ISA/Veritas Christian Study Abroad: South Korea

ISA/Veritas: South Korea

Spend a semester in Seoul, South Korea studying at Korea University. Take classes with Korean and international students and travel to various location around South Korea, such as Jeju Island and Busan. Courses, which are taught in English, are available in a wide range of disciplines including business, chemistry, computing engineering, literature, math, media and communication, physics, psychology, and sociology. Students will participate in a service project and be partnered with a missions mentor.

More information available at ISA/Veritas South Korea.

Informational flyers with FAQs and quicklinks

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All Messiah approved semester-long, off-campus programs are approved and designed to meet the requirements for the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI). To learn more about the process, please explore the ELI Off-Campus Study Information Page.

  • Students will complete all of the Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) requirements that are a part of this program.
  • Sophomore, juniors, and seniors
  • 2.75 GPA or higher
  • Since studying off-campus for a semester is a privilege, please note the following implications of being place on probation at Messiah University:

Chapel Probation:  A student currently on chapel probation for the first time (or with an impending chapel probation for the upcoming semester) will be required to communicate or meet with the Director of the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.  If a student has been placed on chapel probation more than once during their time at Messiah, they will not be eligible to study off-campus for a semester.

Academic Probation or Low GPA: A student on academic probation or whose GPA drops below 2.75 will be not be eligible to study off-campus.

Disciplinary Probation: A student who has been placed on disciplinary probation at any time during the off-campus study application / acceptance process will be required to meet with the Director of the Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement to determine the potential impact on the student’s upcoming semester off-campus.

Off-Campus study is a time of challenge and change. The following are some things you should understand about this program before you participate:

  • Mental health has a stigma in South Korea, although younger generations are becoming more open and accepting with regards to mental health issues.
  • HIV carries a heavy stigma in South Korea and students with this virus can encounter prejudice.
  • There are a lot of areas that are hilly and students should expect a lot of walking to use public transportation.  However, all public transportation is wheelchair friendly. 
  • Westerners may get a lot of attention in the form of staring, although this should not be mistaken for negative attention in the vast majority of cases. On campus however, this typically is not an issue as students are accustomed to a very international environment.
  • Some Koreans may be shy when it comes to interacting with foreigners. This should also not be mistaken for rudeness.
  • Drinking is a large part of the culture in South Korea, and students should never feel compelled to drink as a form of socializing and must always abide by the ISA/Veritas Code of Conduct as well as Messiah’s alcohol policy.
  • Tension with North Korea is something that students are aware of, though, like most people living in Seoul, it does not affect their daily life.
  • Korea has temperature restrictions in dorms and public buildings, and heaters / air conditioners cannot go over a certain temperature because of the energy saving issues.
  • Air quality is not a significant a health concern in Korea although for the last couple of years, it has gotten worse. Some students get sick in the spring as a result, and it is common to see people on the street wear masks.

Courses may meet general education or major requirements.

Courses will come back on your transcript with a letter grade.

Students will meet their third language/cross-cultural requirement by participating in this program.  Students will not earn 3 credits, rather the requirement will be waived.

Pass/Fail Option

During their university careers, students may take a maximum of four courses on a pass/fail (P/F) basis with these conditions: 

  • Such a course must be from a discipline other than those required for the student's major or minor.
  • Courses fulfilling requirements for a major, minor, or general education may not be used.
  • Students may declare their intention to take a course under the Pass/Fail option when they register or through the first calendar week of classes at the beginning of the new term. Students may also select to return to the letter grade system during this same time period. The selection cannot be changed after the first calendar week of classes.
  • The cut-off point to obtain a P is C–.
  • The instructor will submit only conventional letter grades to the Registrar's Office. This office will then convert the grade to P or F. (An instructor does not know which students are taking a course on a pass/fail basis.

The first FIVE DAYS of your classes are critical:

Recognizing that courses change while abroad, a student is required to communicate to the Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes if their Off-Campus Course Approval Form in Terra Dotta has changed since the original submission/approval. Specifically, if a student desires to change a course to a pass/fail instead of a letter grade, this must be approved by Messiah University Registrar’s Office within the first FIVE DAYS of classes at the host partner program.


Students are required to take no fewer than 12 credits towards their overall degree requirements and no more than 18 credits. These 12-18 credits include courses taken as pass/fail and letter grades. However, in addition to those 12-18 degree credits, students who would like to audit an academic course for no credit are permitted to do so for up to one 4 credit hour course for the sake of learning, cultural immersion or personal interest at no additional charge. This audited course will not appear on the Messiah University student’s transcript.

What do you pay?

TOTAL COSTS = Messiah tuition + Messiah room + Student services fee

Explore possible scholarships for this program.

These Costs Include:

  • tuition and housing (some meals may be provided for students in homestays)
  • educational excursions
  • pre-departure, and re-entry orientation
  • international travel insurance
  • student services fee
    • Student Services fee includes access to various services available to all students through, including internet access to, the Learning & Writing Centers, Career Services, Academic Accessibility Office, Library, Department of Safety, Agapé Center for Local and Global Engagement, and other campus offices that provide services to students both on and off campus.

Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, and course fees.

Credit Limit Policy for Semester-Long, Off-Campus Program

Typically when students study off-campus in Messiah-approved, semester-long programs, students earn between 13 and 18 credits. All students must be enrolled in at least 12 credits.

The tuition/fees charged for Messiah’s approved study abroad programs permits a student to complete 12-18 credits.  Messiah University will process up to 18 credits.  If a student completes more than 18 credits and would like the additional credits applied to their transcript, additional tuition will be charged for credits over 18 and would be assessed after the official transcript is received/processed by Messiah.

Updated 03 March 2023

Messiah Pre-Approval Deadlines

  • Fall - December 1
  • Spring – April 1