Kookmin University

Image of Seoul, South Korea
Study art and design in Seoul, South Korea
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Language of Instruction: EnglishKorean
Program Type: Semester or Academic Year
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Study art and design in Seoul, South Korea - one of the world's most technologically advanced cities
  • Opportunities to experience ancient Korean culture and the best of modern art simultaneously
  • Learn from Korean professors and take classes with Korean students
  • Live in an apartment with other international students

Kookmin University is a private university and was established in 1946. It has a student population of 23,000 students and is the 5th largest university in Seoul. Kookmin University's campus is located in northern Seoul. The campus is within a five minute walk from an array of restaurants, shops, and even the Bukhansan National Park. 

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.

Visual Art courses available at Kookmin University are: Ceramics, Metalsmithing, Painting and Sculpture. Kookmin's Metalwork and Jewelry department has been offering distinctive and innovative education in the field of contemporary metalwork for more than 30 years. The majority of the Visual Art courses are taught in Korean alongside Korean Students. A few select courses are taught in English.


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.


Graphic Design and Industrial Design courses are offered in English.


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.

Kookmin University Course Equivalencies

Students can choose from an on-campus or off campus student dormitory. In the On-Campus dormitory, four students share one with room with a private bath. Rooms are air-conditioned and have internet access. The Off-Campus Dormitory is a ten minute walk from campus.  In the Off-Campus Dormitory, four students share one with room and they share a common hall bathroom. A communal kitchen and lounge are available on each floor. Rooms are air-conditioned and have internet access. 

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 LGBTQIA+ 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 and Design students with junior standing and second year graduate students with a minimum overall GPA of 2.75