the proper way to bow Photo bowing
Learning how to receive bows Ksp girls

Ksp malesDressing in hanbok, Korean traditional clothing, is always fun

Scavenger Hunt 

A team at Gwanghwamun Gate

At the end of the hunt, a team poses with some CIEE Seoul Mates

Scenes from Explore Korea Excursion

Picnic 2 - Copy

Picnic 1

We stopped for lunch at a stream and waterfall in Soebaeksan National Park (above) and then traveled on to Buseoksa, a renowned Buddhist temple.


248 (2)
A brief lecture before ascending to the main temple halls.

Buseoksa 2
Learning about one of the temple's many structures and iconography

Crossing a stream after visiting a Confucian academy

Fan making 1
Students show the fans they decorated with traditional paintings favored by Korean literati.

  M gate - Copy
At the first Mungyeongsaejae Gate

Girls as queens
"Queens" for a day at the film set at Mungyeongsaejae

Making pottery

Scenes from Other Activities

Rice cakes 2
Students and Seoul Mates with teacher during class to make rice cakes for Chuseok, Korea's harvest moon festival.

Rice cakes 1
Making rice cakes

Kpop 2
Some students at a K-Pop exhibition

Community Engagement

Senior citizens 1
Two CIEE students teaching English to senior citizens

Sarang school
CIEE volunteers at a school for students with learning disabilities