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An American in Korea

This July, Debbie Zlotowitz, head of the Mary McDowell Center for Learning, will travel to South Korea as a participant in the Korean Studies Workshop for American Educators.

Zlotowitz is one of 100 participants selected from nearly 400 applications through a competitive review process. The Korean Studies Workshop for American Educators is designed to enhance mutual understanding between the people of Korea and the United States by inviting U.S. educators to visit Korea and to share the knowledge gained in the classroom and community.

Zlotowitz will be among 50 educators who will travel to Korea from July 9-July 24. They will begin their visit in Seoul with a formal reception attended by representatives from the Korea Foundation and officials from Yonsei University, who assisted the Korea Foundation in coordinating the program. In the following days, the American educators will attend lectures and visit relevant sites to learn about Korean history, economics and culture.

The educators will also have the opportunity to meet students and teachers at Goyang Foreign Language High School, where they will learn about the Korean educational system. In addition to their time in Seoul, they will also travel to Gyeongju, the historical capital of Korea, where they will learn more about Korean history and culture.

The Korea Foundation, working in conjunction with Yonsei University, oversees all aspects of the workshop for educators. The foundation, an independent organization affiliated with the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sponsors the program, for which 2008 marks the third year. The Institute of International Education coordinates the recruitment and pre-departure activities of the program in the United States.

Nearly 200 social studies educators from across the United States have visited Korea through the Korean Studies Workshop for American Educators in 2006 and 2007. Program participants have already begun to share what they have learned about Korea with their students and communities through a variety of outreach projects.

Social studies educators and administrators working in sixth through twelfth grades throughout the United States can apply to take part in one of the two trips to South Korea scheduled for 2009. As guests of the Korea Foundation, the selected educators’ trips are fully-funded.

Teachers with social studies components to their curricula, including gifted and special education teachers, and teachers and administrators involved with social studies curriculum development and textbook writing are encouraged to apply. Applicants are not required or expected to have previous knowledge of Korea or the Korean language. The application deadline will be in early spring 2009.

For more about the 2009 competition, refer to, call 1-800-270-4317 or email All applications must be completed online.

For more about the Mary McDowell Center, 20 Bergen Street, call 718-625-3939 or go to

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