Explore the open source and open data initiatives driving the next generation of digital and social innovation in South Korea.
In a hands-on learning environment, you’ll earn a micro-credential for course completion
You’ll develop a practical digital innovation project and gain a credential for resume use.
Collaborate with South Korean students to address a social justice need.
Digital innovation projects, conceived with and for South Korean students and organizations, form the core of the program and help ensure digital access for all.
Get inspired by Seoul, a digital innovation hub.
The program center is near the center of Seoul and on the edge of Hongdae district, a hub of art, music, markets, and youth culture. Nearby neighborhoods provide a fantastic context in which to learn about trends and cultural movements in Korean life.
Assess the ethical and social implications of digital technology.
Consider topics such as the collection and use of “big data,” the impact of digital innovation on open-access and sharing-economy initiatives in Seoul, and the global future of digital ethics and norms.
Learn about the dynamic youth cultures of South Korea’s digital innovation and development by living with homestay families.
Learn practical Korean language skills.
Offered at a range of levels, this non-credit-bearing language instruction will prepare you for the program, for living with homestay families, and for learning as deeply as possible about the ways in which digital innovation and social innovation meet in South Korea today.
Critical Global Issue of Study
Media | Arts | Social Change
None. Previous college-level coursework or other significant preparation in back-end, app development, design, and other tech interests or related fields recommended.
Key Topics of Study
Key Topics of Study
- The future of Korea’s digital technology
- Public, private, and community-based approaches to digital innovation and development
- Technological and social ecosystems that facilitate digital innovation
- Impacts of Free and Open Source (FOSS) and the Open Data Movement on digital innovation
- Social, economic, political, and ethical implications of the collection and use of “big data” on everyday life
The program’s coursework is woven throughout your experiences each day. Your days will consist of a mixture of meetings, discussions, and debriefing at the program center and field sites. Each program experience will help you build capacity to work with Korean student peers in the development of the digital innovation project, the culminating component of the program’s coursework that is grounded in SIT’s hands-on learning approach.
The following syllabi are representative of this program. Because courses develop and change over time to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, actual course content will vary from term to term. The syllabi can be useful for students, faculty, and study abroad offices in assessing credit transfer. Read more about credit transfer.
- Digital Technology and Social Innovation – syllabus
- (SOCS3060 / 3 credits / 45 hours)
- This seminar is designed to bring South Korea’s leadership in digital technology in conversation with the future of civic life, sustainability, and social innovation. The seminar considers the future of Korea’s digital technology; the technological and social ecosystems that facilitate digital innovation; the impacts of Free and Open Source (FOSS) and the Open Data Movement on digital innovation; and the social, economic, political, and ethical implications of the collection and use of “big data” on everyday life. By the end of the course, students will be able to articulate an assessment of FOSS and Open Data Movement efficacy in the South Korean context; define and assess the sharing economy in South Korean society and its social impacts; evaluate the social, economic, and political ecosystems of digital innovation and social innovation in Korea; and hypothesize and defend a position on the global future of digital ethics and norms, such as digital copyright, and how that might influence how we approach the development of digital technology tools for social innovation.
- Digital Innovation Project – syllabus
- (COMP3080 / 3 credits / 90 hours)
- The digital innovation project is a small group project that involves collaboration among SIT Study Abroad students and South Korean student peers as project team members, from beginning to end. This project will give students hands-on experience in developing digital innovations and will help students develop critical skills in intercultural team building, design development, implementation, testing, and presentation and evaluation of their work. All projects will address an identified digital data access need in South Korea and will include Korean student peers as project team members. Students will meet with the project advisor to refine ideas and create a project plan and development brief that articulates a viable design, defines basic team member roles, and adheres to strict scientific and human ethics standards. Throughout the project, students will acquire or advance their skills in project management, user interface design, AngularJS, and/or database management. By the end of the course, students will be able to develop and carry out a digital design project; articulate and evaluate context-specific design; assess efficacy of project design process outcomes relative to initial project outcome goals; and communicate project design, development process, and outcomes, including reflection and next steps, in a written report and oral presentation.
Please note that in order to take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, program excursions may occasionally vary.
The South Korea: Digital Futures program is an experiential learning program designed to maximize your exposure to a diversity of digital innovation and intercultural learning opportunities outside the formal “classroom.”
Seoul is one of the world’s most successful models of integrating history, traditional culture, and creative interpretations of our digital future. Your program hub is Campus D, a digital think tank located just south of the Han River, a few subway stops from South Korea’s National Assembly, and across the river from the lively arts, music, and university district of Hongdae. At our program base and elsewhere, you will meet digital industry and NGO entrepreneurs and visit public sector organizations active in South Korea’s digital design and innovation. You will also visit cultural and historical sites and participate in activities that deepen your understanding of Korea.
You will live with a homestay family and use the extensive subway system to navigate Seoul.
The city and its green, mountainous outskirts offer endless opportunities for learning more about the interplay of new and old, urban and rural, and individuality and family-focused values within South Korea’s digitally-focused future.
The program’s primary excursion outside Seoul takes you across South Korea to Busan, a port city on the southeast coast known for its beautiful coastline, green mountains, and history of global trade. Significantly smaller and slower paced than Seoul but still a global city in its own right, Busan provides an excellent location from which to continue the program’s conversations about digital innovation and access in South Korea more broadly and to witness social innovation initiatives in Busan and surrounding communities.
The homestay is an integral part of the SIT experience. During your homestay, you’ll become a member of a local family, sharing meals with them, joining them for special occasions, talking with them in their language, and experiencing the host country through their eyes. Homestay placements are arranged by a local coordinator who carefully screens and approves each family. Students frequently cite the homestay as the highlight of their program. Read more about SIT homestays.
For five weeks, you’ll live with a homestay family in South Korea’s dynamic capital, Seoul. Seoul is a global center of business, entrepreneurship, education, the creative arts, and digital-leading change. Your time with your homestay family will deepen your understanding of the program’s themes at work in everyday life.
Cost and Scholarships
Cost and Scholarships
SIT Study Abroad is committed to making international education accessible to all students. Scholarship awards generally range from $500 to $5,000 for semester programs and $500 to $3,000 for summer programs. This year, SIT will award more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to SIT Study Abroad students.
SIT Pell Grant Match Award. SIT Study Abroad provides matching grants to students receiving Federal Pell Grant funding for the term during which they are studying with SIT. This award can be applied to any SIT program. Qualified students must complete the scholarship portion of their application. View all SIT Study Abroad scholarships.
This program is eligible for a New Horizons Grant, a scholarship for our new programs. Award amounts are $2,500 for semester and $1,500 for summer programs. Students demonstrating need through their submitted scholarship application will be eligible.
The tuition fee covers the following program components:
- Cost of all lecturers who instruct students in:
- Digital technology and social innovation
- Basic Korean
- The digital innovation project
- All educational excursions
- Health insurance throughout the entire program period
Room & Board: $2,000
The room and board fee covers the following program components:
- All accommodations during the entire program period. This includes during orientation, time in the program base (Seoul), on all excursions, and during the evaluation period.
- Homestay in Seoul (five weeks)
- All meals for the entire program period. Meals are covered either by SIT Study Abroad directly, through a stipend, or through the homestay.
Estimated Additional Costs:
International Airfare to Program Launch Site
International airline pricing can vary greatly due to the volatility of airline industry pricing, flight availability, and specific flexibility/restrictions on the type of ticket purchased. Students may choose to take advantage of frequent flyer or other airline awards available to them, which could significantly lower their travel costs.
Books & Supplies: $ 80
International Phone: Each student must have a phone in each country. Cost varies according to personal preferences, phone plans, data plans, etc.
Personal expenses during the program vary based on individual spending habits and budgets. While all meals and accommodations are covered in the room and board fee, incidentals and personal transportation costs differ depending on the non-program-related interests and pursuits of each student. To learn more about personal budgeting, we recommend speaking with alumni who participated in a program in your region. See a full list of our alumni contacts. Please note that free time to pursue non-program-related activities is limited.
Please Note: Fees and additional expenses are based on all known circumstances at the time of calculation. Due to the unique nature of our programs and the economics of host countries, SIT reserves the right to change its fees or additional expenses without notice.
Digital Innovation Project
Digital Innovation Project
Through the digital innovation project, you’ll collaborate with Korean students to address a data access need in South Korea. You’ll develop intercultural team-building skills and get experience in project management, user interface design, AngularJS, and database management. With guidance from your project advisor, you and your team members will refine ideas and create a plan culminating in a viable design that adheres to strict scientific and human ethics standards. You will also produce a written report and oral presentation and receive a micro-credential for later use on your resume.
- Collaborate with an open-source source NGO to design a mobile app that gives Seoul citizens new ways to access data and information on social services
- Jump start a new initiative of a small-scale, social enterprise with a new digital application
- Design an interface to enhance end-user experiences for a social enterprise or NGO