Thailand is located in Southeast Asia, bordering Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. It is geographically diverse, composed of rugged terrain in the north, a tropical climate in the southern peninsula, and rice fields and farm lands throughout the central and northeastern plateau.
A Buddhist country ruled by a monarchy system, Thailand has had five major periods throughout its 800-year history. Under the leadership of the kings and guidance from Buddhist principles, the country not only has been open to the rest of the world while maintaining its independence, but it also has transformed itself from a purely agricultural economy to one that is a mixture of agriculture, manufacturing and service.
Course of Study
This mini-term focuses on the influence of the monarchy system and Buddhism on economic development and culture in Thailand. Students will trace the history of Thailand during the Sukhothai, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods. Through visiting several Royal Development Projects, students will learn how the royal family helps Thai people and hill tribes improve their standard of living while preserving national treasures and the environment.
The planned itinerary includes touring the area from the central region to the northern region of Thailand. Time may be spent in Ayutthaya (Central Region outside Bangkok), Sukhothai (the border between central and northern regions of Thailand), Chiang Rai (the northern border of Thailand), Chiang Mai (the northern region), Bangkok (the capital city in the central region) and other provinces.
Students will submit records of observations and lessons learned from each week of the mini-term, along with an overall reflection of the program once complete. Additionally, a research paper and picture journal assignment will be due at the beginning of winter term.
(For specific dates, contact the International Programs Office, Old Chapel, Third Floor.)
- April: Application deadline is the third Friday of spring term.
- May: Non-refundable deposit due at the Cashier's Office in McKean House, and receipt brought to the International Programs Office
- Fall term: Pre-departure seminars
- Late November: Mini-term begins
- Mid-December: Program ends
- Winter term: Submission of research paper and pictures
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