10 Life-Changing Days in Korea. Welcome to Mosaic.
"The Mosaic Tour will be one of the most memorable times of your life. Go for it!"
- Janine, former tour member
ABOUT THE TOURs
The Mosaic and Mosaic Hapa Tours bring adult adoptees back to Korea for 10-day tours to learn about their roots, research their past, and discover more about themselves through meaningful connections with Korean people and communities. The purpose of each tour is to help adult adoptees "fill in the blanks" in their own cultural and personal history by exploring Korea through its people.
The Mosaic Tour includes an afternoon with a Korean host family, teaching a cultural lesson at a Korean elementary school, community service alongside the Angels' Haven orphanage, and many other unique cultural experiences based in Seoul, Paju, and the city of Pohang.
With similar activities, the Mosaic Hapa Tour has a unique focus on the historical and social context surrounding the overseas adoption of thousands of mixed-race children, and interaction with Korean people who welcome Hapa adoptees with an open heart.
Importantly, both tours provide the opportunity to visit a "meaningful place" for each adoptee, which could be a birthplace, orphanage, or place where the adoptee was found. Each piece of information and history enables tour participants to add tiles to their own colorful mosaics, which continue to be beautiful works in progress.
2020 application deadlines
Applications for the 2020 tour are now available. Applications will be due by December 31, 2019.
WHO SHOULD APPLY?
The Mosaic Tour is for adult, post-college age Korean adoptees interested in learning about their roots, experiencing Korean culture, and exploring their past. Applicants must be able to communicate in English. The 2020 tour will take place June 19 - June 28, 2020.
Similarly, the Mosaic Hapa Tour is for adult, post-college age, mixed-race Korean adoptees who are interested in learning about their roots, experiencing Korean culture and exploring their past. Applicants must be able to communicate in English. Please email us at email@example.com if you would like information on future Hapa Tours.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
Registration Fee for Accepted Applicants: $250 per person
Scheduled lodging, ground transportation, and meals in Korea are covered by Me & Korea. Roundtrip airfare to Seoul (Incheon International Airport), as well as personal expenses and accommodations outside of the tour itinerary are the responsibility of the participant.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many tour members do you accept each year?
Around 25 tour members are accepted each year.
What extra costs should I anticipate?
This will vary between tour members. Though the tour has a $250 non-refundable registration fee for accepted applicants, while on tour, your lodging, primary meals, and transportation will be covered by Me & Korea.
In terms of extra costs on tour: Many tour members opt to explore Seoul and our other destination cities during free time or evenings, so you’ll want to account for expenses related to spontaneous social gatherings, any shopping you wish to do, or even experiences like visiting a spa. We also offer tour members the option to upgrade certain accommodations if you wish to room solo, versus with a roommate (and even though they’re optional, we endeavor to keep these types of costs as low as possible). Some tour members opt to spend extra time in Korea before or after the tour, and expenses related to pre- or post-tour travel would be up to you.
In terms of spending money, tour members have told us they took out anywhere from $200-$500USD in cash while in Korea to spend on extra late night dining, drinks, souvenirs, shopping, and other experiences. But keep in mind this is at your discretion!
What will I need to do if I’m accepted?
Once accepted to the tour, you’ll be added to a private Facebook group and assigned a tour volunteer who will serve as your point of contact if you have any questions about the process. We encourage all tour members to check in on our Faceboook group, where we answer questions/concerns, and share important announcements.
We’ll send you email instructions (also posted on Facebook!) which will detail all the next steps and what documents are needed to get started with tour planning. Generally, we request documents related to your adoption, forms required by your adoption agency related to search, copies of your passport (and if you don’t have one, you’ll need to apply for one right away!), and also work with you to begin determining your meaningful place visit.
What if I'm not sure what my meaningful place should be?
Once we receive your adoption paperwork, we will work with your adoption agency to determine a place that would be most meaningful to you. If you have a few places in mind, please be sure to share this with Minyoung or your tour volunteer, who can take these options into consideration.
“Going on an adoptee tour, where there are people that better understand your situation, is a safer, gentler way of visiting Korea for the first time.”
“There will be lots of emotional times; don't be afraid to feel them and share them. It's all part of the healing process.”
What to expect
The Mosaic and Mosaic Hapa Tours are fun, fast-paced, emotional, and filled with unforgettable experiences.
Many tour alums tell us their time in Korea was life-changing, with the fellow adoptees they met now lifelong friends. On any Mosaic Tour, prepare to be exhausted, exhilarated, emotional, introspective, and surprised! Each year, we customize our tours so no group has the exact same experience as the year before. Our hope is that in providing opportunities to meet and interact with Korean people, culture, and history, you’ll be able to learn more about what it means to be Korean.
We asked past tour participants "What can Mosaic Tour/Mosaic Hapa Tour members expect from the tour?" Here's what they said:
"Expect your life to change."
“A place to relate to.”
"A meaningful trip with memories and friends for the rest of your life."
"Be mentally and emotionally ready for anything. If you anticipate a reunion, look for resources, either in person or online, who know the common issues related to reunions. Also, know that if you choose to reunite, know that you are opening up a lifelong relationship that will not end when the tour ends. For everyone, do what you can to get in a good place mentally and emotionally before going on the tour. If you can do this, you may just have the trip of a lifetime."
"Laugh, cry, take it all in."
“A sense of peace in knowing you had the courage to try and take a step forward in finding a piece of your past.”
“Don't expect anything and you'll walk away with more than you could ever ask for.”
“Expect love and friendship — no fear because you are surrounded by people who want to genuinely help.”
“An experience that is unmatched by any other.”
“Connection! To your Korean identity, to KADs, to relatives, to new friends, etc.”
"Go into this tour with an open heart and an open mind, you will gain so much."