Learning Abroad Center
A bustling street scene in Singapore, with signs, food, and people

Design & Food in Singapore

Asia & Oceania
LAC Program

Experience Singaporean food and design by visiting markets, restaurants, hawker centers, immersive attractions, and design companies to understand the intersections between design and food.

Program Details

Singapore, Singapore
Winter Break
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year


In the United States street food is often a convenience or novelty, but in most parts of the world, it’s the way of life. The rapid urbanization of southeast Asian cities has contributed to the popularization of street food. This program will explore Singapore, ranked as one of the world's best cities for street food.

On this program, you’ll sample various types of food while exploring the beautiful markets, farms, and stores, and gain hands-on experience while engaging with local universities, companies, and organizations. In cooking classes with experts, you’ll learn how to make your favorite dishes. By having these various experiences, you’ll examine Singaporean culture as well as the supply chain behind food systems, then document your experiences in photographs and drawings.

Course Description

This course is an experiential introduction to principles of service design applied to the food industry in Southeast Asia. It will apply visual tools to understand the current state of restaurants, hawkers centers, and food vendors by using techniques like stakeholder mapping and service blueprints. This course will involve experiencing various Singaporean cuisines by eating street food and taking cooking classes. We’ll also take program excursions, tours, and cultural visits to understand the supply chain behind the food systems. You will engage in a short design project to re-imagine some aspects of food systems in Southeast Asia and then present your concepts.

Program Model


Housing & Meals

Live in shared student housing with other program participants. A welcome and farewell meal, as well as some additional meals included.


Excursions may include:

  • Visit to Gardens by the Bay
  • Visit to Sentosa Island
  • Visit to Singapore Zoo Night Safari
  • Market to Table Cooking Class
  • Tour of Red Dot Museum
  • Tour of Dyson Headquarters
  • Architectural Tour
  • Changi Airport Tour
  • Tours of local universities, such as SUTD International Design Center and National University of Singapore (NUS)
  • Daily Singaporean Hawker Centers like Maxwell Court, Tiong Bahru, and Lau Pa Sat


You will need to book your own flights for this program.

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop independence by challenging yourself in a new environment
  • Function as an effective team member by utilizing your personal strengths in a group setting
  • Explore a specific topic through experiential and interdisciplinary approaches

Faculty & Staff

This course is led by Carlye Lauff, Assistant Professor in Design and co-led by Barry Kudrowitz Professor and Department Head in the Department of Design, in the College of Design.

Program Structure

Program Level
3000-level coursework

One 3-credit course

This seminar is a 2+ week study abroad program led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that feature:

  • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
  • Small groups of 15–25 students
  • No prerequisites or language requirements
  • Included excursions and cultural activities
  • Instruction in English

Course Schedule

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.


While in Southeast Asia, you’ll be assessed through two mechanisms. First, you’ll keep a daily visual/photo journal focusing on the food systems (people, locations, cuisine, equipment, process) and your experiences. Second, you’ll engage in a short design project on the topic of reimagining the design of some aspect of food systems based on your learnings, research, and experience. At the end of the experience, you’ll give a short final presentation about your project.

This course can be tied to three Sustainable Development Goals: #2 Zero Hunger, #3 Good Health and Well-Being, and #11 Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Receive credit for: PDes 3790

Approved for PDES Major/Minor elective credit

Academic Registration

Confirmed students will be registered for their course by the Learning Abroad Center once registration opens for your term abroad. Make sure you have no holds that would prevent registration.

If you haven't already, communicate with your academic adviser(s) as applicable to review the course for your major, minor, or college requirements. University of Minnesota students should use the Academic Planning Form (PDF), located on your confirmation checklist.

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

Program TermProgram DatesApplication Deadline
Winter Break 2023–24January 1, 2024–January 14, 2024October 15, 2023

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

Information Sessions

Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on our events page.

Thurs., Sept. 282:00 p.m.Hybrid (Heller Hall 230C or Zoom)
Fri., Sept. 2912:00 p.m.Online (register for Zoom link)

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term AbroadDate/TimeLocation
Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 1TBDTBD
Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 2TBDTBD


Winter Break 2023–2024 Cost of Participation

The cost of participation includes educational costs, program administration, housing, some meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, and local transportation. Program fees can vary widely due to location, cost of living, and program inclusions. This program's fee (billed to your UofM account) will range from $5,000–$5,500. An estimated additional $2,500–$3,000 is recommended as students will need to purchase flights (details provided Oct. 16), meals not included in the program, passport fees, and miscellaneous living expenses needed on the program. Total costs (billed and non-billed) of the program should be under $8,500.

Recent increases in international airfare and accommodation costs have impacted all instructor-led program fees. The LAC strives to follow best practices to provide the lowest cost program while ensuring a quality academic experience.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Bridging Loan

Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.

Winter Break 2023–24

Design & Food in Singapore

Winter Break 2024

Program Fee

  • UofM students pay program fee instead of on-campus tuition & fees while abroad
  • Billed through UofM account
Non-refundable deposit $400
Tuition and educational costs $4,568
International health insurance $34
Housing and/or mealsBreakfast includeed daily, plus two additonal group meals $863
Transportation (if required and included in program fee) $0
Total Program Fee $5,865
Program discount for University of Minnesota and Big Ten students, if applicable $-500
Total Program Fee with discount, if applicable $5,365

Estimated Additional Expenses

  • Financial aid-eligible but not included in program fee
Costs Typically Incurred Prior to Departure These costs may need to be paid before your financial aid is disbursed for your term abroad.
Transportation to and from program siteFlights to/from Singapore not included in program fee $2,500
Passport/photos $150
Visa/required documents $0
Travel clinic/immunizations* $50
Housing deposit $0
Total Estimated Cost Incurred Prior to Departure $2,700
Costs Typically Incurred After Arrival in Host Country
Texts/materials $50
Housing and/or meals not included in program feeBreakfast includeed daily, plus two additonal group meals $250
Essential daily living expensesCell phones required $250
Total Estimated Cost Incurred After Arrival in Host Country $550

Total Estimated Cost of Participation

  • UofM students—compare this to your estimated on campus cost of attendance
Total Estimated Cost of Participation $8,615
Spending money and personal travel Not included in financial aid calculation $300
Additional Notes & Information
* Immunizations Note: This estimate is based on approximate cost of travel-related vaccinations and medications required for entry or recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on your travel clinic, the specific immunizations and medication prescribed, and your insurance coverage.


Be aware: Learning Abroad Center programs require a $50 application fee. This fee will be charged to your student account upon submission of an online application.

COVID-19 Information

A COVID-19 vaccine & booster and negative COVID test before departure (own expense) may be required on arrival in country or at various venues in this location (based on current government and local policies). This may change before departure.

Participants are expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements while abroad. Visit the CDC International Travel website and the LAC COVID Policies page for updated information.

US Consulate in Singapore COVID-19 Information site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).

More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

Next Steps

  1. After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
  2. Your completed application will be reviewed by the Learning Abroad Center.
  3. If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
  4. Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
    • Passport Information
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Health Information Form
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
    • Release & Waiver
  5. You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.

After You Apply

Before your program begins, review these resources.

Health & Safety

Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.

Power of Attorney

Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Kate Meyer or call at 612.626.7535