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Korean partnership

Styling a South Korean fashion partnership

Central Michigan University signs exchange agreement with Seoul National University

Contact: Heather Smith

Central Michigan University students with a passion for fashion will have the chance to learn about global trends in the heart of Seoul — the world’s 16th-largest city and the capital of South Korea.

As part of a new exchange agreement, students in the fashion merchandising and design program will be able to take courses at Seoul National University. The agreement also will allow SNU students to attend CMU.

“This is a significant honor for the fashion merchandising and design program at CMU because of the reputation of Seoul National University,” said Michael Mamp, associate professor of fashion merchandising and design. “It is the No. 1-ranked university in the country, and many have referred to it as the Harvard of South Korea.”

Fashion is a global enterprise, and Seoul has emerged as a center of design and merchandising because of nearby manufacturers in China and Vietnam, Mamp said.

The exchange program lets students at CMU and Seoul National University broaden their professional skills and increase marketability, learning to appreciate different aesthetic and cultural perspectives and methods in designing and merchandising fashion products, said Joy Lee, graduate program director for CMU’s master’s degree in apparel product development and merchandising technology.

Seoul National University offers courses in fashion drawing, clothing construction, retailing, merchandising, consumer behavior, textile design and construction of Korean costume. Innovative technology, such as a digital textile printer and pattern digitizers, are available to students. And hands-on learning can take place in the university’s multiple textile science labs and industrial sewing lab.

This exchange is the result of international travel by Lee, professor of fashion merchandising and design, as part of a Leadership Fellow program supported by the College of Education and Human Services.

“As one of the top-ten ranked universities in all of Asia, Seoul National University is very selective in partnership decisions,” Lee said. “We will be one of the few fashion programs in the U.S. to offer the exchange program with this prestigious university.”

The exchange program — available to both undergraduate and graduate students — is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018. By competitive application, up to two CMU students a year will be selected and permitted to enroll in up to 18 credits per semester at Seoul National University. The university offers a wide selection of courses taught in English. Any online learning opportunities are yet to be determined. Interested students may contact Lee at

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