Every spring the department offers PADP 8560 Special Topics in Urban Administration: Case Study in Seoul, where MPA and PhD. students travel to Seoul, South Korea. The students spend a week in Seoul, where they are guests of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the University of Seoul. The course’s goal is to increase students’ understanding of city management, specifically the policies and programs that cities can adopt to meet the challenges facing any large metropolitan area. Before heading abroad students complete readings and take part in discussions covering several key areas of city administration including built environment, economic development, human rights, and human services.

Directors from several city agencies and scholars offer lectures on the reform efforts of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Students not only participate in lectures on the policies, they also see the policies in action during several field trips. Students visit the 120 Dasan Call Center, the Transportation Operation and Information Service Center, Mapo Resource Recycling Facility, World Cup Park, and explore the Han River Renaissance by boat. In addition to the lectures, discussions, and field trips, students also visit tourist attractions, cultural sites, shop in the many markets, and enjoyed Korean cuisine. Overall the experience provides the participants with insight into the public administration of Seoul and an understanding of Korean politics, economy, and culture.