Theme: Beyond Barriers: Advancing international competency through intercultural exchange
- Online Orientation: July 5th ~ July 7th, 2023
- In-person Conference: July 11th ~ July 29th, 2023
- July 11th-19th in DC, July 20th-29th in South Korea
16th KASC Summary
This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the U.S.-ROK alliance. Such a long-lasting alliance was not without headwinds, and imminent global problems continue to challenge and test the U.S.-ROK relationship in which the future leadership of the United States and South Korea will need to deepen their understanding of each other in order to reinforce their cooperation. The Korea-America Student Conference (KASC) aims to foster this mutual understanding by inviting motivated university students who show genuine care and interest in the U.S.-ROK relationship to participate in sincere and intense discussions and learning sessions. The participants of the KASC conference are given meaningful opportunities to hone their professional and cross-cultural communication skills, engage with the U.S-ROK experts and scholars, and gain inspiration to become the next leaders.
Inspired by the Executive Committee members’ interest and educational background, they developed the theme “Beyond Barriers: Advancing International Competency Through Intercultural Exchange” to advance conversations on evolving global issues. The four roundtable (RT) topics were Education / Identity, Technology and International Security, Environment / Climate Crisis, and International Development Cooperation. From July 11th to 28th, 2023, 18 open-minded and motivated delegates – 10 Korean and 8 American delegates – gathered to not only share their perspectives on different issues but also to challenge each other’s held beliefs in hopes of introducing new viewpoints and understanding. Over the course of the program, delegates also received vital insights into U.S.-ROK bilateral cooperation in social, political, and environmental fields. They developed the professional skills they needed to engage with professionals.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic reached the Endemic in 2023, for the first time in three years, KASC fully returned to an in-person conference. Remembering the home of the ISC and KASC, the Executive Committee members decided to hold the conference in the capital cities of the respective countries, Washington D.C and Seoul, and conclude the conference in Boryeong as an appreciation of the nature of the countryside of South Korea. Each site, reflecting its unique environment, provided distinct experiences and opportunities to the participants.
During the D.C. conference, the participants attended workshops and academic programming that were geared toward U.S.-ROK diplomatic relationships, security partnerships, development cooperation, and social issues pertaining to identity. The participants attended speaker sessions held in renowned think tanks, institutes, and government departments. Lectures particularly emphasized the U.S.-ROK’s response to North Korea’s threat, the implementation of AI in the military defense system, and the racism faced by Asian Americans during the COVID-19 Pandemic and communities’ response. Delegates engaged in vigorous discussions and applied learnings from distinguished speakers to converse with them after the session ended. Delegates also conducted research within their roundtable (RT) groups in preparation for the D.C. forum, where they presented their current progress on their research for their final forum in Seoul. Several guest speakers and people from institutes and think tanks attended the D.C. forum and actively listened, asked questions, and gave feedback to each RT group presentation. The D.C. conference was not without cultural activities. The participants got insights into the United States and D.C. history from their visit to historical sites such as the White House, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Washington Monuments, and various Smithsonian museums.
The Seoul conference focused more on education and environment RT topics while continuing the sessions and discussion on politics. The participants visited various institutes and think tanks in Korea to expand their knowledge and perspectives related to the RT topics. Delegates gained a more profound understanding of the educational system in Korea, efforts by the Korean government in researching and preserving the environment and looking further into the U.S.-ROK diplomatic relationship and political cooperation from the Korean perspective. In addition to academic programming, the participants also explored the city life of Seoul and delved into the history and culture of South Korea by visiting Blue House, Insa-dong, Han River, and other notable sites. In preparation for the final forum, delegates partook in critical discourse on areas of improvement on the RT topics from both the Korean and the U.S. governments and exchanged opinions. The KASC 16 Final forum was held at the East Asia Institute and live-streamed on Instagram. Each RT group presented their research on the following topics:
- Education and Identity | Different Aspects of Korean and U.S Education
- Technology and International Security | North Korean Illicit Finance and its Implications
- Environmental and Climate and Crisis RT | Greenwashing
- International Development Cooperation | Public Transport Accessibility
Following the presentations, the Executive Committee members commemorated the delegates’ completion of the KASC 16 conference by handing out the certificates. Continuing the celebration and to further experience Korea beyond the major city of Seoul, the participants visited Boryeong. They explored the beautiful environment, including the west-side coast and green mountains, enjoyed the famous mud festival, and interacted with the locals.
Continuing the legacy and missions of the previous KASC conferences, The KASC 16 concluded its first full in-person conference since the Pandemic with huge success. The KASC provided abundant academic sessions and cultural activities where participants widened their perspectives on various global issues, advanced their critical thinking process and cross-cultural communication skills, and engaged with distinguished experts to hone their networking skills. This experience culminated in their leadership skills and teamwork ability, which were evident during the RT sessions and both the D.C. and final forum. More importantly, through first-hand cultural experience, participants matured their understanding and perception of each other.
KASC 16 Executive Committee
Designed for students by students, meet the bright young minds leading the 16th Korea-America Student Conference.
KASC 16 Sites
The 16th Korea-America Student Conference will travel to the USA and Korea, taking place in Seoul, Boryeong, and Washington, D.C.
KASC 16 Roundtables
Each year, several Roundtable topics are chosen as major discussion points to deepen Delegates’ understanding of bilateral issues.
Thank you to the generous supporters of the 16th Korea-America Student Conference:
Scholarships Provided by:
- International Student Conferences Plant a Diplomatic Tree Scholarship
- University of Buffalo
- Council of Korean Americans
- Grace International Academy
- Korea Economic Institute America
- Korea Foundation USA
- The Asia Group