Khon Kaen, Thailand

Environmental Justice through Community Education

Summer '20 applications are now open!
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Information for term Environmental Justice through Community Education

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jun 14 – Jul 4, 2020 (3 weeks)

Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Dates: Jul 12 – Aug 1, 2020 (3 weeks)


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Produce collaborative campaign materials with Thai communities to amplify their fight to protect the environment and human rights.

Far away from the main tourist scenes, settle in a small rural village of Northern Thailand to promote environmental justice. Working with members of the community, you’ll learn first-hand about decades of issues impacting the region and its people — including pollution, poverty and political exclusion. Although the problems are daunting, community-building efforts show there’s power in numbers — and that’s where you come in!

Armed with art supplies and graphic design skills, you’ll join forces with locals to create posters, murals and public art aimed at spreading awareness about their ongoing campaigns.

Your daily Thai language and culture classes will be followed by project work with community members and activities or field trips — to the local zoo, lake, or to historic landmarks. Highlights include climbing the steps of the majestic 9-story Wat Nong Wang temple and sharing a ceremonial Isaan meal. Back home in your dorm, you’ll enjoy games and downtime with friends. While most meals will be in the campus cafeteria, you’ll still have opportunities to check out the street food and marts around town. Papaya salad, sticky rice with chicken, and noodle dishes are student staples! On a four-night homestay, you’ll pair up with classmates and stay with local families to get an authentic taste of life in the Northeast region.

After three weeks of working toward your project goal, you’ll have gained a sense of solidarity with your community team and a rare perspective on environmental and social justice issues affecting communities across the globe. You’ll also have strengthened your role as an engaged global citizen — not just in Thailand, but perhaps even more importantly, in your life back home.

The Take-Aways

  • Leadership

    A new-found confidence and the ability to work across cultural lines

  • Service

    Learning about environmental challenges from local people and working together to raise awareness and campaign for change

  • Certificate

    A Certificate of International Service Learning (50+ hours)

Location & Culture

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Discover your role as a global citizen in Northeast Thailand, a scenic region with beautiful lakes, warm-hearted rural communities and growing needs.  

Ancient temples and picturesque lakes dot the landscape of Khon Kaen, a small, friendly city known as the heart of the Northeast. Home to the region’s largest university, it’s also an energetic college town known for its street food and coffee shops on every corner. The campus itself features a large, beautiful lake and a running track with exercise equipment surrounding it, all open to the public.  

 Although you’ll find McDonald's and Starbucks and shopping centers on the city streets, there are plenty of authentic Thai shops and restaurants nestled in between. With classmates you can check out places like the Walking Street Market, Ton Tann and other popular day and night markets for artisan crafts, live music and entertainment, and street food galore — like chicken wings, Pad thai, green papaya, sticky rice and skewers. What else should you try? Drink a coconut shake, eat honey toast with coffee, try exotic fruits and snacks (like fried ants, if you dare!).  

Khon Kaen is located in the Isaan region of the Northeast, an area that retains many of its traditional Lao and Khmer customs and is known for its close-knit communities. As the main city of the Northeast, it serves as a regional hub for development organizations, commerce, industry, government, and education. As such, it’s the perfect home base for your learning and service adventure. With the Thai language skills and personal bonds you’ll develop through your classwork, site visits and community stays, you’ll feel proud to be part of the culture and not a mere tourist.

Daily Life

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Daily Life

“I had an amazing time in an amazing place! It was humbling to be in a different atmosphere. I learned so much about a different part of the world, and myself. I met friends for life, and it was an experience I will never forget.”

Learn more about daily life on a high school study abroad program by reading our blog posts above.

  • Housing

    Dorms in Khon Kaen and village homestay

  • Local Support

    24/7 Support from your CIEE program leader and in-country CIEE staff members

Program Blogs

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Program Blogs


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Sample Activities

  • Learn from a professional Thai cook to make a delectable Thai dish.
  • Tour the city, and climb up the picturesque nine-story temple.
  • Stroll through night markets and sample local snacks.


  • Overnight excursion to a mountainous national park
  • Half-day excursion to a mountain temple where you can walk up 1,049 steps to admire the striking white Buddha statue at the top.
  • Many overnight community stays learning about the issues, planning activities, and building relationships

​​Please note this list of activities is based on past programs and subject to change at CIEE's discretion to both adapt to local circumstances and participant feedback. Our goal when revising itineraries is always to enhance your experience. Every activity is designed to provide you with a deep immersion in your topic, local culture and sights. Get ready for maximum fun!

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees


  • Program open to all current high school students: Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. 
  • For scholarship eligibility requirements, please check our Scholarship page.

Application Fee


Program scholarships and tuition include iNext Travel Insurance, but do not cover the cost of flights. More details about tuition inclusions can be found here.


Application Due

Start Date

End Date


Summer Session I 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jun 14, 2020 Jul 4, 2020


Summer Session II 2020 3 weeks Rolling Admissions Jul 12, 2020 Aug 1, 2020


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Our Staff

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Ready to change your life?