Introduction to Southeast Asia in Thailand
Spend part of your summer learning about the economies of Southeast Asia, and in particular, Thailand, alongside Longwood students and faculty. Learn why Thailand, called the “Land of Smiles,” is considered to be one of the “Asian Tigers," how is it faring relative to the rest of SE Asia, the impact of the Asian financial crisis, the role of global trade in this region, its connection to the market for counterfeit goods, and about economic development. Learn about Thailand's history, especially related to WWII and the famous Bridge on the River Kwai. Learn about Buddhism, a state-sponsored religion, and how it influences daily life for the Thai people.
You will experience many new things as we visit Buddhist temples and Thai palaces, elephant trek through a Burmese camp, spend the day with a Karen hill tribe, hike in a jungle, participate in a monk processional, visit a rural school (and play them in soccer), shop in a women’s empowerment weaving store that supports an orphanage, ride on the famous railroad built by POWs over the Bridge on the River Kwai, kayak through a protected mangrove forest (with monkeys), feed bananas to the river monkeys in a fishing village, boat out to an oyster farm, visit traditional open-air markets and floating river markets, take a Thai cooking lesson, explore the emerald colored waterfalls at a national park, island hop and snorkel, relax on the world’s most beautiful beaches, and meet some of the world’s most wonderful people.
Participants should note that transportation, in many cases, will be by boat and some excursions involve water-related activities. Participants will be expected to walk or trek for some distance on certain days.
Introduction to Southeast Asia has no prerequisite. The course is accessible to all majors and is taught in an applied, interdisciplinary manner that does not require a background in economics. Learn about the economy of Thailand and how it compares to other Asian nations. Explore the connections between politics and economic development. Learn about Buddhism as a state-sponsored religion. Understand the role of international trade and trade agreements impact the country. Learn some history related to WWII and the building of the Thai-Burma Railroad…and the real story of the famous “bridge on the river Kwai.” Finally, learn about the culture and social issues that the country wrestles with, from counterfeit goods to the sex trade. The class begins before departure and finishes in Thailand, meaning that there is more time for excursions and activities
All information sessions will be held in Hiner 210 at 3:30 p.m.
- Thursday, September 7
- Tuesday, September 12
- Thursday, September 21
- Tuesday, October 10
*Note: Itinerary is subject to change*
- Day 1 -- Depart for Thailand
- Day 2 -- Arrive in early evening, visit night market frequented by locals, overnight at charming hostel.
- Day 3 -- Tour the best sites of Bangkok including flower and vegetable market, Grand Palace, famous temples, and China Town.
- Day 4 -- Head to Kanchanaburi, visit floating market, take boat to oyster farm, feed the wild monkeys, take boat to Bridge on River Kwai/war memorials, overnight on Kasem Island
- Day 5 -- Visit rural school, famous Erewan Waterfall, Burmese elephant camp, bamboo rafting, overnight on floating hotel
- Day 6 -- Spend the day with Karen hill tribe, jungle trek, BBQ, relax in hot springs
- Day 7 -- Visit Three Pagodas Pass on Burma border, head to Sangklaburi, famous Mon Bridge, see local sights
- Day 8 -- Rise early to participate in monk processional/offerings, long tail boat ride to sunken temple, Hellfire Pass, overnight in Kanchanaburi
- Day 9 -- Ride the Death Railway built by POWs during WWII, visit Thai and Chinese style temples, explore River Kwai bridge area.
- Day 10 -- Go to open air market in morning to shop, Thai cooking lesson, depart for Prachuap Khiri Khan.
- Day 11 -- Trek in Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park, boardwalk and freshwater marsh at Thung Sam Roi Yot.
- Day 12 -- Boat ride to island of Koh Talu for snorkeling, look for langur monkeys and relax at Ao Manoa beach.
- Day 13 -- Scenic trek in Ta Mong Lai Forest, head back to Bangkok, evening night market.
- Day 14 -- Famous Chatuchak Weekend Market (everything from pet squirrels to home furnishings), depart in evening.
Students will stay in locally owned cottages, hotels, and hostels that have been carefully selected and offer a unique experience, from a floating hotel to a lodge on a small island to a hostel near a fantastic night food market.
Program fees (which include airfare) are estimated to be about $2,395. Tuition will be billed separately.
The Office of International Affairs offers two scholarships:
- Lancers Abroad Scholarship: up to $500 for short-term programs or $900 for semester programs
- Presidential Scholarship: up to $2,000 for semester-long programs in which participants are studying in non-Anglophone countries (generally reserved for foreign language majors, but students taking courses in the host language are also encouraged to apply).
- Global Engagement Scholarship: up to $1,200 for those participating in a faculty-led program; applicants must be Pell Grant recipients to be eligible (including Honors)
Honors students are eligible for separate funding through the Cormier Honors College. Contact Jessi Znosko to get started.
For more information on these and many other scholarship opportunities, visit our Scholarships page
- Read more about the program: Thailand 2018.pptx
- Participation in any credit-bearing study abroad program through Longwood will waive General Education Goal 9.
- Questions about academic contact? Contact Dr. Melanie Marks.
- Questions about the study abroad process for this program? Contact Dr. Emily Kane.