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By Term

  • Fall 2014
  • Spring 2014
  • Spring 2015
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Dates:
08/21/2014 - 12/19/2014
Deadlines:
Extended to: 04/15/2014
Credit:
15 semester / 22.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

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Dates:
01/16/2014 - 05/15/2014
Deadlines:
Extended to: 11/15/2013
Credit:
15 semester / 22.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

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Dates:
TBA
Deadlines:
10/15/2014
Credit:
15 semester / 22.5 quarter hours
Eligibility:
2.75 Overall GPA
Courses:
See descriptions below

*Please see the detailed information available below for an important note about program dates.

Map:
View Map
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Study Abroad in Khon Kaen
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Program Overview

Program Overview

Start doing. What better way to begin understanding the complexities surrounding environmental, development, and globalization issues, than to engage with and confront them yourself? In Thailand, you’ll engage in a real-world learning model to examine issues of development and social justice on a grassroots level.

Study abroad in Thailand where coursework and the classroom are a springboard, propelling you out into the field where you’ll interact with, learn from, and contribute to communities and organizations in the Northeast of the country.

In Thailand you will:

  • Immerse yourself in Thai culture through community stays, translated exchanges, Thai student roommates, and peer tutors
  • Spend significant time living and exchanging with villagers and NGOs
  • Conceive, collaborate on, and present a final, group project which uses methodical, field-based research and contributes to the public sphere

The program will challenge you to assess the effectiveness and far-reaching implications of environmental and development projects.

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The CIEE Difference

The CIEE Difference

Coursework

  • Examine the broad range of development and environmental issues which affect local communities, and the relation of these issues to greater development schemes of neighboring countries.
  • Study the work of grassroots social movement leaders and broad-based coalitions; representatives from non-governmental and governmental organizations; journalists; political and human rights activists; and people living with HIV/AIDS
  • Study proper research methods and conceptualize how to put together photo essays, and articles appropriate for program and outside publications, effectively building cases within a human rights context.

Field Work

study abroad in Thailand

The program seeks to bring you into authentic exchange with villagers, NGOs, and others who are working for social change at the grassroots level. You can expect to spend much of your time traveling and staying in communities. Past activities have included:

  • Compiling a series of community oral histories
  • Preparing a photo series accompanied by background voice recordings of villagers explaining their livelihood
  • Writing a series of nine economic, social, and cultural rights reports in cooperation with local community organizations
  • You’ll also participate in various site visits to explore methods and outcomes of sustainable agriculture and development in a local community

    Professional Instruction

    The field is your classroom—local professionals your teachers. Government officials and practitioners from local NGOs offer guidance during visits to various development projects, and freelance photographers and journalists work with and advise you on projects throughout the semester

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Dates, Deadlines & Fees

Dates, Deadlines & Fees

We want to make sure you get the most out of your experience when you study abroad with CIEE, which is why we offer the most inclusions in our fees.

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition and housing
  • Pre-departure advising and optional on-site airport meet and greet
  • Full-time program leadership and support
  • Field trips and cultural activities
  • CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits
Please note, program dates are subject to change. Please contact your CIEE Study Abroad Advisor before purchasing airfare. Click the button to view more detailed information about dates and fees as well as estimated additional costs. Please talk with your University Study Abroad Advisor about additional fees that may be charged by your home institution when participating in a program abroad.
Program
Application Due
Start Date
End Date
Costs
Fall 2014 (17 wks)
Extended to: 04/15/2014
08/21/2014
12/19/2014
$14,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$12,235
Housing
$2,050
Insurance
$102
Visa Fees
$163

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$750
International Airfare *
$2,150
Local Transportation
$50
Books & Supplies
$90
Personal expenses
$1,000

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

More Information
Spring 2014 (17 wks)
Extended to: 11/15/2013
01/16/2014
05/15/2014
$14,850

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

In addition to the items outlined below, the CIEE program fee includes an optional on-site airport meet and greet, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and a CIEE iNext travel card which provides insurance and other travel benefits.
Participation Confirmation *
$300
Educational Costs **
$12,235
Housing
$2,050
Insurance
$102
Visa Fees
$163

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

Estimated Additional Costs

Meals not included in program fee
$750
International Airfare *
$2,150
Local Transportation
$50
Books & Supplies
$90
Personal expenses
$1,000

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

* round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

More Information
Spring 2015
10/15/2014
TBA
TBA

Program Date Notes

Program Fees

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $340 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

Estimated Additional Costs

The estimated additional costs indicated are intended to assist students and parents in budgeting for those additional living and discretionary expenses not included in the program fee. Actual expenses will vary according to student interests and spending habits.

More Information
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Eligibility
2.75 Overall GPA

Eligibility

  • Overall GPA 2.75
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Recommended Credit

Recommended Credit

Total recommended credit for the semester is 15 semester/22.5 quarter hours.

The required Thai language course at the Beginning level has 65 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course. Students in Intermediate and Advanced Thai have 55 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours. Language is taught intensively during the first three weeks of the program.

The contact hours for The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment are 115 and recommended credit is 6 semester/9 quarter hours.

The Directed Research Field Study/Practicum has 96 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

Social Research Methods has 45 contact hours and recommended credit is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours.

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Program Requirements

Program Requirements

Study abroad students are required to take The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment, Directed Research Field Study/Practicum, Social Research Methods, and one Thai language course at their level.

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About the City

About The City

Located in the center of the Northeast region of Thailand, known as Isaan, Khon Kaen is Thailand’s fourth largest city with a population of over 300,000. About 300 miles north of Bangkok, it is the educational and government center of the Northeast, as well as the headquarters for many development organizations working in the region. Compared to other parts of Thailand, the Northeast has retained many traditional Thai customs, as well as Lao and Khmer influences.

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Meet The Staff

Meet The Staff

Staff Image

David Streckfuss

Dr. David Streckfuss is the Resident Director for the Cambodian Studies program and has been the Resident Director for the CIEE Programs in Thailand since 1994. He received his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is particularly interested in economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights. As an independent scholar, he wrote Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté, published by Routledge. He is a frequent contributor to publications such as The Bangkok Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal.

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This program believes in the power of one. But much more so, we believe in the power of humans coming together and learning how to be friends so they can understand their situation and how they can organize for a better future.

This is a program about Thailand. Come learn about Thailand’s history and its particular journey. This program is about the common person of Thailand. How do things like development or globalization play themselves out in the lives of the poor?

And this program is about you. If you come, be ready and open to learning from those who have come before. Be ready to not only engage with the Thai people, but also with those on the program. And be ready to relate your experiences to those who come after you. By receiving, involving, and then passing on, the program’s work on issues of social justice strengthens and grows.

— David Streckfuss, Resident Director

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Where You'll Study

Where You'll Study

Khon Kaen University (KKU), the major educational institution in the Northeast, is located four kilometers north of the city on 2,500 acres of partially wooded land. Founded in 1964, KKU has 19 faculties that offer Bachelor’s, Master’s, and professional degrees in fields such as law, health and medicine, social sciences, humanities, education, agriculture, business, engineering, and the physical sciences. KKU has 44,000 students including 31,000 undergraduate and 13,000 postgraduate students, There are approximately 1,500 full-time faculty members and 4,000 part-time faculty and staff. The program offices and classrooms are located just off campus at the CIEE Study Center.

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Housing & Meals

Housing & Meals

study abroad in Thailand

Housing is included in the study abroad program fee. While not on community visits and staying with host families, students live in an off-campus accommodation with a Thai roommate. The accommodations are located a short walk from where classes are held. Meals, while not on community visits, are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Students can eat meals at the University cafeteria or local restaurants.

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Orientations

Orientations

You'll begin your study abroad experience in Khon Kaen even before leaving home by participating in a CIEE online pre-departure orientation. Meeting with students online, the resident director shares information about the program and site, highlighting issues that alumni have said are important, and giving you time to ask questions. The online orientation allows you to connect with others in the group, reflect on what you want to get out of the program, and learn what others in the group would like to accomplish. CIEE’s aim for the pre-departure orientation is simple—to help you understand more about the program, and identify your objectives so that you arrive well-informed and return home having made significant progress towards your goals.

Students initially meet in Bangkok and then travel to an orientation site for a few days. There you'll learn about the overall structure of the program and begin Thai language studyy, and engage in group-building activities. The orientation also introduces you to the country, culture, and academic program, as well as provids practical information about living in Khon Kaen. You will then be placed in a short homestay. Throughout this time, you'll continue to study Thai and engage in various group activities. The Social Research Methods course begins with a series of background lectures on Thai history, society, and culture. The following week the first unit of the core course begins. About eight weeks into the program, you'll have a mid-term evaluation and reorientation. Ongoing support is provided by CIEE staff on an individual and group basis throughout the program.

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Internet

Internet

You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop. Internet access is provided in the off campus accommodations and at the CIEE Study Center. You will also have access at inexpensive Internet cafés nearby.

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Culture

Culture

study abroad in Thailand

The study abroad program seeks to bring you into authentic exchanges with villagers, NGOs, and others who are working for social change at the grassroots level. You can expect to spend much of your time traveling and staying in communities. You'll also have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the U.S. student-based group ENGAGE (Educational Network for Global and Grassroots Exchange).

Past activities have included interviewing members of a women’s weaving cooperative; compiling a series of community oral histories that present issues of development in the context of people’s lives; preparing a photo series accompanied by background voice recordings of villagers explaining their livelihood; and writing a series of nine economic, social, and cultural rights reports in cooperation with local community organizations. These NGOs examine violations of water development projects; the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers; and the access to healthcare for people living with HIV/AIDS.

In addition, you'll participate in various site visits to explore methods and outcomes of sustainable agriculture and development in a local community.

Immersion

Peer Tutors

About once per week, you'll be paired with Khon Kaen University students for Thai language tutorial sessions.

Community Stays

You should expect to spend substantial amounts of time staying with families in rural communities.

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Academics

Academics

Academic Program

Based at Khon Kaen University since 1991, the program’s focus on development and the environment was established in 1994. Since 2007, the program has placed a special emphasis on using international and national human rights frameworks to understand grassroots and social justice issues.

Academic Culture

The required core course combines classroom-based academics with extensive practical field experience. The study abroad program employs an alternative “people-to-people” educational approach. Students spend significant time living and exchanging with villagers and NGOs in the Northeast of Thailand. Faculty from the University and program staff prepares students in the classroom, while government officials and practitioners from local non-governmental organizations provide guidance during the visits to various development projects. The friendships built during homestays ideally lead to well-informed projects that are tailored to contribute to the public sphere (i.e. newspaper articles, reports, website publications, campaigns, etc.).

All courses contain extensive experiential components. All program activities emphasize peer learning and group organization. Students become aware of their own learning styles and find ways to work productively with one another in service to local communities. Using what is called, “group process,” students create common goals, lay out ground rules, and learn to provide constructive feedback all as part of a more holistic approach to education. As part of this process, students interested in building facilitative leadership skills are encouraged to take part in the workshop series called Workshops on Ongoing Leadership in Facilitation (WOLF).

The program’s language instruction utilizes a proficiency-based approach designed to help students function effectively in everyday communicative situations. Courses at all levels combine intensive classroom learning with the use of peer tutors and interactive exercises. Language classes are offered at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Nature of Classes

Participants take classes with other CIEE study abroad students only.

CIEE Community Language Commitment

Grading System

In the CIEE courses, students are normally graded on the basis of a series of short papers, active participation, two-week long project, and final paper. In the language courses, assessment is based on daily homework, quizzes, and exams. Letter grades (A-F) are given with pluses or minuses.

The program also has an ongoing evaluation process throughout the semester. Every two to three weeks, everyone involved in the program—students, staff, and interns—takes a day to reflect on the overall process during a review. It's a time for students to give feedback on various aspects of the program as well as work out any issues within the group.

Language of Instruction

English
Thai

Faculty

Courses are taught by a variety of faculties at Khon Kaen University, but principally the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at KKU and the Thai Department for non-beginning Thai classes, outside university lecturers, the NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-CORD), government officials, representatives of nongovernmental or governmental organizations, and CIEE resident director.

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Course Description

Course Description

All Courses

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.

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