Milage May Vary
From SPEA to South Korea
Since 1975 young people from South Korea have been coming to SPEA for an education. This May, 20 SPEA undergraduates will travel across the globe to South Korea to study globalization.
SPEA’s Scholars in Global Citizenship Program will give undergraduate students the opportunity to examine first-hand the effects of globalization on government, business, communities and ordinary citizens. Korea’s open economy, rapid pace of change, and a new president promising a slimmed-down government make it an excellent field site for students of public policy.
During the ten-day trip students will hear from decision makers who are engaged in policy focus of the new government in Korea. Topics for discussion will include the Lee government’s approach to the North Korean nuclear problem and prospects for resolution, the growing problem of how to treat undocumented alien workers in the Korean labor market, the challenge of American congressional ratification of a U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement (FTA), and the new government’s resolve to restore the U.S.-Korea alliance. Along the way, students will visit public, private, and nonprofit organizations where many SPEA graduates hold high-level appointments.
“There are so many concurrent challenges Asian countries face that the U.S. never had to contend with,” says program director Matt Auer. “Korea is experiencing rapid change – in technology, politics, the economy – and pressing socio-cultural changes. Students will synthesize classroom knowledge with on-the-ground observation to gain better understanding of the challenges other countries face.”
Prestigious Yonsei University in Seoul serves as the host for the program. SPEA Professor Emeritus Roy Shin will accompany the group to his home country. “Yonsei has developed not only a full schedule of appointments for the students, but also, excursions, including a visit to Korea’s Demilitarized Zone,” says Shin. “The students will certainly come back with a different world view.”
IU at Oxford
One of SPEA’s newest overseas partnerships is taking IU undergraduate students to Parliament’s House of Lords, Westminster Abbey, and Churchill’s War Room. IU at Oxford is an intensive four-week summer program with courses focusing on governance, guest lecturers from the faculty of the University of Oxford, and remarkable field study.
Students live in the heart of Oxford while studying at the oldest English-speaking university in the world. SPEA Professor Ken Richards directs the Oxford program. “The main focus of IU at Oxford’s governance and decision-making courses is to consider these important topics from a variety of perspectives, including psychology, economics, anthropology, and public management, so having a diverse group of viewpoints represented in the classroom only adds to the experience,” he remarked.
Two courses: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Decision Making in Public and Private Contexts” and “Herding Cats: Governance of Private and Public Organizations” are included in the program. Both courses are designed to conform to a British style course of study in which students have more freedom in choosing readings and depth of analysis.
Though SPEA coordinates the IU at Oxford program, it is open to all IU undergraduate students. “We are excited about building a strong partnership with Oxford University. Its long-standing reputation for academic excellence is an asset to SPEA and gives our students a more global perspective,” said Interim Dean Kurt Zorn.