Practice Korean in Incheon, a city near to Seoul, where you'll have a chance to practice your language skills, listen to K-pop, and eat your fill of kimchi.
Learn and improve your Korean skills through full language and cultural immersion at Greenheart Travel’s summer language camp in Incheon, South Korea! We welcome teen students of all skills, including beginners, and you will not only be immersed in a new culture, but you’ll make international friends from around the world.
*What does it mean to be in good mental health?
Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to a well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long-term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of all language camp applicants.
Therefore, we may not be able to accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition. Each student will be addressed on a case by case basis.
These include, but are not limited to:
If the student’s mental health issue has been managed (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner (psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.
This program is 2 weeks long. We cannot make exceptions to this.
Deadline to apply: March 15, 2021
There are 12 skill levels at the language camp divided up into the following sections: complete beginner, beginner 1, beginner 2, pre-intermediate, intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced. You will take a placement test before your program to determine your skill level, and appropriate language level placement, and an additional level test the first day of class.
Getting To/From School
Each day, all students will be responsible for commuting on their own from the host family’s home to the school using public transportation. This is one of the few times during the day when students will be unsupervised, but thankfully, the public transportation in Korea is very safe and we rarely see any major issues. Korean teenagers frequently use public transportation to get to school, and this is normal within Korea.
The public transportation will either be a train or a bus or a combination of both. We provide students with comprehensive guides for riding public transportation along with personalized maps from each student’s accommodation.
Please note, all prices are listed in USD.
Worried about the program fee?
Our goal is to help make travel accessible to everyone and we are here to help when you are deciding if this experience is financially do-able. Each year we offer scholarships for high school study abroad students! We also have a guide to fundraising your program fee, and many high school students fundraise in their hometown ahead of their program.
We also offer discounts for applying early (plus there are many other benefits to applying early!) for each start date and for US families that have hosted an exchange student with Greenheart Exchange.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.
Students are picked up from the airport by either their host family or a language school representative and taken to their host family.
All start dates are listed as a Monday, but students need to:
Arriving or departing outside these designated windows will incur additional fees. If you need to extend your program, we can add on additional days for $100/day.
All students live with carefully selected local host families in the greater Incheon area. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:
Due to the small size of Korean homes, there is usually only one student placed per host family. Some families have larger homes and can accommodate two students. In this case, they will only share rooms with students of the same gender and will be closely supervised by their hosts. If you are applying with a friend and want to share a host family, we recommend applying early as those placements tend to fill up.
Committing to a language camp program can feel a bit daunting, but we are here every step of the way to make the application process as simple as possible. Below are the steps you’ll need to take to be accepted on a Greenheart Travel program.
Once you start your application, you have two weeks to finish.
1. Ensure Your Eligibility: The eligibility requirements, such as age or language proficiency, may be required for certain destinations.
2. Start Your Application Here. You will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application. You’ll be able to save your progress along the way.
3. Sign the Terms & Conditions: After you complete the first part of your application, you (and your parent(s) if you’re under 18) will be asked to read through and sign our Terms and Conditions which outline the requirements and policies of the program
4. Submit your application fee: You will need to submit your $300 application fee at this point in the process. This is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.
5. In-Depth Questionnaire: This is the most in-depth part of the application process as it helps us get to know you better. You will need to provide detailed information about yourself, why you want to go abroad, and what you hope to gain from your experience. You will also need to upload your passport.
6. Acceptance: Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 1-2 weeks to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.
You’re Accepted – now what?
Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. At this point you will be required to submit a second $300 commitment payment that also goes towards the total amount (it’s not extra). This is your commitment to your start date and once we receive it is when details will start to be booked on your behalf.
You’ll then be able to download program handbook from the portal, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule an online pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have. You can expect to receive your host family placement 1-2 weeks prior to your start date.
Greenheart Travel has been working with high schoolers for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:
We also have some unique offerings to our Greenheart Travel students and alumni!
Greenheart Global Impact Grants (GIGs)
Greenheart GIG Grants are funds awarded to Greenheart Travel participants to use for community development projects in their host or home country. A GIG is the opportunity to create, improve, or maintain an impactful, community-focused project abroad or at home. Grant funds could be applied to supporting women’s cooperatives, schools, community centers, or health clinics, for example. Grant winners will be featured on our website, social media, and blog. You can see our past winners on our blog here.
Greenheart Alumni Program
We created the Greenheart Travel Alumni Program to provide resources and a community to support alumni in their advancement as global leaders, and a way to celebrate and reward our participants for being ambitious, inspiring catalysts of cultural exchange!
Junior Greenheart Global Leaders Conference
Each May Greenheart offers full-ride scholarships to around 10 teen alumni to attend our annual conference in Chicago. You can see more about what Jr. GGLC is and what you could do at the conference here.
Greenheart Travel welcomes travelers identifying as LGTBQ+, and is committed to helping you find the best program for you. We can provide information on the cultural norms of our destination countries and are prepared to advise you on the best programs based on your needs and interests.
Students are supervised and chaperoned by school staff during the day and by the host families at night. The only time when the student may be unsupervised is when they ride the train or bus to school from their host families home.
Greenheart Travel cannot award high school credit directly, but through agreements with certain U.S. universities, it is possible to gain college credit. Please talk to your school about earning credit for your child’s time abroad. Refer to this blog post for tips on transferring credit and gaining college credit.
Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contract stating they will only speak in Korean, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.
In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real-world situations. Through language immersion, you will learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.
Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our travelers and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer a personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.
Students who study with Greenheart Travel are eligible for The Greenheart Club, where they log volunteer hours and connect with other participants. They can also apply for grants for a service project they design themselves. See more here.
You will be covered by mandatory health insurance as part of your program with Greenheart Travel. This is packaged into the program cost. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 1 week prior to your departure. Specific instructions and suggested doctors are included in the program handbook students receive via email upon acceptance.
Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends. Please note that due to the small sizes of homes in Korea, there is no guarantee you will be placed together in the same host family.
No. We do not change host families based on preferences. However, if issues arise once you are on the program, we will handle them on a case-by-case basis and may make changes if necessary.
Flights to Korea are not included in the program fee. Students are responsible for booking their round-trip airfare to Korea. We will collect your itinerary to organize your arrival and airport pickup.
Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently.
Yes! Either someone from our in-country partner staff or your host family will be waiting for you when you land.
There are no required vaccinations to travel to Korea. We follow the CDC’s guidelines for travelers to Korea.
We give you tips and advice for communication while abroad during your program. Students are not required to get a local South Korean phone number. They usually rent a pocket Wi-Fi and get in touch with each other via email or applications using that Wi-Fi.
All host families (and most every person) in South Korean have internet in their homes. There is also 4G internet widely available throughout the country.
Although there are tensions between North and South Korea, there is no threat to South Korea at this time. For more information about relations between North and South Korea, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.
We recommend you apply as early as possible as this is our most popular teen program and start dates (especially for beginners) fill up very quickly.
The sooner you can apply the better, as acceptance, gathering documents, etc. can take a long time. Read more about why applying early is a good idea.
Absolutely! If you are an educator or community leader who would like to organize a group trip, please inquire here to speak about dates, pricing, and any special requests.
Please refer to our COVID-19 blog for the most up-to-date information on current programming.
As of November 2020, U.S. citizens are able to enter the South Korea as tourists, provided they agree to a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival. If the mandatory quarantine requirement persists until at least 6 weeks prior to the start date, we will evaluate if we can effectively run this program (see cancellation policy below). However, as of November 2020, we will still plan to run this program as scheduled for Summer 2021.
Closer to your start date, you will participate in an online pre-departure training with a Greenheart Travel staff member. The details will be provided to you upon acceptance onto the program. During this online training, the Greenheart Travel staff member will provide any specific COVID-19 guidelines or entry requirements (such as getting a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to departure). All students will be required to adhere to any local or federal government guidelines while on program, such as wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of distance with anyone outside of this program. These will be discussed with students during the online pre-departure as well as upon arrival. Guidelines, requirements, and restrictions change frequently, so we will give you the most accurate information as possible as close to your start date as possible.
Again, while we plan to run this program without issues in Summer 2021, our policy is to still evaluate programs 6 weeks prior to your intended start date. If we determine we are unable to run your original start date due to factors like health & safety of students or entry restrictions, you will have options to defer to another start date/year, switch to a new program or request a partial refund. Please refer to our COVID-19 Cancellation and Refund Policy for more details.