Hongik University


Image of Hongik University

Hongik University


Hongik University’s renowned fine arts program is ranked number one in South Korea.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Language of Instruction: EnglishKorean
Term: FallSpring
Academic Disciplines: ArtDesignVisual Art
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year

  • Study art and design in Korea on this unique program
  • No Korean language proficiency required
  • Open to KU visual arts majors with junior standing and second year graduate students

South Korea has a 5,000 year history with ancient palaces, pagodas and stunning green landscape with majestic mountain tops. It also has ultra-modern skyscrapers and a fast paced city life. In addition, it is one of the world's most technologically and scientifically advanced countries due to companies such as Samsung and LG serving as global leaders in electronics.

Seoul, with a population of over 20 million in its metropolitan area, is one of Asia's largest cities and is the political, financial and cultural center of Korea.

Hongik University is a private university in central Seoul with a student population of 16,000 undergraduate students. The campus is located in the famous Hong Dae area of Seoul and is near a variety of shops, boutiques, museums and restaurants. The campus is a 10 minute walk to two subway stations. Hongik University is close to Ewha Womans University, Yonsei University and Sogang University. There are numerous art galleries and artists’ studios around the campus neighborhood. KIMCHI (Korean International Members’ Club), a Hongik student group helps international students adjust to life at Hongik.

Hongik University’s renowned fine arts program is ranked number one in Korea. Visual Art courses offered in Korean are printmaking, oriental painting, painting and sculpture. Students should note that courses taught in Korean may have differing methods of providing course instruction. Some professors may be able to provide instructions in English after instructing other students in Korean, other professors may ask Korean students to translate course instructions to English, and all students will need to plan on learning techniques through observation.

Program dates for the Fall semester are generally late August to mid-December and for the Spring semester are late February to mid-June. See above for specific dates for each academic term.

Hongik University Course Equivalencies (.xls).

Students stay on campus in a university residential hall for international students and graduate students. Students stay in a double occupancy room and each room has a bed, desk and closet. Students share a communal bathroom. There is no kitchen hall or cafeteria in the residence hall but there are two cafeteria-style student restaurants and a convenience store on campus.

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.

Considerations for South Korea

The response to homosexuality is mixed in Korea. While consensual same-sex sexual activity is not criminalized and there are no specific laws that discriminate based on sexuality, same-sex marriages are not legally recognized. Korea is a conservative country in regards to LGBTI issues. However, there are an increasing number of LGBTQIA+ -oriented clubs, festivals and NGOs advocating for LGBTQIA+  issues. There is an LGBTQIA+ subculture in the more urban cities but it is not openly displayed in public, although platonic displays of affection between same-sex friends is very common. As is often in the case in a society that is both homogenous and traditionally conservative, it is the experience of many students that being open about your sexuality in any context is seen as unusual and curious, sometimes shocking.

Generally speaking, most facilities in Korea have been made to be accessible for wheelchairs. Students with physical disabilities may find it difficult to navigate public transportation in Korea. Access to transportation in most areas is somewhat limited, although there are various government initiatives designed to make public transport more accessible. Students with vision impairment may have difficulty, as most Braille or audio transportation information is exclusively in Korean.

Korea does not have a homogenous religious culture and throughout its history, a wide variety of religious movements such as Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Christianity have shaped the culture dramatically.

Source: U.S. Department of State country information pages and Diversity Abroad.

Additional Resources

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

Open to KU Visual Art majors with junior standing and second year graduate students with a minimum overall KU GPA of 3.0.