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In late October, for the ninth consecutive year, a group of Biden School graduate students traveled to Seoul, Korea. The UD students collaborated with students from Cornell and Portland State Universities and the University of Central Florida to participate in the Seoul Case Study Programsponsored by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.
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Biden School students pose with their participation certificates.
Managed by the University of Seoul, the Seoul Case Study Program exposes three multi-university groups per year of graduate students of public affairs from American and British universities to the inner workings of policymaking and urban administration in a global megacity of 10 million residents.
UD has been a participant in the program beginning with its first cohort in 2010. The focus of the program is its weeklong intensive field trip to Seoul, during which students enjoy lectures by city officials and academic experts, site visits to municipal facilities and infrastructure, and opportunities to interact with Korean and other international students in the UOS's International School of Urban Sciences.
That study trip to Seoul is embedded in a 1-3 credit course, UAPP 730, which prepares students for the experience by covering a range of relevant topics, including Korean culture and history, city planning and management, the history and management of Seoul specifically, and special topics in urban policy and management selected by the students. The course also requires students to complete a research project that focuses on a specific policy problem or solution in Seoul and puts it into an international comparative context. The resulting papers are submitted to the SMG and faculty at UOS, as well as Professor Jonathan Justice.
Although the workdays are long and fast-paced, the trip is not all work and no play. Students, possibly aided by the jetlag that goes with a 13-hour time difference, invariably manage to explore the city on their own in the hours between official activitiesusually in groups that mix universities. New York may have the reputation, but Seoul is truly a city that never sleepswith many shopping malls and restaurants open until 5 a.m. This year's group organized a trip to see the famous Korean DMZ on its one free day.
This year's enthusiastic and impressive group from the Biden School included MPA students Tierra Fair, Daniel Henne, Tonisha Hurd, Elizabeth Suchanic, and Gerard Weir; M.A. students Alisia Drew and Jacob Thompson; and M.S. student Eileen Young. They all worked and played well together, took initiative in their academic research and city explorations, and represented the Biden School very well.