Khon Kaen, Thailand

Development + Globalization

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Information for term Development + Globalization

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 11 – Dec 10, 2020 (17 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Immerse yourself in Thailand’s grassroots issues and gain insight into the complexities surrounding environmental, development, and globalization issues. Enroll in four courses, including an intensive three-week Thai language instruction course to help you get-by in everyday situations, and prepare for five 1-week community stays through lectures and discussion at CIEE Khon Kaen. The field becomes the classroom, and community leaders, government officials, and NGO practitioners are the teachers. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences


    representatives from NGOs; journalists; and political and human rights activists.


    what social justice and global citizenship can mean in the context of a developing nation


    addressing social justice, human rights, and environmental issues.

  • tons of rice produced annually (province)

  • water buffaloes (province)

  • kilograms of fish produced annually (province)


Location & Culture

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The Northeast of Thailand, called “Isaan,” retained many of its traditional Lao and Khmer customs, and features a strong silk trade, ancient temples, museums, and recreation areas. Khon Kaen city features expansive shopping malls, top-rate private medical facilities, and chain outlets like McDonalds and Starbucks. But it also has close-knit traditional communities and historic Buddhist temples dotted along the banks of the city’s picturesque lakes. Khon Kaen is at the center of Isaan, and serves as a regional hub for development organizations, commerce, industry, government, and education. Compared to other regions, this area is well known for its welcoming attitude toward visitors.

With the Thai language skills you develop on the program and through your site visits and community stays, you’ll come to feel proud to be part of the culture and not a mere tourist. 

The Culture


  • Three-day tourist excursion to scenic Chiang Mai (starting Fall 2018)
  • Live, work, and dialogue with communities and activists facing impact of mining, forest policy, dams, chemical agriculture, or human rights violations during four, five-day community stays throughout the Northeast of Thailand
  • Five-day comparative study excursion to Laos
  • Overnight excursion where you feed, bathe, and walk your own elephant with “Elephant Lover Home” in Surin Province (starting Fall 2018)
  • Camping trip to mountainous national park and watch sunset while bats stream out of cave
  • Live with Thai student in dorm-style room with internet, air-conditioning, microwave, refrigerator, heated shower, a five-minute walk to convenience stores, coffee shops, restaurants, nightlife venues
  • Peer tutor sessions to practice Thai


  • Collaborate on a final project with communities facing environmental and social justice issues
  • Contribute human interest stories to partner publication, The Isaan Record
  • Help assemble an issue of Common Ground Magazine, a publication of student writing and photography on selected issues
  • Work with CIEE-student-initiated Radical Grandma Collective, a women’s weaving group preserving a traditional art and raising funds for their struggle against a mine
  • Contribute to an annual human rights festival or other similar events in the Northeast
  • Join other students, Thai resident assistants, and CIEE staff for fun and reflective evenings on cross-cultural experiences

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs

Daily Life

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    When students are not in the field or staying, they live in off-campus, air-conditioned, dorm-style room in a secured facility that also has internet s near Khon Kaen University (KKU). Each participant shares a room with a trained KKU student.


    Meals are not provided except when staying in communities.  Students can purchase meals reasonably at university cafeterias or local restaurants. Vegetarian options are available. A microwave and small refrigerator are provided in each room.

Khon Kaen, Thailand

Where You'll Study

  • A


    Khon Kaen

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What People are Saying

  • "I came to Khon Kaen to learn about and assist with environmental and human rights in whatever way I could. I couldn’t have predicted that this would find me at the source talking to and interviewing protesters, NGOs, and villagers. Involvement with journalism through CIEE Khon Kaen has introduced me to some of the most courageous people I’ve ever met, and given me the resources and support to tell their story."

    Alana Brandt, The University of Texas at Austin

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

Established in 1994, this program uses international and national human rights frameworks to understand grassroots and social justice issues for the past decade.

Students prepare for five 1-week community stays at CIEE Khon Kaen, located near Khon Kaen University. The field becomes the classroom, and community leaders, government officials, and NGO practitioners are the teachers.

Language instruction is geared toward helping students function in everyday situations. It starts with three weeks of intensive instruction, with classes at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, and combines intensive classroom learning with help from peer tutors and interactive exercises.

Content courses are taught by a variety of professors from Northeastern universities and as well as outside university lecturers, members of the NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-CORD), government officials, representatives of NGOs and governmental organizations, and CIEE staff. The Thai Language courses taught by CIEE language faculty and resident staff.


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    CIEE students take classes only with other CIEE students.


    CIEE content courses: Students are graded on a series of unit outputs, facilitation, short papers, active participation, presentation, a research proposal or set of journalism pieces, a two-week project, and a final exam paper. CIEE language courses: Students are graded on weekly homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. Letter grades are assigned.


    The core course combines classroom-based academics with extensive practical field experience and a “people-to-people” educational approach. Students spend significant time living with villagers and NGOs. Friendships built during community stays ideally lead to well-informed projects, tailored for public consumption such as newspaper articles, reports, web publications, and campaigns. All courses contain extensive experiential components. Program activities emphasize peer learning and group organization.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    Total recommended credit for the semester is 15 semester/22.5 quarter hours.  Students take a required Thai language course, two required CIEE content courses, and an elective CIEE course.  The Thai language course is taught intensively during the first three weeks of the program.


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15 U.S. semester/22.5 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3-6 U.S. semester/4.5-9 quarter credits; 45-115 contact hours
  • Thai language course: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 65 contact hours

Language of Instruction
English and Thai


  • 1 required Thai language course
  • 2 required CIEE courses
    • The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment
    • Directed Research Field Study Practicum
  • 1 CIEE elective course

Course Notes
Thai language level will be determined by an onsite Thai language exam.

Fall 2020 CIEE Courses

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Communication, Journalism, and Media

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Natural Resources, Conservation, and the Environment

Semester Credit

Social Sciences

Semester Credit

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 canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

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Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Orientation – an introduction to Thai culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 17 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 11, 2020* Dec 10, 2020*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $15,081 **

Housing = $2,150

Insurance = $167

Visa Fees = $152

Total Fees = $17,850

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $750

International Airfare = $1,500

Local Transportation = $200

Books & Supplies = $15

Personal expenses = $700

Total Estimated Costs = $3,165

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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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 $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

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

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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