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Young Harris College Announces First Exchange Students to Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. — Montana Owens, class of 2025, was the first Young Harris College student to study abroad in South Korea. As an exchange student with our partner institution, Konkuk University, Montana studied for the entirety of Fall 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. 

After being nominated for this study abroad opportunity by Coordinator of International Studies, Dr. Jennifer Schroeder, Montana was accepted at Konkuk University. She was very grateful to receive funding through the Young Harris College Honors Program to help cover dormitory costs. Dr. Schroeder was impressed with Montana’s willingness to forge a new path: “to be the first student from Young Harris to attend Konkuk took courage and confidence, both of which I noticed in Montana. By sharing knowledge of her experiences and struggles, we are able to make the process even smoother for future students wanting to spend part of their college experience in South Korea.” 

In addition to a class in systems biotechnology, which will count toward her Biology major, Montana took four other classes during the Fall semester. One of her classes, which focused on Korean language, “had real-life application,” said Montana. In order to enhance communication, Montana also had a Language Exchange Partner, who was instrumental throughout her study abroad experience.

Outside of the classroom, Montana had plenty of time to explore Seoul and the surrounding area. Visiting the National Museum of Korea and Seodaemun Prison History Hall, Montana was able to learn about the history of South Korea through exhibits and conversations with local students. Montana attended concerts, art exhibits, university basketball games, and even a professional volleyball game. 

Montana also had the opportunity to visit small beach towns and traditional Hanok villages, allowing her to appreciate the unique architectural styles of South Korea. She climbed Mt. Achasan, which offers hikers a bird’s-eye-view of the Hangang River and Downtown Seoul.  One of her favorite memories is the time she spent studying in Seoul’s cafes.  

“Being able to meet different people and connect with them beyond language and cultural barriers is very special. This experience has also helped me understand that it is okay to be different and unique because your differences bring new beliefs and thoughts to the conversation,” said Montana. “It has helped shape me into the person I want to be and will continue positively impacting my life even beyond my time at Young Harris College.”

Montana is on the leadership and worship teams for Young Harris College’s student-led religious organization, Underground. She is majoring in Biology and minoring in Psychology, with plans to attend medical school after graduation. Montana’s goal is to one day have her own neurology clinic and positively impact the mind in a holistic way.

While Montana was the first exchange student from Young Harris College to attend Konkuk University, she certainly is not the last. Tracy Dumakor, class of 2024, and Jonathan Everett, class of 2023, are currently studying at Konkuk University for the Spring 2023 semester. “I am very proud of all the students who have been and currently are representatives of Young Harris to Konkuk! Each exhibits a strong desire to learn, in and out of the classroom, wanting to absorb as much Korean culture as they can along the way,” stated Dr. Schroeder.

Young Harris College is pleased to offer a strong international component to students’ educational experiences. The mission of the YHC Study Abroad and International Programs is to engage the College community in meaningful experiences that foster appreciation of diverse cultures. Through our partnership with Konkuk University, as well as various other International Programs and Scholarships, students gain a deeper understanding of other languages, peoples, and cultures, contributing to personal and community growth. 

Learn more about the Study Abroad Program.

About Young Harris College

Young Harris College is a private baccalaureate and master’s degree-granting institution located in the beautiful mountains of North Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires, and empowers students through an education that purposefully integrates the liberal arts and professional studies. The College has four academic divisions: Fine Arts; Humanities; Mathematics, Science, and Technology; and Professional Studies. Approximately 1,400 students are enrolled in its residential and Early College programs. The College is an active member of the NCAA Division II and remains a fierce competitor in the prestigious Peach Belt Conference. For more information, visit