Chiang Mai, Thailand
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Chiang Mai Courses - 2020 Summer Sessions I & II

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You may enroll in three to six credits per session, plus one additional credit if enrolled in the 1-credit optional Hill Tribe field study. At least one 3-credit course is required each summer session. Course availability is contingent upon student interest and enrollment and is subject to change.

Southeast Asian Business, Politics, and Culture Studies

Taught in English

Session I

Session II

To request a course syllabus:

Field Studies

Deepen your academic experience through the optional Hill Tribe Field Study which helps you explore the cultural, historical and natural features of the region. Students who enroll in this 1-credit course will select a particular topic of interest to examine as part of the Field Study, and complete a research paper drawing from their field study experience as well as from additional readings, research, and written assignments.


USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development and are counted as part of your credit load. Students will be working in an authentic local environment, with high exposure to Thai language and culture. Thai language ability is not necessary to complete an internship, but helpful. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Previous Chiang Mai placements have included: local schools, teaching English in the community, local non-profits, the Provincial Office, and a local magazine. Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview with the internship sponsor on site.

Eligibility: enrollment in both Chiang Mai summer sessions, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and sophomore standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $200 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

US Professors

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following US professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.

Session I

Dr. Ivory Lyons| University of Mount Union

Course Offered:

Dr. Lyons is in his 20th year of teaching at the University of Mount Union in the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He has taught at the University of Ghana and Christ University in Bangalore, India. The USAC experiences have contributed to my growth as a teacher, scholar and person.

Session II

Professor Mark McConnell | University of Mount Union

Course Offered:

Mark McConnell's teaching career was preceded by more than two decades of entrepreneurial and corporate experience. He owned and managed his own advertising agency for 24 years and has held a variety of corporate marketing management positions. He has been teaching for more than 20 years (including nine summer USAC appointments) and has extensive international travel experience.

Course Descriptions

Buddhism in Thailand

Summer Session I (Philosophy, Religious Studies; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Philosophy, Religious Studies; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is an introduction to a wide range of the Buddhist ideas and practices that have developed within the diverse regions of South, Central, and East Asia. The course covers a wide range of Buddhist traditions: Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Chan/Zen, Pure Land Buddhism, etc. The course will address several areas of Buddhist Philosophy such as social, political, religious vs. non-religious, "who am I?", Buddhist Thought and Psychology.

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Buddhist Psychology: Theories and Applications

Summer Session I (Psychology, Religious Studies; 400-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Psychology, Religious Studies; 400-level; 3 credits)

Mindfulness has become a common word in the Western World, and its practice has become increasingly popular in Western psychology, medicine and psychotherapy, there is a growing interest among professionals and the public in traditional Buddhist systems of neurology, psychology and the healing of the physical and psychological.

This course is designed to put the science and practice of Buddhist Psychology into a Western context for a better understanding of Buddhist psychology, with the intention of a genuine "being in the moment" experience and an understanding of how mind, body and consciousness can embody wisdom, awareness, and loving-kindness which can create a happier, healthier life free from physical, mental and psychological suffering.

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Diplomacy in Southeast Asia

Summer Session II (Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to provide students an understanding of the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), its achievements and challenges, as well as its Member States profiles. We will elaborate on the role of the Association in building a dialogue and security platform for the Asia-Pacific region.

Over this course we will address the multitude and diversity of cultures and political systems in ASEAN, the achievements of the association since its inauguration in 1967, the challenges ahead and its importance for the region and the world.

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Governance and Politics in Asia

Summer Session I (Geography, Political Science; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course aims to facilitate students with fundamental knowledge about backgrounds and developments of government and politics in Asia. As Asia counts for approximately 60% of world population and is home to the biggest economic growth between nations, it is crucial that students gain knowledge to interpret the signs of political movements and issues. Main actors in politics and economics in Asia-Pacific will be focused.

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Hill Tribe Field Study

Summer Session I (Anthropology; 400-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Anthropology; 400-level; 1 credit)

Students get the chance to participate on an educational tour of the Hill Tribes. This is an excellent opportunity to break the routine of classes and get acquainted with other parts of the country.

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Holy Journeys and Sacred Places

Summer Session I (Religious Studies, Women's Studies / Gender Studies; 200-level; 3 credits)

Religion has an impact on lives everywhere it is practiced and there is no better place can it be examined than in Thailand with one of the largest Buddhist populations in the world. In this context the course will journey through six religions by examining the basic ideas, tenets, concepts, rituals, holidays, and sacred places of the following: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Confucianism. We will also make brief excursions to some sacred sites in the area.

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International Business Management

Summer Session II (International Business, Management; 300-level; 3 credits)

The environment that corporations operate in has seen dramatic changes in recent years. International management is now a major challenge facing organizations in this current new century. To succeed in this environment, students must now be knowledgeable about the international dimensions of management. This course enables students to expand their knowledge of management and international business in a range of organizations by engaging in practical business tasks, such as preparing business plans, undertaking negotiations and giving presentations. This course has two primary objectives. The first objective is to provide students with an understanding of the international business environment. The second objective is to provide a context in which students can continue to develop their general business skills, such as analysis, strategic decision-making, presentation skills and writing skills.

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International Marketing

Summer Session II (General Business, Marketing; 400-level; 3 credits)

International Marketing is a course in marketing theory and methods as they apply to world markets. Marketing structure and policies employed in export and import trade. Consideration of legal, cultural and economic factors in marketing abroad. Emphasis is placed on developing the marketing mix appropriate to various international environments.

The basic objective of this class is to facilitate your understanding of the nature, structure, and distinct characteristics of international marketing. Further, through chapter readings, case studies and assignments, the course should develop students’ abilities to adapt marketing strategies to specific national market needs and constraints.

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International Organizational Behavior

Summer Session I (General Business, Management; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course exposes students to the interpersonal aspects of working internationally. As the world becomes more globalized, it becomes increasingly important for students to recognize and develop skills that will help them to succeed when working with diverse colleagues and internationally. Topics include cultural values, individual differences, communication, teamwork, and leadership in an international context. Students will learn concepts in an experiential learning environment which includes video, case studies, self-assessments, role playing, and in-class exercises. A portion of the class will be focused on self-development; students will begin to understand their current global mindsets and how they can develop them.

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Introduction to Thai Language I

Summer Session II (Thai; 100-level; 1 credit)

This is a course for students who have not taken any Thai language courses before. Its purpose is to provide the students with basic lexical, grammatical and functional resources to manage in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

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Introduction to Thai Language II

Summer Session II (Thai; 100-level; 1 credit)

This is a course for students who have not taken any Thai language courses before. Its purpose is to provide the students with basic lexical, grammatical and functional resources to manage in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

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Social and Cultural Dynamics in Thailand

Summer Session I (Anthropology; 200-level; 3 credits)
Summer Session II (Anthropology; 200-level; 3 credits)

This course provides students with a holistic sociological portrait of Thai culture and society that includes Thai history, political structure, geography, cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs, presence in the global economy, and patterns of daily life.

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Thai Cuisine

Summer Session I (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)
Summer Session II (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

This course serves as an introduction to Thai cooking. Students will learn how to prepare typical Thai main dishes, snacks, and desserts. Students will be provided with demonstrations that go over the main characteristics of Thai food. These characteristics include flavors, textures, and aromas which originate from local ingredients (herbs, vegetables, spices) and condiments. Students will be provided with hands on experiences in preparing, cooking and serving each dish. Traditional practices in serving and eating will be emphasized.

Note: Vegan/vegetarian options are also available upon request.

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World Economic Issues

Summer Session I (Economics; 400-level; 3 credits)

The purpose of this class is to give students some tools to understand the working of the world economy. Since, so far countries around the world trade goods and services, and factors of production move across their borders every day. This class will (1) help students to understand the effects of these flows and the different policies used by countries to restrict or promote them. (2) This course offers an overview of various aspects of world economy within the field of economic geography and its linkages to related issues of resources, development, international business and trade. It investigates the phenomenon of globalization and seeks to provide understanding of today’s increasingly interdependent world. (3) This course recognizes that economy cannot be treated separately from other domains of social studies so such topics as political economic theories and models, historical context, consumption trends, role of telecommunications, world economic risks (global financial crisis, regional crisis, etc.) and others will be discussed.

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