From U.S. to Korea – A Participant’s Journey

In March and April of this year, Meridian International Center, conducted a longitudinal study which surveyed American and Korean participants from the 2007 – 2017 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Programs. The exchange, jointly funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly, is Meridian’s second longest program implemented continuously since 1998. The exchange however is much older having been created in 1981 by U.S. Representative Ben Gilman and his Korean counterpart Assemblyman David Pong with the express...

Continue  

How an Exchange Program Shaped the Career Path of a Program Alumni

Jessica Reppert is an alumni of the 2015 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program. Now in its 21st year of implementation by Meridian International Center, the program is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly. To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the program, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying both American and South Korean participants from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the alumni. A representative from Meridian...

Continue  

Experiences with the U.S. Congress-Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program

Over the course of two days, I had the opportunity to accompany the delegation from the 2017 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program as they made stops around Washington, DC. One of the delegates’ engagements that impressed me the most was their meeting with Dr. Victor Cha, a senior advisor and holder of the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Of course, much of the discussion at the meeting revolved around relations with North Korea, but Dr. Cha did have time to share an anecdote from his time as an undergraduate...

Continue  

Alumni TIES: Cultivating a Network of Opportunities

Leorah McGinnis is a 2014 alumni of the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program, a unique program designed to bring together young professionals from both the U.S. and Korea for a memorable and educational opportunity. Since its inception over 30 years ago, the Exchange has allowed nearly 500 participants to build lasting cross-border relationships and better understand the legislative process, the history of U.S. – Korean relations, and current economic, political, and security aspects of the bilateral relationship. Meridian International Center has had the privilege of implementing this program for nearly 20 years, and has worked to...

Continue  

Remembering the “Forgotten War”: U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program

On June 25, 1950, the Korean War commenced. On September 15, United States led the 21 nation-Allied Forces in valiant efforts to help South Koreans repel the Chinese-based communist troops allied with the North Korean troops invading from the North. Nearly 38,000 U.N. troops, most of them from the U.S., died during the conflict. The war resulted in a truce, yet the peninsula remains divided to this day. For South Koreans and Americans, we have familiarized ourselves with this version of the Korean War. However, many of us fail to recognize the most crucial part of the story. Thus,...

Continue