Travel Abroad with UT Art and Design

by Demi Manglona

UT’s Art and Design department has organized two travel immersion courses–New York City and Seoul, South Korea–for the upcoming spring semester, where students can attend workshops and explore a metropolitan city center. Credit will be offered for enrolling in the course and completing pre and post-departure assignments. There is a cap of 18 attendees for both trips.

Chris Valle, Art and Design chair and Crissy Singer, assistant professor of Art and Design, are leading a seven week design anthropology course in the last half of the Spring 2020 term in preparation for Seoul, South Korea, which will take place from Sunday, May 10 to Friday, May 22, during May term. The immersion experience is open to all majors ranging from art, graphic design, advertising and public relations (AD/PR) and international business. Each course will be worth two credits, but May term tuition will be waived. The deadline for applications is Friday Nov. 1, with a $5,740 final deposit deadline for Saturday, Feb. 1.

The course will fulfill an International Global (IG) credit hours that is required for a student’s Baccalaureate Experience portion of their degree at UT. For Art and Design majors, it will fulfill a Modern or Contemporary Art History credit, while AD/PR majors can potentially use the course to replace some required credits according to Singer.

Along with living and working in Korea for a year, Singer chose the destination for its rich non-western culture and international acknowledgment. Seoul is part of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and has been named one of Korea’s Cities of Design. Over 170,000 design jobs are available in the capital alone including fields of  automotive, fashion, advertising and game design, according to the Cities of Design website.

“I am a big advocate of bringing in non-western design influence to my students, and I think that the experiential education of a study abroad program is more than anyone can do with a class project,” Singer said. She said her goal is to show students design in a more global context.

While in Seoul, the main event will be a threeday interdisciplinary design thinking workshop at Kookmin University College of Design. UT students will team up in groups with Korean students, and each group will build and present their design and business ideas throughout the duration of the workshop.

During the trip, students will be gathering photographs of different design categories throughout the city, which will be displayed in UT’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery post-departure. As the workshops and educational tours will only take up half the day, attendees will be able to explore the city’s hot spots, food and scenic views. In their free time, Singer plans to visit various venues, museums, palaces and mountains with her students.

“Where we’re staying is going to be very walkable…It’s a very safe space,” Singer said

For more information, email

The annual New York City art immersion trip will depart Tuesday, March 3 and will return on Sunday, March 8. The group will be led by Michael Ingold, studio safety technician and art lecturer, and Lisa Willard, assistant professor of graphic design. Like the South Korea trip, this art immersion travel course will fulfill a Modern or Contemporary Art credit for Art and Design students. The application and first deposit deadlines have passed, but according to Ingold, the department will allow up to eight more Art and Design students until February. The course costs $1,299, which will be due in full on December 2.

Attendees will stay at The Arthouse Hotel in the heart of Manhattan, walking distance from Central Park. Each year, the department visits museums, design firms, MFA programs, and art fairs. According to Ingold, the trip is an opportunity for student artists to contextualize their own work in an urban setting.

“When I think back to my experience as an undergrad, the things that stand out to me as the most formative experiences were the travel courses that I did,” said Ingold. He has studied abroad in London and attended an internship in Amsterdam.

Junior graphic design major, Mai Reyna, attended the New York City trip last year. She said she decided to go because she thought it would be beneficial to learn about art by visiting one of the world’s biggest art scenes.

“If I went to the city by myself, I would have never known that there’s so many galleries in [Manhattan], and I wouldn’t have had access to entering all the private studios,” Reyna said. “[Going to New York] gave me some insights of what it’s like to work as a graphic designer and how it’s different from school,” Reyna said.

Aside from learning about art, Ingold said that there is extreme value in learning how to navigate a metropolitan city and absorbing a true city center. For some students, it will be their first time going on subways and trains, as well as exploring a big city on their own.

“You’re going to see a bunch of art that’s going to blow your mind…But the true story is in ten to twenty years, you won’t remember an individual piece of art you saw there,” Ingold said. “You’ll remember the mood of the trip. You’ll remember the food you ate, or the guy you met on the subway.”

Demi Manglona can be reached at

Back To Top