Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required CIEE Courses
ECOL 3001 TKKU
The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment
This course brings students in contact with people who are directly engaged in socio-political movements in Thailand. It shows how a broad range of development and environmental issues affect local communities, highlighting the relation of these issues to greater development schemes of neighboring countries. Participants study the work of people directly involved, such as grassroots social movement leaders on the community level and broad-based coalitions; representatives from nongovernmental and governmental organizations; farmers’ groups and cooperatives; scholars and social critics; journalists; political advocates and human rights activists; and people living with HIV/AIDS. Since 2007, there has been a strong focus on economic, social, and cultural rights. Given the political turmoil over the past number of years in Thailand, the program has paid more attention to civil and political rights and briefly examined the political situation.
The issues studied are organized into units, with community stays at the core. Units have included agriculture, urban land rights, power and regional development schemes, forest and land issues, mining, industry, water resource management, and community and human rights. The combined study of globalization on a macro-level and communities on a micro-level helps students better understand major global trends and the impact of these trends on local communities, culture, and life. Students are challenged to assess the effectiveness of environmental and development projects; understand the far-reaching implications such projects may have on communities and local ecosystems; and investigate the relationship between international development policies, the role of developed countries, and how our standard of living or lifestyles may be implicated. Participants realize that Thailand’s problems have a global impact and correspondingly, everyone may have responsibility for resolving them.
Issues examined have included integrated and natural farming practices, deforestation and community forestry, national resource management, environmental pollution, community health, economic, social, and cultural rights, civil and political rights, HIV/AIDS, village community empowerment, slums, social activism, NGOs, alternative education, consumerism and garbage, and mining.
There are eight components to each unit of the core course:
1. Readings—For each unit, students typically receive readings that provide a variety of perspectives on the larger global and academic context of each issue, with another section focusing on the regional and local context.
2. Classroom Instruction—This provides students a broad outline of issues concerning the environment and development and the finer details of particular case studies.
3. Reading Discussions—These discussions help students bridge the information they receive from the lecture and global readings with the Thai and local context in preparation for the briefing.
4. Community Stays and Exchanges—Students typically stay with families in the communities visited. They interact with people involved on local issues, including government officials, community-based organization leaders, NGO community organizers, and the villagers themselves.
5. Written and Photographic Work—During community visits and exchanges, students take photos and collect information to produce, amongst other outputs, photo essays, profiles, feature news stories, blog entries, and position papers/editorials.
6. Workshops—As a final step, student facilitators plan a three- to four-hour workshop in which students can process and share their experiences. The students then work as a group to determine the key issues and further steps they might take to better understand the issues.
7. Where We’re At—After each unit students and staff take some time to reflect on the overall process, to critique various aspects of the program such as language instruction and share ideas for final projects.
8. Final Examination—At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to reflect effectively on their experience and cogently discuss issues surrounding globalization, development, and social justice.
ECOL 3003 TKKU
Directed Research/Field Study Practicum
This course supplements and runs in conjunction with The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment. Halfway through the program, the student group begins a collaborative consultative process with select communities and networks in the Northeast, which is continued to the beginning of the project time. Usually, students work in groups on a series of projects that result from the community consultations. Each group writes up a research proposal that requires approval from a board made up of staff, university lecturers, and student representatives. Each proposal has to have clearly defined goals and methodology, timetable for completion, a plan for division of labor, expected outcomes, and a target group. The group meets once throughout project time to discuss methodological and other problems encountered. In the final week of the program, each group publicly presents the outcome of the project and turns in a 20- to 25-page paper or the equivalent. Coordinator: Dr. David Streckfuss, CIEE Resident Director
SOCI 3001 TKKU
Social Research Methods
This course begins with a full week dedicated to background lectures on research models, Thai history and social structure, and human rights. The lectures deal with social research, participatory action research, research proposal writing, conducting research, and report writing. Students learn how to set research objectives, lay out a detailed research plan, and develop an ongoing assessment framework. As a group, students go through a series of workshops that help them conceptualize how to put together photo essays, write stories, develop writing styles and layouts appropriate for several program and outside publications, and effectively build cases within a human rights context. A unique feature of the course is the opportunity to work closely with professional journalists throughout the semester. Over the last several semesters, students have worked with Marwaan Macan-Markar of the Inter Press Service, and freelance photographer and writer Nic Dunlop whose most notable book is The Lost Executioner. Lecture Coordinator and Instructor: Dr. Buapun Promphakping, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Khon Kaen University
Required CIEE Language Courses
Jintana Rattanakhemakorn, a native of Suphanbburi, has worked with CIEE for more than eight years, and has recently been made Language Director of both CIEE Thailand programs. She has an M.A. in English from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at Khon Kaen University.
THAI 1001 TKKU
Beginning Thai I
This course introduces students to the basics of the Thai language through conversation, reading, and writing. Within the context of everyday life experiences, students practice dialogues, learn the basic Thai writing system in order to facilitate pronunciation and language acquisition, and engage in interactive homework assignments. When possible, teachers use local communities as the medium for language practice.
THAI 1002 TKKU
Beginning Thai II
This course is for students who have had some significant, yet limited, experience with Thai. It follows along the description of Beginning Thai I, but at a higher level.
THAI 2001 TKKU
Intermediate Thai I
This course is offered for students who can carry on simple conversations in various circumstances with fairly accurate pronunciation, and who can demonstrate a clear understanding of the Thai writing system. The focus is on enhancing vocabulary and grammatical knowledge to increase students’ communicative competence in speaking, reading, and writing Thai. Course materials are taken from current literature sources and articles on focus issues, newspapers, audio, video clips, and movies.
THAI 2002 TKKU
Intermediate Thai II
This course is for students whose Thai language abilities are more advanced than Intermediate Thai I, but still not at the advanced level. It follows along the description of Intermediate Thai I, but at a higher level.
THAI 3001 TKKU
Advanced Topics in Thai Language
This course is offered for students who can demonstrate a diverse use of vocabulary, solid understanding of grammar patterns, and clear pronunciation. Students are expected to advance in verbal and written communication on both casual and academic levels, and be able to discuss with people who are affected by various social and environmental issues in Thailand. Course materials are taken from current literature sources and articles on focus issues, newspapers, audio, video clips, and movies.