Design & Food in Singapore
Experience Singaporean food and design by visiting markets, restaurants, hawker centers, immersive attractions, and design companies to understand the intersections between design and food.
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.
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. Students will engage in a short design project to re-imagine some aspects of food systems in Southeast Asia and then present their concepts.
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
All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.
- 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.
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
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 3197
Liberal Education Fulfillment: Global Perspectives
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, located on your confirmation checklist.
All students are required to notify us of their vaccination or exemption status as part of the confirmation process. The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Program Term||Program Dates||Application Deadline|
|Winter Break 2023–24||December 28, 2023–January 15, 2024 tentative||October 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.
Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on our events page.
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.
|Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 1||TBD||TBD|
|Winter Break 2023–24: In-person orientation session 2||TBD||TBD|
Winter Break 2023–2024 Cost of Participation forthcoming
The cost of participation includes educational costs, group flight airfare, program administration, housing, most 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, airfare, and program inclusions. Generally, program fees range between $5,500–$6,500. You must also budget for visa, passport and passport photos, meals not included (most are included), spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.
If you are registered for less than 13 credits, or if you are a non-UofM student, you will be charged tuition for this course in addition to the program fee. Notify the Learning Abroad Center if this applies to you.
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, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.
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.
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.
US Passport holders require a visa to study on this program. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a valid passport. Current US passport processing times are longer than normal. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now.
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. This may change before departure. Participants are also expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements such as masking, social distancing, or curfews. Admission and participation in areas of this program may require accessing venues or public transportation which require proof of COVID-19 vaccination and these requirements could be updated before departure or during the program. Participants will be required to present valid proof of vaccination to gain entrance or will not be able to participate in this portion of the program. Visit the CDC International Travel and the LAC COVID-19 Protocols or LAC COVID Policies pages for updated
More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.
You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.
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.
After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
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.
Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.
Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to