The purpose of this study was to describe the experience of Korean university students who participated in a therapeutic community. Methods: Qualitative descriptive research was used. A focus group, in-depth interviews, participant-observation, and self-reports were used to collect data from 9 Korean university students. Participants lived with drug addicts for 6 weeks at DAYTOP in New York, USA. Thematic analysis was used for data analysis. Results: Seven themes and 32 subthemes were found: 1) understanding myself through mutual observation: self-discovery, self-acceptance, self-differentiation, career choices, breaking an addictive habit; 2) healing emotional wounds: trust building, self-closure, recognition of emotional wounds, peaceful mind; 3) being honest with my emotions: understanding addicts, expression of emotions, attitudes about confrontation, confronting others: 4) expressing myself: time management, expression of thanks, I-message, behavior modification, taking a stand; 5) balancing responsibility: attitudes about leaders and work, sharing work, supplementing, sharing opinions; 6) becoming interested in others: understanding family members, recognition of differences, asking about concerns of others, asking for forgiveness, conversation with family members ; 7) becoming interested in the community: attitudes about community, keeping rules, role model, active participation. Conclusion: These results show that a therapeutic community can be effective in changing participants’ inner selves and behaviors.