CMU partners with South Korea for fashion opportunity

SKorean Fashion

Human Environmental Studies faculty member Joy Lee, center, poses for a picture with Grand Blanc graduate student Alexis Jones, left, and Chesaning graduate student Stan Mathews, right, who have chosen for the South Korea fashion partnership.

Central Michigan University has signed an exchange agreement with Seoul National University for a fashion partnership that will start Spring 2018.

The agreement will allow fashion design students to take courses at the South Korean university. 

Seoul National University offers courses in fashion drawing, clothing construction, retailing, merchandising, consumer behavior, textile design and construction of Korean-cultural costumes. Innovative technology such as digital textile printers and pattern digitizers will also be available to the students. 

Students from Seoul will also be able to attend CMU. 

Joy Lee, a faculty member in the Department of Human Environmental studies for Fashion Merchandising and Design, spoke with representatives from SNU to create this opportunity. 

“Over half of the conversations I had with members at Seoul National University were interested in what we were doing here in our program,” Lee said. “(I) thought it would be a good partnership so that we learn from each other.”

After speaking with Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, and Tanya Domina, chair of Human Environmental Studies, they reached an agreement.

Only two Fashion Merchandising and Design students were competitively selected for the exchange program. Alexis Jones, a second-year graduate student from Grand Blanc and Stan Mathews, a first-year graduate student from Chesaning were chosen.

The two were selected because they are two of the top graduate students in CMU’s fashion department.

“These were the students that just came to my mind,” Lee said. “It will be a great opportunity for them to go there.” 

The students coming to CMU from Seoul National University have yet to be announced.

Jones and Mathews will be able to take classes in SNU’s fashion design program, as well as other cultural courses. The courses will be taught in English, with the option to take a Korean language course funded by SNU. They will have the option to live on or off campus.

Jones said she's excited to immerse herself in a new culture. 

“I used to live overseas when I was younger and I’ve been able to travel to places (around) Europe, but being able to go to Asia really fascinates me. They’re leading in the fashion community,” Jones said. “Being surrounded by innovative technology and comparing the differences from what we teach here is going to be one of the greatest experiences.”

As for Mathews, attending school overseas will be a new experience for him.

“I’ve never been out of the United States before, so it will be a huge culture shock, which terrifies me,” Mathews said. “But it will help me build as a person and give me a better perspective on the world.”

Lee said she is excited these students will have the opportunity to experience working in the top areas associated with the fashion industry.

“It will be a very eye-opening experience for them to realize what’s going on in the Asia market with the different consumers, trends, and technology that are evolving and to be able to build more cultural confidence,” Lee said.


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