Language Camp in South Korea

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  • Overview

    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.

    Program Basics:

    • Live with a local host family in Incheon while learning and experiencing the Korean culture!
    • You will be taught Korean by professional teachers and there will be activities throughout the week.
    • Each Friday, there is a full day cultural excursion along with optional excursions during the weekend.
    • You’ll get the chance to go to a K-Pop concert, take Taekwondo lessons, or even visit the Gyeongbok Palace!
  • Eligibility

    • Must be between 16 – 19 years old
    • Be in good mental* and physical health
    • Beginner level Korean is accepted, but a general knowledge of hangul (Korean alphabet), basic questions, and phrases is helpful

    *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:

    • Depression
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Debilitating anxiety
    • Eating disorders

    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.

  • Program Dates

    2020 Program Start Dates

    Please note these start dates can and do fill up before the set deadlines. It’s best to apply early!

    • June 7
    • June 21
    • July 12
    • July 26

    This program is 2 weeks long. We cannot make exceptions to this.

  • School Information

    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.

    Korean Courses

    • 12 hours of class a week (3 hours of lessons Monday-Thursday)
    • Classes are taught by native Korean teachers who specialize in teaching Korean as a second language
    • Lively and informal small classes with no more than 8 students per class
    • Korean lessons focus on practical communication skills first, including grammar, speaking and listening
    • Two all-day excursions on Thursday and Friday included in your program fee!
    • Daily (optional) cultural activities

    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.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    • 2 Week Program: $2,900

    Please note, all prices are listed in USD. 

    Packaged into the Price:

    • 12 hours of language classes per week
    • Airport pickup and drop-off upon arrival and departure from the Incheon International Airport (ICN)
    • Host family accommodation
    • 2 meals per day (Breakfast & Dinner)
    • Comprehensive medical/accident insurance
    • Track-specific cultural excursions & activities
    • Weekend excursions to beach or nearby cities
    • Half-day arrival orientation in Korea
    • Online and on-site language level placement test
    • Comprehensive program handbook with cross-cultural communication training and Korean culture tips
    • Certificate of completion at the end of the program for use on college applications
    • Access to Greenheart Travel Facebook groups to connect with alumni and others on your start date ahead of your program.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program 
    • Greenheart Travel T-shirt & Reusable “No Plastic Please” Canvas Tote Bag

    Our Support and Services: 

    • Extensive pre-departure advice and support from Connor, your US-based program coordinator! He will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and your arrival in Korea.
    • Support services from in-country staff upon arrival to Korea.
    • Online pre-departure cultural and logistical orientation before you leave
    • 24-hour in-country and emergency support for the duration of the program, including 24-hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.

    Additional Expenses to Budget for (Estimates):

    • Daily lunch (nearby cafeteria available daily to students for approximately $5/day)
    • Public transportation to and from school each day (varies depending on placement, approximately $5/day)
    • Flight to and from Korea
    • Spending money for souvenirs or gifts
    • Some weekend excursions, which are additional paid, optional activities

    Payment Details

    • $300 Application Deposit due by the program deadline to formally apply
    • $300 Commitment Deposit due after acceptance within 14 days to save your spot on a certain start date
    • Remaining balance is due 6 weeks before departure to Korea

    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 travelabroad@greenheart.org if you have questions about the program fee, scholarships, or fundraising for your program.

  • Arrival & Departure

    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:

    • Arrive in Korea on their program start date (Sunday) between 8:00am and 8:00pm
    • Depart on the Sunday after their program ends after 12:00pm
    • All student will fly to Incheon International Airport (ICN) which is the airport that serves Seoul and has many direct flights from the USA.

    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.

  • Host Families

    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:

    • Successfully pass a criminal background check
    • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
    • Agree to and pass a home inspection

    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.

  • Application Process

    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 (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application.

    3. Sign the Terms & Conditions (Approximately 10 Minutes): After you complete Part 1 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 deposit (Approximately 5 minutes): You will need to submit your $300 deposit at this point in the process. A deposit is required in order to reserve your spot on the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. Secondary Application Form (Approximately 30 Minutes): 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 2-3 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 deposit 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 should then expect to receive your Greenheart Travel program handbook via email, 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.

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    Greenheart Travel has been working with high schoolers for many years, and there are advantages of applying for this program through us:

    • 33 years of experience with cultural exchange programs
    • Friendly, responsive, and professional support from your program manager, Allison.
    • Connect with alumni and others on the program via our Greenheart Travel only Facebook forums, before you even leave!
    • We try and make our program fees as inclusive as we can. We include things like medical insurance and flights so you don’t run into any hidden fees down the line.
    • Greenheart Atlas Program. The Greenheart Travel Atlas is a cultural training interactive guidebook alongside five videos where you will find three main topics covered: Personal/Professional Development, Cultural Understanding, & Environmental Awareness.
    • Our alumni recommend us! GoOverseas.com Reviews // GoAbroad.com Reviews
    • Hands-on support and personal attention every step of the way
    • 24/7 emergency phone number to reach a staff member at any time
    • Pre-departure “Culture Shock and Adjustment” Webinar before you leave
    • Discounts for future Greenheart Travel programs
    • We are a non-profit, mission-based organization
    • Continued support throughout your time abroad

    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.

  • FAQs

    I am a parent with questions, where do I go?

    Please head to our Parent Handbook page. You’re also welcome to set up a time to chat with us about your child’s program abroad here. We’re happy to chat with you about this big decision!

    I identify as LGBTQ+. How will I be supported?

    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. 

    Please read more here.

    How much supervision is there?

    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.

    Will I earn high school credit?

    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.

    Will I be required to speak the language outside of the classroom?

    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.

    How will this program improve my Korean skills?

    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.

    Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

    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.

    What happens if I get sick while abroad?

    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.

    Can I apply with friends?

    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.

    What if I don’t like my host family? Can I request a new one?

    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.

    Are flights included?

    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.

    Should I fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

    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.

    Will someone pick me up at the airport?

    Yes! Either someone from our in-country partner staff or your host family will be waiting for you when you land.

    Do I need vaccines?

    There are no required vaccinations to travel to Korea. We follow the CDC’s guidelines for travelers to Korea.

    Will I have a cell phone and internet?

    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.

    Is there a threat from North Korea?

    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.

    When should I apply?

    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.

    Do you accept groups?

    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.

  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk to the program coordinator? Set up a time to have a phone call below.