Skip to main content

Religion and Futurism in Korea

Faculty Leader

Babak Rahimi


Babak Rahimi is Associate Professor of Communication, Culture and Religion at the Department of Literature and the director of the Third World Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He earned his PhD from the European University Institute, Florence, Italy, in October 2004. Rahimi has also studied at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained an M.A. in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (1997), and the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he was a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, 2000-2001.

Rahimi’s research examines the relationship between culture, religion and politics. His book, Theater-State and Formation of the Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran: Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-1641 C.E. (Brill 2011), studies the relationship between ritual, public space and state power in early modern Iranian history. Rahimi has been an expert guest on various media programs like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC, and CNN, in addition to NPR and On the Media. Also, he has been a visiting scholar at the Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His current research project is on the relationship between digital culture, politics and religion. 


Why you should go

South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world. It is also a deeply traditional society with diverse forms of religious life. The country provides an educational setting to understand how modernity has and continues to undergo radical technological changes but in connection with traditions that shape Korean identity. With South Korea as a global innovator of new technologies, students will explore the relationship between technology and religion in the context of the country’s collaborative system of state, industry, and educational sector.

Who should go

The two courses in South Korea offer a unique opportunity to understand how information technologies facilitate and transform social life, particularly the religious sphere, in everyday life. To understand how religion interacts with communication technologies, we will explore older and emerging media such as television, Internet, and cell phones. CAT 125 fulfills Sixth College requirements; REL 145 may fulfill College general education requirements. There are no prerequisites.

Information Sessions

See the Info Session Calendar


Departure from U.S.: Sat., June 29, 2024
Arrival: Sun., June 30, 2024
Mandatory Orientation: Mon., July 1, 2024
First Day of Class: Mon., July 1, 2024
Last Day of Class: Fri., August 2, 2024
Departure for the U.S.
(or personal travel):
Sat., August 3, 2024

Flight Information

  • You will be responsible for purchasing your own airplane tickets, and your program coordinator will provide guidelines and resources during the pre-departure process to help you find an appropriate flight.
  • Do not purchase plane tickets until the program is confirmed. All approved applicants will be notified by e-mail when the program has reached minimum enrollment.

Global Seminar Fees

All fees subject to change. See for current tuition and campus-based fees.

  UCSD Other UC Non-UC
Program Cost:
(includes $500 administrative fee)
$6,529.70 $6,529.70 $6,529.70
Estimated Tuition and Campus-Based Fees:
$2,514.43 $2,564.43 $3,454.43
(not including airfare or personal expenses)
$9,044.13 $9,094.13 $9,984.13

Budget Sheet

Funding Options

See the funding options page to learn how financial aid and scholarships can help you pay for this program.

WorldStrides scholarships

ISA Worldstrides, our partner for the Seoul Global Seminar, offers student scholarships with a March 15 deadline:

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship
  • Natalie Shea Memorial Scholarship

Local Site Visits

Gyongju Excursion

Busan Excursion

Excursions are subject to change without prior notice. No refunds are possible.


  • Students will stay in a co-op in Seoul.
  • Daily breakfasts included.
  • Wireless internet will be available.
  • Housing arrangements are subject to change based on local circumstances without prior notice. No price adjustments are possible.

Included Meals

  • Welcome dinner upon arrival
  • Farewell dinner at end of program

Classroom and Computer Access

  • Classroom space at a co-op.
  • There is no computer lab available - plan to bring a laptop.
  • Wireless access may be intermittent due to local conditions. No refunds or price adjustments are possible.


  • Transportation to and from Incheon International Airport to the student housing is included in the program. One pick-up time will be arranged based on the most common flight arrival time.
  • A local transportation pass for Seoul will be provided for each student.
  • Transportation for all out of town excursions


  • Information about how to obtain a local SIM card will be provided at the pre-departure orientation.
  • Students will be responsible to purchase their own calling time/minutes.

Insurance, Health, and Safety

  • Comprehensive travel health insurance package
  • An in-depth orientation will be given on the morning after arrival, including health and safety procedures.
  • Program partner staff will be available by telephone after hours.
  • All students will be registered for UC travel insurance This is free coverage, but registration is required prior to departure.