Immerse yourself in Thai culture with this study abroad program based in Chiang Mai focusing on Thailand- and Southeast Asia-related studies including Buddhism, international relations, public health, 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 Thai student buddies, students fully integrate into the local university life and receive a deeply engaging experience unlike any other.


Take courses through the Institute of Southeast Asia Affairs, based at the top university in Chiang Mai, where you'll be 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

Select from two housing options – a modern student dorm complex or for more independent living, a new condo complex, both a five-minute walk from campus and each other

Spend an optional weekend in the tropical south soaking up the sun, boating and experiencing the exotic Thai islands everyone raves about

Program Details

Orientation Excursion

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!


TEAN offers two different housing options in Chiang Mai: student dorms and independent condos. Just a 5- to 7-minute walk to campus – both accommodation options are fully furnished and located in a vibrant university area, but offer different living situations to suit your personal preferences.

In the student dorms most participants room with other TEAN students however those interested can apply to live with a Thai student for an even deeper cultural connection. (All TEAN participants will have a chance to connect with their local Thai peers through casual hosted events and outings at the beginning of the program.) In the condo complex students have their own room, bathroom and mini kitchen.

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TEAN Staff

Our team works with you start to finish through the study abroad process. Our programs staff will help guide you through the application process to go abroad, then upon arrival in Southeast Asia, you will be met by our on-site Resident Coordinator who will provide assistance throughout your time in Thailand. Through regular on-campus advising hours,  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.

Meet the Team

Thai Buddies

All TEAN participants will have the opportunity to meet with local Thai students, or “buddies”, through fun events and and activities organized by TEAN at the beginning of the program. During the first few weeks of semester your Thai buddies will introduce you to the local area and Chiang Mai from a student perspective. These students are keen to spend time getting to know you and often become great friends as you learn to live in their country and culture.


About the Academic Program

  • 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.
  • Chiang Mai University was founded in 1964 as Northern Thailand’s first institution of higher education and is now home to approximately 36,000 students. The 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.
  • Spread over 725 acres, the university boasts verdant parks, countless student cafés, and a mixture of buildings. Students can travel from the university entrance gates to class on the free university shuttle.


Chiang Mai University is nestled at the foot of Suthep Mountain, just minutes from Chiang Mai’s city center. It is surrounded by an eclectic student-focused hub of affordable hip cafés, street food and night markets. Visit the google map link below to see the location.

View Map 



Courses are taught Monday – Thursday. There are field trips scheduled on selected Fridays throughout the semester. You’ll find field trip dates provided in the course syllabi distributed during the first week of classes.

Required Course
  • WLL 199 Thai Language 1 (3 credits)

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.

Elective Courses

In addition to the required language course, you will select from the below elective courses. While students can take up to 18 credits we recommend enrolling in no more than 12- 15 credits so that you have time to fully experience the local culture.

Fall 2019 / Spring 2020

  • INTL 399 Buddhism in Thai Society (3 credits)
  • ANTH 410 Peoples and Cultures of Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • ARH 410 Thailand: Modern Art & Culture (3 credits)
  • PS 399 International Relations of Mainland Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • PS 399 Government and Politics of Thailand (3 credits)
  • PHE 410 Public Health in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • D 195 Introduction to Thai Dance (3 credits)
  • ANTH 410 / SOC 410 Rights and Activism in SE Asia: LGBTQ, Sex Workers and Trafficking (3 credits) – Spring 2020 only
  • Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asia (3 credits) – Fall 2019 only
  • SOC 410 Religions of Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • Environmentalism in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • ANTH 399 Cultural Foundations of Thai Society (3 credits)
  • MGMT 410 Business and Social Entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • PS 399 Human Rights in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • INTL 410 Empire, Imperialism and Colonialism in Southeast Asia (3 credits)
  • WLL 299 Thai Language 2 (3 credits) – This course introduces students to the Thai language writing system and basic reading.

See here for detailed course information.

Field Trips

Village Homestay

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.


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.

In addition to the above multi-day field trips students will also take half-day and full-day field trips throughout Chiang Mai for most classes.

TEAN Events

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. These events are included in your semester program. Below are examples of previous 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.


Head to the highest peak in Thailand, and spend the day hiking in the national park with a local guide – stopping at waterfalls, and visiting a Karen (hill tribe) village.

Thailand 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 your flight to Krabi, accommodation, island excursions, special group meals and more. Get ready for your island getaway!



  • 2.5 GPA. Students with a 2.35-2.5 are encouraged to apply and may be admitted on a case-by-case basis.
  • Minimum sophomore standing at a two-year or four-year institution at the time of participation.

Program Dates

Application Deadlines

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 Oct 15
Fall Deadline Jun 1 Extended to June 15

fall 2019

Application Deadline Jun 15
Arrive in Chiang Mai Aug 7
TEAN Orientation Aug 8 Aug 10
University Orientation Aug 11
Thai Village Homestay Aug 12 Aug 16
Classes Begin Aug 19
Thai Cooking Class (all day)* Oct 5
Semester Break Oct 11 Oct 27
Optional TEAN Krabi / Southern Islands Excursion* Oct 11 Oct 13
Doi Inthanon Day Trip* Nov 23
Classes End Dec 5
Exam Period Dec 9 Dec 12
Program Ends Dec 14

*Dates are tentative. The above excursions are included except the optional Krabi excursion. Accepted students will be notified of confirmed dates for field trips and excursions.

spring 2019

Application Deadline Oct 30
Arrive in Chiang Mai Jan 9
TEAN Orientation Jan 10 Jan 11
Elephant Nature Park Visit Jan 12
University Orientation Jan 13
Thai Village Homestay Jan 14 Jan 18
Classes Begin Jan 21
Waterfall trip with Thai buddies* Jan 27
Doi Inthanon Day Trip* Feb 2
Golden Triangle Field Trip* Feb 20 Feb 23
TEAN Optional Krabi / Southern Islands Excursion Mar 1 Mar 3
Semester Break Apr 12 Apr 28
Thai Cooking Class (all day)* May 4
Classes End May 10
Exam Period May 13 May 17
Program Ends May 18

*Dates are tentative. These excursions are included. Accepted students will be notified of confirmed dates for field trips and excursions

Fees & Inclusions

FALL 2019

  • Tuition and program fees: $6,580 
  • Housing
    • Student Dorm (shared) $985 OR
    • Condo Apartment (single) $1,955

Spring 2019

  • Tuition and program fees: $6,580 
  • Housing
    • Student Dorm (shared) $985 OR
    • Condo Apartment (single) $1,955

What’s Included

  • Full tuition (4 courses) 
  • Guaranteed pre-arranged, off-campus student housing
  • Overseas health insurance, plus evacuation and repatriation insurance
  • Services of local Resident Directors in Thailand
  • Three-day TEAN Orientation Program with meals, excursions and transportation
  • Cultural events and group meals scheduled throughout the semester
  • Wireless internet access in housing
  • Local SIM card provided upon arrival with initial credit (student to bring an unlocked phone)
  • 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
  • Chiang Mai Farewell Dinner at conclusion of program
  • A truly one of a kind adventure!

What’s Not Included

  • International airfare ($1,000 – 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)
  • Transfer to airport at end of program ($7)
  • The Thailand Southern Islands excursion is an optional excursion. Approximate cost US$390.

*Numbers are estimated based on previous student experience and budget. Actual amounts will vary depending on student.


TEAN Scholarships

Receive money to study abroad starting at $1,000 by applying to TEAN scholarships. Each year we award thousands of dollars in need- and merit-based scholarships, diversity scholarships, a full ride scholarship and more. Visit our scholarships page for details!


A stay in Thailand wouldn’t be complete without visiting the country’s stunning tropical islands. Spend a weekend staying in beautiful Krabi, and exploring the islands of the Andaman Sea.

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Students Say
"In my Buddhism class I was able to visit a number of temples, attempt meditation, and talk to various monks throughout Chiang Mai. It was such an amazing hands on experience."
Libby Maine, Xavier University

We Love Chiang Mai

Brynne Shannon

Program Manager

Chiang Mai Tip
Buak Hard Public Park

For those who are in search of greenery amongst the bustling city vibes, head to Buak Hard Public Park to get your fix. Located on the southwest corner of the Old City, the park is a perfect place to relax under a tree with a book or string up a hammock with some friends near the pond. There is a path that circles around its perimeter where exercise enthusiasts can be found breaking a sweat and lots of street food vendors for those looking for a delicious snack or two!


Where did you study abroad?
I studied abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with TEAN. I wanted to go as far away as I could and experience something totally different than what I had grown up with. I had always been drawn to Asia, and after some research I decided that Thailand was the perfect place for me. I also lived in Lampang, Thailand upon graduating and I’ve traveled to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.

What inspired you to teach abroad?
I came back from my semester abroad feeling like my time in Thailand wasn’t finished. I knew I wanted to go back to Thailand after I graduated and the more I spoke to people who had taught English abroad the more I knew it was a good fit for me. I wanted to challenge myself and have an even more culturally immersive experience the second go around, and I also wanted to give something back to a country I fell in love with while studying abroad since it had given so much to me.

What makes Thailand a great place to study abroad?
Thailand is great because it forces students to step out of their comfort zone and learn more about the world and themselves as individuals. Not only are you experiencing a new culture, but you’re learning a new language, alphabet, cuisine, social norms, interactions, ways of life, etc. It seriously puts things into perspective. Thai people are some of the kindest and welcoming people you will ever meet – hands down. They make the experience so special and you can learn so much from them. Living in Thailand teaches you to slow down and enjoy what’s happening in the now and be thankful for what you have and who’s around you.

What should be on every student’s bucket list for a study abroad semester in Thailand?
A hike up to Wat Palad. This temple is on the way to the more famous Wat Doi Suthep, which sits on top of a mountain, but Wat Palad is tucked away in the forest surrounded by trees and a rushing waterfall during the rainy season. Students can hike up to the temple from their housing or hire a songteow to take them up the mountain. It is one of my favorite places in the world because of how quiet and serene it is. To me, it captures the essence of what Buddhism is all about. You can sit on the rocks and dip your toes in the waterfall while looking out at the spectacular view of the city that peeks out between the trees.

What is your favorite travel quote?
It’s not necessarily a travel quote, but one of my favorite Thai expressions I learned was “mai long, mai rue” which means “If you never try, you never know”. It inspired me to just say yes to everything and go for things even if I didn’t know what the outcome would be.

Nala Promtang Profile Picture

Nasorn (Nala) Promtang

Thailand Resident Coordinator

Chiang Mai Tip
Warorot Market

Some markets have clothes, others have fresh produce and grilled meat on sticks. Warorot Market has it all. Located near the Ping River and in an area known as Chiang Mai’s Chinatown, this vast market is the perfect place to wander around, practice your bargaining skills and try fruits and snacks you may have never seen before!   


What is your role at TEAN?
I’m the Resident Coordinator in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and take care of students while they’re here, lead student events and help students to better understand Thai culture.

What is the best part of your job?
I love being able to connect with students and share with them the best of Chiang Mai and Thai culture!

What do you think makes Chiang Mai a great place for students to study abroad?
Chiang Mai brings together a variety of people and backgrounds which makes it a unique place to stay. It also supports the ‘slow life’ lifestyle – people here are friendly, willing to help, and take time to relax and enjoy themselves. It’s hard to be stressed here! The best part about the city for me, however, is the food. Food here is cheap, freshly made, delicious and available any time of the day!

What local tips would you give to someone who is visiting Chiang Mai for the first time?
Relax and don’t plan your travels too much. Things always change and it’s better to go with the flow. When in doubt, this is Thailand, just smile your way out of a miscommunication or problem.

What is your favorite free activity to suggest to students in Chiang Mai?
Hiking up Doi Suthep in the early morning to see the sun rise and catching every free concert playing in Chiang Mai.

What has been a favorite memory from your travels in Asia?
Definitely my first time traveling alone in Bali using “Eat, Pray, Love” as a guidebook. I met a lot of cool people, had a chance to stay in a beautiful cabin in middle of rice fields and learned to scuba dive.

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