Architecture in Asia

Building in Japan
Spend 3 weeks traveling throughout Asia visiting architectural sites of historical and modern significance.
Location: South Korea and Japan
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Winter Break
Academic Disciplines: ArchitectureDesignGraduate Courses
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Discover amazing modern architecture in the megacities of Seoul, Osaka, and Tokyo
  • Visit cutting-edge architecture firms in South Korea and Japan


With a history spanning across several millennia and a rich cultural heritage shaped by diverse religions and ethnic groups, Asia provides an unparallel context to experience people and places that are vastly different from the western world. In order to provide you the opportunity for expanding your horizons of architecture and life, this Asia Study Abroad Program will take you to a unique part of East Asia – South Korea and Japan. You will experience cultures and places that are based primarily on Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucianist principles, and are strangely intermixed with European influences, as well as with postcolonial globalization. You will be exploring both historic and modern architecture in these countries and networking with leading Asian architecture firms and construction companies.


Depart Kansas City for Seoul, South Korea: December 26, 2023

South Korea:

  • In Seoul, South Korea: December 27, 2023 –January 5, 2024


  • In Osaka, Japan: January 5-9, 2024
  • In Tokyo, Japan: January 9-14, 2024

Depart Tokyo and arrive in the U.S.: January 14, 2024



Students will spend approximately 9 days in South Korea, and 10 days in Japan. Most of the program will consist of planned group activities along with some free time.

Visits in South Korea:

Seoul: (Cheonggyecheon riverwalk; Seoul City Wall, Nakasan Park, Bukchon Hanok Village, Coex Mall Library, Oil Tank Culture Park, Nandermun Market; National Museum of Korea, Insadong Market; Seosomun Shrine History Museum,EWHA Woman’s University, Kolon One, Saemoonan Church, Common Ground, Leeum Museum Complex designed by Mario Botta, Jean Nouvel, and Rem Koolhass; Gyeongbokgung Palace; office visits to and projects by Space Group, Haenglim Group, Samsung, and Mass Studies; Lotte Tower and Seokchon Lake on New Year’s Eve; DDP by Zaha Hadid)

Visits in Japan:

Osaka: (Namba Parks by Jerde Partnership; Chikatsu-Asuka Musuem, Rokko Housing, Mount Rokko Chapel, Church of the Light, Suntory Museum, and RAIKA Headquarters by Tadao Ando; Kansai Airport by Renzo Piano; Umeda Sky Tower by Hiroshi Hara); Himeji (World Heritage Site of Himeji Castle; Museum of Literature, Water Temple and Awaji Island Urban Design Project by Tadao Ando);

Tokyo: 1964 Olympic Pavilions and St. Mary’s Chapel by Kenzo Tange; Collezione and 21-21 Design Gallery by Tadao Ando; Tama Art Library, Mikimoto, and TOD’s Omotesando by Toyo Ito; PRADA by Herzog & de Meuron; National Art Center and Nakagin Capsule Tower by Kisho Kurokawa; Nezu Museum, Suntory Museum, Asakusa Heritage Center, new Olympic Stadium, and Baiso-in Temple by Kengo Kuma; Tokyo University Library by Shigeru Ban; Musashino Art University Library by Sou Fujimoto; Hoki Museum by Nikken-Sekkei; Senso-ji Asakusa Kannon Temple and surroundings); and visits to architecture firms and many other historic and contemporary architecture.

Academic Information: Courses & Credits

5 Year Master of Architecture Students will enroll in:

  • Arch 690 Study Abroad (5 Credits)
  • Arch 692 Documentation (3 Credits) 

2 or 3 Year Master of Architecture Students will enroll in:

  • Arch 690 Study Abroad (6 Credits)

Interior Architecture Students will only enroll in:

  • AD 690 Study Abroad for Interior Architecture (5 credits)

Architectural Engineering Students will only enroll in:

  • Arch 690 Study Abroad (5 Credits)

Students will stay in centrally located hotels in South Korea and Japan. 

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

This program is open to all KU and non-KU students who have completed their first year of study. Priority is given to KU Architecture students who have completed ARCH 208 or ARCH 502 and Interior Architecture students who have completed IA 208.

Program Cost for Architecture in Asia

Jae D. Chang is a Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Architecture & Design of the University of Kansas.  He received his Master and Doctorate in Architecture from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Chang has worked with universities and companies in the US and internationally on research in healthy environments and environmentally responsive design.


Kapila D. Silva is a Professor and Associate Dean at the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Kansas. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, from where he received a doctorate in architecture, and at the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, from where he received professional architectural education. Dr. Silva has published several books on heritage conservation and management related to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information contact:

Jae D. Chang Ph.D., Professor

Department of Architecture

Kapila D. Silva Ph.D., Professor & Associate Dean of DEIB

Department of Architecture