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Semester in Chiang Mai
Immerse yourself in Thai culture with this program hosted at Chiang Mai University focusing on Thailand- and Southeast Asia-related studies including Buddhism, international relations, political science, history and art. Known as Thailand’s cultural capital, Chiang Mai is a major hub for students who appreciate its awesome beauty and affordable cost of living. With Thai language courses, a homestay in a rural Thai village and the support of a Thai student buddy, students fully integrate into the local university life and receive a deeply engaging experience unlike any other.
Study at the top regional university in Thailand surrounded by local students and benefit from mixing with the country’s academic elite and future leaders
Live in Chiang Mai, a city that blends a modernizing country with traditional Thai culture, and gain an understanding of Thailand’s past, present and future
Feel the course content come to life with field trips planned throughout the program, including a multi-day excursion to the Golden Triangle
Participate in TEAN’s comprehensive Orientation Excursion Program upon arrival, including a day with Southeast Asia’s majestic elephants, cultural activities and informative sessions designed to help you feel adjusted and ready to jump into your semester in Southeast Asia
Experience how the majority of Thai people live with a five-day homestay experience in a rural village
Appreciate access to TEAN’s Chiang Mai Resident Director and other in-country staff for continued support throughout the semester
Live off campus in modern student apartments surrounded by Thai students, and with English-speaking local Chiang Mai University student program assistants living in the same housing, to gain an even deeper understanding of Thai culture — and instant friends!
Spend a weekend in the tropical south soaking up the sun, boating and experiencing the exotic Thai islands everyone raves about
Be introduced to this vibrant and engaging country with our extensive three-day Orientation Excursion in Thailand. Combining informative academic sessions with introductory cultural experiences, each activity helps students ease into their semester abroad. Over the three days, we provide helpful information to prepare you for the semester, including tips on cultural customs, how to seek medical support and other matters to ensure you have a successful semester.
Providing a soft landing into Southeast Asia, upon arrival into Chiang Mai you will be transported to your accommodation, where you will meet up with other TEAN students. Over the next three days, experience sensory overload as you visit a local market, enjoy your first tastes of Thailand’s culinary offerings, visit historic Buddhist temples and spend a day with Southeast Asia’s magnificent elephants. For these first few days in the country you won’t need to think about meals or transport, as we have it all sorted for you!
Enjoy a unique living experience developed to help facilitate cultural immersion on a daily basis by living off-campus in a modern student apartment complex surrounded by local university students. Each participant has their own room and shares a small common living area with their Thai or TEAN student roommate. Thai roommates are Chiang Mai University students specifically engaged as TEAN Student Assistants who are on hand to assist all program participants assimilate into the new culture. TEAN students can apply to live with a Thai roommate. However most TEAN students will share their suite with another TEAN student.
Just a five-minute walk to campus, each apartment has built-in furniture, a walk-in closet, refrigerator, air conditioner, TV, bathroom and Internet. Within the complex you will find a lobby, meeting room, study room, fitness center and male/female swimming pools. Washers and dryers are also located in each apartment building and on the apartment grounds students can take advantage of convenience stores, restaurants, bakeries, laundry and ATM machines. The housing is located in a vibrant university area, with cool student cafés, awesome street food and restaurants all a short walk from your front door.
THAILAND’S SOUTHERN ISLANDS EXCURSION
A stay in Thailand wouldn’t be complete without visiting the country’s stunning tropical islands. While studying in Chiang Mai, spend one weekend down south staying on the popular Railay West Beach, a lush oasis only accessible by boat. After a speedboat journey exploring the islands of Andaman Sea, known for its unbelievable turquoise waters and striking karst cliffs, fill the rest of your days relaxing on Railay Beach, kayaking to Phra Nang Beach, lounging by the pool and simply soaking up the island vibes.
The weekend includes flights, transportation, accommodation, island excursions, special group meals and more. Get ready for your island getaway!
Upon arrival in Southeast Asia, you will be met by our on-site Resident Director who will provide assistance throughout your time in Thailand. Through informal meals held together and excursions, our staff is readily available and able to assist you with any academic, social, or cultural questions or issues that you may face during your time abroad.
Every TEAN student will be provided a Thai buddy who studies at Chiang Mai University. During the first few weeks of semester your Thai buddy will introduce to the local area and Chiang Mai from a student perspective.
About the Academic Program
- The program is based at Chiang Mai University, founded in 1964 as Northern Thailand’s first institution of higher education and is now home to approximately 36,000 students.
- Chiang Mai University is ranked by Thailand as 3rd in the country for academics, 5th for research output, and is the number one university outside of Bangkok.
- TEAN students are hosted by the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEAA) at Chiang Mai University that offers courses on the history, culture and society of Thailand and Southeast Asia. The ISEAA courses are transcripted by Portland State University (PSU) in the U.S.
- Nestled at the foot of Suthep Mountain, just minutes from Chiang Mai’s city center, the university is surrounded by an eclectic student-focused hub of affordable hip cafés, street food and night markets.
- Spread over 725 acres, the university boasts verdant parks, countless student cafés, and a mixture of buildings. Many local students travel around campus by bicycle or scooter. Alternatively, students can travel from class to class on the free university shuttle.
Compulsory Thai Language Course
All students take a 3-credit Thai language course. While for most students this is the introductory Thai Language 1 course, students who have some proficiency will be placed in a course at the appropriate level . Thai Language 1 focuses on spoken and aural Thai language competency as it relates to daily life, with additional skills in elementary reading and writing.
In addition to the language course, you will select from the below elective courses. While students can take up to 18 credits we recommend enrolling in no more that 15-16 credits so that you have time to fully experience the local culture.
Spring 2017 Elective Courses
3-credit courses (45 contact hours):
Where are all the Women? Religion and Social Change in Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Brooke Schedneck
Buddhism in Thai Society (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Brooke Schedneck
The Philosophy and Development of Empire, Imperialism and Colonialism in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Larson
Thailand: Modern Art & Culture (3 credits)
Instructor: Chatcha Thavee, MFA
International Relations of Mainland Southeast Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Paul Chambers
The Government and Politics of Thailand (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Napisa Waitoolkiat
Thai Language 2 (3 credits)
A continuation of Thai Language 1. The emphasis remains on spoken language competency as it relates to daily life but also introduces students more to the Thai language writing system and basic reading.
Short 1-credit courses (15 contact hours):
Sex Work, Trafficking and Rescue in Southeast Asia (1 credit)
Instructor: Adam Dedman
For detailed course information refer to Step 2 – Get Schooled – of our 6 easy steps to studying abroad under Already Applied.
After your initial orientations with TEAN and ISEAA, you will be transported to a rural village for a five-day homestay experience. While Thailand is modernizing at a rapid rate, at least 70%of the country’s population still lives in rural villages and a true introduction to Thailand could not be complete without experiencing and understanding Thai village life. Students travel to the village, along with ISEAA staff and some of your Thai roommates, and live with a local family for five days. During your stay, you will begin your Thai language studies while also becoming involved in community life by working on a service project within the village.
GOLDEN TRIANGLE Excursion
The four-day Golden Triangle excursion takes in the Chiang Rai province, stopping at the famous White Temple, as well as the ever-changing and politically charged Golden Triangle area, where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet. The excursion includes visits to relevant historical and religious sites, as well as providing otherwise restricted access to NGOs working in the region. Past meetings have included discussions with organizations working on issues related to sex trafficking in the Golden Triangle and meeting with a group dedicated to hill tribe cultures. This excursion is not just a trip, it brings the content of your academic courses to life.
Activities / Immersion
Our local staff arrange various activities during the semester designed to help immerse you in the local culture. In addition, at least once a month the group meets up to explore Thai culture through the delicious cuisine with TEAN dinners. These events are included in your semester program. Below are examples of previous cultural activities arranged for students. Note that activities may change each semester.
Thai Cooking Class
We can’t send you home without first making sure you have learned how to make all those delicious meals you’ve been ordering from your favorite street food vendors. Spend a fun day with your fellow TEAN students cooking up a storm at a local cooking class. Don’t forget the included recipe book so you can recreate a Thai feast for family and friends once you return home.
Chiang Mai FC Football Match
Attending a popular local sporting match provides great insight into a culture and Thailand is no different. We support the local football team by joining one of the cheer squads, dancing and chanting along to the beat of the drums!
- 2.5 GPA
- Sophomore standing at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution at the time of enrollment.
TEAN has a rolling admissions process. We recommend submitting your application anytime from June for Spring applications, and from January for Fall applications. Late applications may be considered. Contact TEAN if the application deadline has passed.
|Spring Deadline||Nov 1|
|Fall Deadline||June 20|
|Application Deadline||Nov 1|
|Arrive in Chiang Mai||Jan 11|
|TEAN Orientation||Jan 12||Jan 14|
|Housing Move-In||Jan 14|
|University Orientation||Jan 15|
|Thai Village Homestay||Jan 16||Jan 20|
|Classes Begin||Jan 23|
|Semester Break||Apr 8||Apr 23|
|Classes End||May 12|
|Exam Period||May 15||May 19|
|Program Ends||May 20|
|Arrive in Chiang Mai||Aug 9|
|TEAN Orientation||Aug 10||Aug 13|
|Housing Move-In||Aug 13|
|University Orientation||Aug 14|
|Thai Village Homestay||Aug 15||Aug 19|
|Classes Begin||Aug 22|
|Semester Break||Oct 8||Oct 23|
|Classes End||Dec 9|
|Exam Period||Dec 13||Dec 16|
|Program Ends||Dec 17|
Fees & Inclusions
- Tuition & Services: $6,970
- Housing: $985
- Full Tuition
- Guaranteed pre-arranged, off-campus student housing
- Overseas health insurance, plus evacuation and repatriation insurance
- Services of local Resident Directors
- Three-day TEAN Orientation Program with all meals, excursions and transportation
- Cultural events and group meals scheduled throughout the semester
- Thailand’s Southern Islands Excursion
- Wireless internet access in housing
- Cell phone provided upon arrival with initial credit
- Five-day Thai village home stay
- Golden Triangle multi-day academic excursion
- All course readings provided as pdfs
- Extensive pre-departure counseling and information packets
- Official academic transcripts at conclusion of program
- Credit approval and transfer assistance
- Help with student visa preparation
- Financial aid transfer planning
- Airport pickup and transfer to accommodation in Chiang Mai and airport transfer at end of semester
- Chiang Mai Farewell Dinner at conclusion of program
- A truly one of a kind adventure!
What’s Not Included
- International airfare ($1,200 – 1,800)
- Student visa ($200)
- Electricity in housing (estimated $200, but depends on usage)
- Meals during the semester ($700)
- Local transportation ($100)
- School uniform ($30)
*Numbers are estimated based on previous student experience and budget. Actual amounts will vary depending on student.
In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. Each year we award thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants, including a full ride scholarship for a Fall or Summer program. Refer to our Scholarships information for details.
"TEAN gave me the perfect amount of support and freedom to learn, explore, and experience Southeast Asia."
"Our Thai roommates taught us about their country, brought us to their favorite places, and invited us into their lives."
"The TEAN staff was hands down the most approachable and reachable staff around."
We Love Chiang Mai
Pongsdhorn (Kai) Lertsukon
Resident Director - Thailand
Chiang Mai Tip
Chiang Mai Rock Climbing
For the climbing enthusiasts (and curious), Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA) is a great place to find bouldering within the city. This climbing gym is built for an adrenaline rich indoor adventure in the southwest corner of the Old City near Chiang Mai Gate. Admission and equipment rental is extremely affordable because it’s run by an organization that is dedicated to building a climbing community in Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai Tip
Arttitude Gallery & Cafe
Arttitude functions both as a gallery that features month long exhibitions of local artists, and a cafe with premium quality coffee, desserts, and cold pressed juice cocktails (non-alcoholic) that are named after famous paintings. With an artistic theme and great prices, Arttitude is located on Nimmanhaemin Soi 5 next to Ristr8to Lab – a popular coffeeshop.
What inspired you to teach abroad in Thailand?
As I was about to graduate from school I knew that I wanted to work in International Education. I spoke with the study abroad office at my school to ask them for advice and they encouraged me to pursue more international experience. I knew I wanted to be challenged everyday and to go someplace very different from my current environment.
What did you learn about yourself living abroad?
Everyday I experienced something new. At first, I found that by not speaking the language I struggled to make new friends, but it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It was hard for me to feel like myself, but through that I learned that it is okay to feel uncomfortable. I continued to work at making my new city home and eventually, I made some really great friends, developed my own community, and was able to enjoy my new city. When I left Bangkok it was as difficult (if not more difficult then when I left Chicago). Even years later I miss my neighborhood, my friends, and the food almost on a daily basis. I was able to make a home for myself in a completely different place than where I grew up and I learned I am lot more confident than I had given myself credit for.
What advice would you give to someone looking to break into the field of International Education?
I have found that there are so many people in International Education who are willing to sit down and have a talk with you and give advice. When I decided in college that I wanted to go into the field I met with the Provost of International Programs. Then when I came back from Thailand I met with some people at the University of Minnesota to ask them about their work on a daily basis and they sent me to go and meet with someone who worked at AFS-USA to gather a different perspective. Pretty much everyone that I asked to meet with me not only made the time to talk with me they also introduced me to someone else to speak with. It is from talking with people that I learned about SIT Graduate Institute and decided to apply for their Master’s program in International Education. It was a great environment to meet others who were passionate about the field of International Education and we all came from very different backgrounds which surprised me. So in general my advice is to talk to as many people as you can! While the industry can seem very small, I have found it to be a very friendly and welcoming place – so just do your research and ask someone to coffee.
What destination is next on your travel bucket list?
After working at TEAN, I want to see New Zealand next. I have learned so much about this country from working at TEAN. I am not sure if I would ever have enough courage to do the Nevis Bungee in Queenstown, but I am looking forward to the hikes, views, food, sheep, and wine tasting.