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Thailand / Vietnam Semester
Southeast Asia is one of the most diverse regions in the world so, for those who want to explore it more fully, the South East Asia Comparative Studies Semester allows the opportunity to experience two countries in one program. From the laidback lifestyle of Northern Thailand to the busy streets of Ho Chi Minh City, this traveling program spends time in both destinations allowing students to be based at Chiang Mai University in Thailand and Hoa Sen University in Vietnam. Participants learn Thai and Vietnamese, along with other Southeast Asian-related subjects, while interacting closely with local students and discovering what makes this booming region so fascinating historically, culturally and economically.
Gain a unique perspective on the region by living and studying for two months in Thailand and two months in Vietnam through a partnership between the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEAA) at Chiang Mai University and Hoa Sen University
Compare the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, with the more relaxed lifestyle and green hills of Chiang Mai, Thailand
Study on campus in both locations, surrounded by local students, and feel the course content come to life with field trips planned throughout the program, including excursions to the Golden Triangle and Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital, and Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Participate in TEAN’s comprehensive four-day Orientation Program upon arrival in Chiang Mai, including a day with Southeast Asia’s majestic elephants, other cultural activities and informative sessions designed to help you feel adjusted and ready to jump into your semester in Southeast Asia. You’ll also receive an additional Orientation upon arriving in Vietnam.
Benefit from TEAN’s Thailand- and Vietnam-based staff who meet with you regularly for meals and further cultural activities
Study at the top regional university in Thailand and the English-speaking campus of Hoa Sen University in Vietnam benefiting from mixing with the country’s academic elite and future leaders
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 four-day Orientation in Thailand. Combining informative academic sessions with introductory cultural experiences, each activity helps students ease into their semester abroad. Before we move you into your housing, 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 a comfortable hotel, where you will meet up with other TEAN students. Over the next four days, experience sensory overload as you visit a local market, enjoy your first tastes of Thailand’s culinary offerings, revive your travel-weary muscles with a traditional Thai massage 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!
Upon arrival in Ho Chi Minh City, ISEAA and TEAN staff will provide an Orientation to the city and university, introducing you to ISEAA Vietnam alumni to help jumpstart your in-country network.
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 with a Thai roommate. Each participant has their own room and shares a small common living area with their roommate. All roommates are Chiang Mai University students who are on hand to assist program participants assimilate into the new culture. 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.
Accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City is in guesthouses or apartments close to campus. Since Hoa Sen University is an urban campus, it provides a great opportunity to really experience everything the city has to offer.
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 all flights, transportation, accommodation, island excursions, special group meals and more. Get ready for your island getaway!
Upon arrival in both Thailand and Vietnam, you will be met by our on-site Resident Directors who will provide assistance throughout your time in the countries. 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.
About the Academic Program
- Students split their time between Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in this Southeast Asia Studies Comparative Semester (SEACS) program.
- In Thailand 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
- 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, Chiang Mai University is surrounded by an eclectic student-focused hub of affordable hip cafés, street food and night markets.
- Through a partnership between ISEAA and Hoa Sen University, students continue their studies through ISEAA- based instruction on the Ho Chi Minh City campus of Hoa Sen University.
- Hoa Sen University is a private university founded in 1991 and is based in the busy city center of Ho Chi Minh City.
- While the local universities (Chiang Mai University and Hoa Sen University in Ho Chi Minh City) provide an integrated academic environment allowing you to become part of university life in these cities, the academic program is taught by the Institute of Southeast Asian Affairs (ISEAA) in both locations.
All students take a 3-credit Thai language course and a 3-credit Vietnamese language course. While for most students these will be introductory language courses, students who have some proficiency will be placed in a course at the appropriate level .
Thai Language 1 (3-credits)
This course focuses on spoken and aural Thai language competency as it relates to daily life, with additional skills in elementary reading and writing.
Taught in the first half of the semester while in Thailand.
Vietnamese Language 1 (3-credits)
Taught in the second half of the semester while in Vietnam.
Gender and Development in Vietnam (3-credits)
Taught in the second half of the semester while in Vietnam.
Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. In addition to the above three courses, students must select a minimum of another three credits from the below list.
Buddhism in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Brooke Schedneck
International Relations of Mainland Southeast Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Paul Chambers
Where are all the Women? Religion and Social Change in Asia (3 credits)
Instructor: Dr. Brooke Schedneck
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.
Each semester students take two multi-day excursions to various parts of the region. In Thailand students typically travel to the Golden Triangle to stop at relevant historical and religious sites, and visit NGOs in the region to learn more about their work often related to sex trafficking or supporting Burmese refugees.
In Vietnam, students travel to charming and colorful Hanoi, the country’s capital, as well as Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is a breathtaking vision of limestone islands rising from the emerald waters of the Gulf of Tonkin.
These excursions are not just trips, they bring the content of your academic courses to life.
- 2.5 GPA
- Sophomore standing at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution at the time of enrollment.
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 in Thailand the group meets up to explore Thai culture through the delicious cuisine with TEAN dinners. In Ho Chi Minh City, you meet regularly with the TEAN Resident Director for group meals and cultural activities. 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.
|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|
|Travel to Vietnam||Mar 19|
|Classes Begin in Vietnam||Mar 20|
|Semester Break||Apr 8|
|Last day of exams||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|
|Travel to Vietnam||Oct 23|
|Classes Begin in Vietnam||Oct 24|
|Last day of exams||Dec 16|
|Program Ends||Dec 17|
Fees & Inclusions
- Tuition & Services: $10,625
- Housing: $2,275
- Tuition & Services: $10,625
- Housing: $2,275
- Full Tuition
- Guaranteed pre-arranged, off-campus student housing in Chiang Mai
- Guaranteed pre-arranged housing in a Guesthouse in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- Overseas health insurance, plus evacuation and repatriation insurance
- Services of local Resident Directors
- Four-day TEAN Orientation Program with all meals, excursions, accommodations and transportation in Chiang Mai
- Thailand’s Southern Islands Excursion
- One-day Orientation with meals, excursions and transportation in Ho Chi Minh City
- Cultural events and group meals scheduled throughout the semester
- Wireless internet access in housing
- Cell phone provided upon arrival with initial credit
- Five-day Thai village homestay
- Two multi-day academic excursions
- Partial meal plan (Stipend to cover 10 meals/week while class in in session)
- Text books and reading packets
- Flight from Chiang Mai, Thailand to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- 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 orientation hotel in Chiang Mai, airport transfer mid semester for flight to Vietnam, airport pick up in Vietnam
- Farewell Dinner at conclusion of program
- A truly one of a kind adventure!
What’s Not Included
- International airfare ($1,800)
- Student visa ($150)
- Electricity in Thailand housing ($100, but depends on usage)
- Additional meals during the semester ($300)
*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.
"To study in two countries, learn two languages, and interact with two cultures is something few students get to do."
"The experience was so empowering, it wasn’t just about taking a few courses but really experiencing the culture."
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