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“So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.” Matt. 27:66

Korea (South)

 

Read about the YAVs in Korea


Program or Partner

Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and Hannam University


Program Description

Nestled in a fairly large valley surrounded by mountain ridges, Daejeon is the city where Young Adult Volunteers living in Korea will thrive and work. Perhaps you are familiar with Psy’s “Gangnam Style” or with kimchi? Spending a year at the Korea YAV site will introduce you to a great deal more than K-Pop music and spicy food. Korea has had a very long history of different kinds of societal structures, philosophies, and religions taking root among the people. Most of the country does not identify with any one religion, while Catholics and Protestants combined just barely outnumber those identified as Buddhist. Confucianism is also a very strong philosophy/religion with a streak that runs through all of Korean society in some subtle and some not so subtle ways. The most obvious context influencing Korean identity these days comes from a few decades under Japanese imperial occupation, subsequent US occupation, division of the peninsula, and the Korean War. Under the Japanese occupation Korea saw rapid industrialization. Under US occupation and eventually South Korean government, they saw rapid economic growth at the cost of the dignity of those on the bottom of society’s pyramid.

Building relationships with Koreans here will acquaint you with how Christians come to understand their faith and their purpose in the midst of a pluralist country, yearning for peace in the middle of a continuing international conflict, and struggling to address poverty while other parts of the country enjoy extreme wealth. YAVs also learn how Koreans have developed a strong habit of hospitality.

Placement Opportunities

YAVs will live on the Hannam University (our main site partner) campus in the middle of Daejeon. They have preserved a few houses from an old missionary village. There used to be thousands of missionaries living there, and they perfectly preserved four houses. YAVs live together in a slightly newer house that has been recently renovated. YAVs are actually only a literal stone’s throw away from the site coordinators’ house, also a newer renovated house. We all meet together once a week; sometimes for general reflection checking in and sometimes to discuss specific issues about Korea, faith, and YAV life. We also take a short retreat together once a month with longer quarterly retreats around South Korea.

Housing

Photograph of  the YAV House on the Hannam University campus with trees and a large  university building in the background. YAVs will live on the Hannam University (our main site partner) campus in the middle of Daejeon. They have preserved a few houses from an old missionary village. There used to be thousands of missionaries living there, and they perfectly preserved four houses. YAVs live together in a slightly newer house that has been recently renovated.

Intentional Community Aspects

YAVs are actually only a literal stone’s throw away from the site coordinators’ house, also a newer renovated house. We all meet together once a week; sometimes for general reflection checking in and sometimes to discuss specific issues about Korea, faith, and YAV life. We also take a short retreat together once a month with longer quarterly retreats around South Korea.

Language

We do not expect anyone to have had much experience learning the Korean language before applying to our site. That is why Hannam University lets our YAVs take a university level Korean language class for free. It is difficult to learn a language that has no relation to English or other European languages for English speakers. So, YAVs spend a great deal of the first semester in class, volunteering the second half of the day during the week. However, this is effort and struggle is very important and goes a long way in helping you build relationships with Koreans.

Hannam University will also provide students with some English capacity to serve as “Buddies” with the YAVs at their placement sites. They will help facilitate communication and translation between youth and staff of the Children’s Centers.



Requirements

Age: 21-30
Education: undergraduate college degree before entering Korea (before YAV orientation).

Must be willing to learn another language. Must be flexible. Must be an open eater.

site coordinators

Hyeyoung Lee and Kurt Esslinger

Apply Now!

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