The University of Iowa

Iowa-South Korea Connections

June 11th, 2013

In an ongoing series from International Programs, we look at connections between the University of Iowa and countries around the world. Our faculty, students, and programs reach far beyond the UI campus. Below are some of the highlights of our connections with South Korea.

Facts at a Glance

  • There are 389 students from South Korea studying at the University of Iowa (257 undergraduates and 132 graduate and professional students), making Korea the second largest international student population on the UI campus after China.
  • The most popular majors for undergraduate Korean students are business, psychology, and open
  • major. For Korean graduate and professional students, top programs include music, psychological and quantitative foundations, and business administration.
  • The University of Iowa has 13 formal linkages with institutions in South Korea.
  • Nine UI students studied abroad in South Korea last year. South Korea was one of the top 20 study abroad destinations for UI undergraduate students.
  • Since it began in 1967, the UI’s International Writing Program has accepted 50 South Koreans into the prestigious residency program.

Faculty Projects and Achievements

Jiyeon Kang

Jiyeon Kang, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the UI, focuses her research on discursive practices of national identity, civic use of the Internet, globalization, South Korean youth and politics, and theories of the public and rhetorical agency. In the past year, she has presented research at Seoul National University and Yonsei University, as well as conducted additional research in Seoul. Her forthcoming book examines how youth, the Internet, and a series of anti-American protests in the first decade of the 21st century heralded the belated emergence of a post-Cold War identity in South Korea.

Roger Tracy

A 2013 study jointed written by researchers at the University of Iowa and Chung-Ang University sought to determine the effect of visiting consultant clinics on measures of access to cancer care for rural Iowa patients. The study, published by Health Services Research, was authored by Roger Tracy of the Carver College of Medicine at the UI, Inwoo Nam of the College of Business at Chung-Ang University, and Thomas S. Gruca of the Tippie College of Business at the UI. Researchers found that including visiting consultant clinics has a significant impact on measures of geographic access to cancer care.

Jaime Sabel

Jaime Sabel, a Ph.D. candidate in the UI College of Education, researches science education and teaching and learning in South Korea. She observed classrooms in South Korea, where science scores rank in the top positions globally, to examine how teachers set up classrooms for inquiry and how they use writing as a means for negotiation. Although the United States places a strong emphasis on the importance of inquiry in science classrooms, U.S. students still fall far behind globally in science achievement and Sabel hopes to understand how U.S. classrooms could implement more of these Korean methods.

Research and Exchanges

The Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iowa promotes teaching, research, and outreach related to East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific area. The center hosts visiting scholars from Asia and research scholars of Asian studies from the U.S., many of which also present public lectures for the UI community while at Iowa. Currently, 7 of the 35 CAPS-affiliated faculty specialize in Korean studies and teach UI courses on Korean history, politics, culture and society, and language. Sonia Ryang, a professor of anthropology, serves as the C. Maxwell & Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Scholar of Korean Studies at the UI.

The University of Iowa and the University of Seoul maintain a student exchange program that allows undergraduate and graduate students from each university to attend the host institution for a semester, summer, or year-long program. Seven UI students have participated in this exchange since it began in 2008. The UI also has student exchange agreements with Ajou University, Ewha Womans University, Seoul National University, and Sungkyunkwan University Exchange.  These programs allow students to pay tuition directly to their home institutions without further charges from the host institution.

President Woo and Dean Scranton

The UI College of Engineering’s formal agreement with the Korea Institute of Construction Technology (KICT) focuses on collaborative research and projects, encouraging the exchange of invitations to scholars for lectures, visits, and sharing of experiences. Pictured (right) are President Woo of KICT and Alec Scranton, dean of the College of Engineering.

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the UI along with the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Yonsei University, Wonju, offers a duel degree B.S./M.S. program. As part of the agreement between the universities, a two‐way faculty exchange program was also developed, allowing UI faculty to teach courses in biomedical engineering in Wonju and YU faculty to visit Iowa City.

See also:

Iowa-Turkey connections
Iowa-Thailand Connections
Iowa-Malaysia Connections