Students Share Their Experience in South Korea
By Ashley Burdick – Staff Writer
Students studying abroad in South Korea during the summer visited the border with North Korea as well as a variety of training sites and the South Korean Supreme Court.
Sinchul Back, Ph.D., Michael Jenkins, Ph.D. and nine students stayed in Seoul, South Korea for 10 days while studying special criminal justice topics.
Jenkins said with COVID-19 being an issue, they were lucky to be able to go on the trip and visit the agencies and sites.
“We spent a day with the presidential security service, which is the equivalent to the United States’ Secret Service and went to the training center where students got to experience the trainings they got to undergo,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins said the students engaged with different agencies, police and the Supreme Court, where they met a member of the judiciary.
Students also engaged in cultural activities. Jenkins said they spent a Sunday at a Buddhist temple where they toured the grounds, learned how Buddhists pray and indulged in a meditation session.
“One afternoon, we went to the World Taekwondo Headquarters and we got to meet the president of the Taekwondo Headquarters as well as the grandmaster, who is considered one of the best taekwondo artists in the world” Jenkins said.
University student Andrew Cupo, a sophomore cybercrime major of West Orange, New Jersey, said it was a fun learning experience.
“I learned a lot about different parts of the Korean government, and we all had our own time to learn and explore Seoul on our own,” Cupo said.
Cupo said they all were able to learn more about the country and about the culture.
The group visited facilities like the presidential secret service training facility, the ROK marine camp and the National Police Agency.
Cupo said the most memorable time was when the group went to the Han River with the students of Sangmyung University and had a picnic dinner while talking and playing games.
“Within the first day or two we met a bunch of students from another university in Korea, Sangmyung University. We went out with them a bit while we were there and they were able to show us around to nice spots to hang out,” Cupo said.
Maria Mancuso, a senior cybercrime and homeland security major of Lebanon, New Jersey, said they covered physical security procedures at the secret service center, including how to secure and protect the president and how to secure events when a foreign president visits.
“We also covered topics regarding their forensic investigation procedures and how they perform computer investigations, drug investigations and autopsies following a death,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso said she believes South Korea was chosen for this experience because it provided insight into criminal justice that can’t be replicated in America.
“The threats South Korea faces are completely different from America, especially with North Korea being so close. Learning what measures they take to protect their country and their people was definitely a unique experience to South Korea,” Mancuso said.
Jenkins said students from all different majors went on the trip, including cybercrime and criminal justice majors.
“The students were able to experience Korean culture and food, they were able to see the agencies and have unprecedented access. Our group was the only civilian group to be welcomed at the presidential security service,” Jenkins said.
The trip to the border gave the students the opportunity to learn about North Korean and South Korean relations.
“The students could see the North Korean soldiers with binoculars, you could see North Korea across the mountains,” Jenkins said.
Back plans to offer the South Korea course every summer.
If you have questions about or are interested in future trips, contact Sinchul Back at firstname.lastname@example.org.