Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A syllabus for an adventure to dynamic South Korea

In mid-March, a group of about 20 students and faculty members from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business will travel to South Korea, one of the most vibrant economies in East Asia and home of respected household names such as Samsung, Hyundai and LG.

We are going as part of a class on emerging economies, which also is providing other students with opportunities to visit China, Croatia and Ghana during spring break. Michael Robinson, a historian and IU professor of East Asian languages and cultures, is helping us prepare for their visit to the Korean peninsula along with two Kelley faculty members.

According to the syllabus, the course will enable us to learn about the Korean economy and the sources of its rapid transformation since 1960. Significantly, we’ll learn about how business is done in Korea. Its Chaebols, powerful, government-supported global conglomerates, can be larger than entire countries' economies, although they didn’t exist before World War II.

We will look into the sources of the economic crisis of 1997-98 and the subsequent restructuring in Asia, which some experts today believe can provide lessons for the current situation in the United States.

Of course, we’ll learn something about the language, customs, etiquette and culture.

This blog will serve as a travelogue our Korean adventure and our preparations for it. While it will include my thoughts, more importantly, it will focus on the experiences of young people who could come back to Korea in a few years and do some real business. Once we’re on our way, I’ll also include photos. Do check back regularly.

Annyǒnghi kaseyo (Korean for good-bye to someone leaving)

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