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Chiang Mai Courses – 2022 Fall

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.

Academics

Students may enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester comprised of Thai language plus electives in Asian studies, health and wellness, and social entreprise. All students must complete a minimum of one Thai language course. Chinese language is also offered at the intermediate and advanced levels. Chinese language is taught sequentially in an intensive language track.

USAC will continue to offer a Chinese Studies option in Chiang Mai as long as restrictions on travel to China remain in place. The Chinese language, culture and history courses listed below will be offered only if we are unable to hold our regularly scheduled programs in China this fall. If you apply to Chiang Mai for Chinese studies, you will be given the option to transfer your application to one of our programs in China, if travel is able to resume.

Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Click the course title to view course details, description, and availability.

Fall Semester

Language Courses

  • Fall
    Thai 100-level 1 credit Taught in Thai
    Spring
    Thai 100-level 1 credit Taught in Thai

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

  • Fall
    Thai World Languages and Literatures 100-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Thai World Languages and Literatures 100-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This is a course for students who are interested in learning Thai orthography, how Thai words are formed and rules for intonations. The purpose of the course is to provide the students (even though they have not taken any Thai language courses before) with basic Thai writing system resources to help them read as well as communicate in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

  • Fall
    Thai 100-level 3 credits Taught in Thai
    Spring
    Thai 100-level 3 credits Taught in Thai

    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.

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 200-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 200-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    This course is designed to further develop the students’ listening comprehension, speaking skills, reading and writing proficiency in Chinese. New grammar points will be introduced, and selected grammar points are reviewed during class sessions. Various activities - discussions, oral presentations, conversions - will provide the opportunity to practice on speaking and listening, class participation is therefore essential.

    Prerequisite: two semesters of college Chinese.

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 200-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 200-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    This course is a continuation of Intermediate Chinese I and is designed to further develop the students’ listening comprehension, speaking skills, reading and writing proficiency in Chinese. New grammar points will be introduced, and selected grammar points are reviewed during class sessions. Various activities - discussions, oral presentations, conversions - will provide the opportunity to practice on speaking and listening, class participation is therefore essential.

    Prerequisite: three semesters of college Chinese

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 300-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 300-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

    Prerequisite: four semesters of college Chinese

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 300-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 300-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    The objectives of the advanced Chinese language classes are to increase your knowledge of the language and to improve your ability to express yourself. This will be presented through practical material and permits you to have a better understanding of the use of the language. Conversation, reading, and writing focus on culture and modern literature.

    Prerequisite: five semesters of college Chinese.

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 400-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 400-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

    Prerequisite: six semesters of college Chinese

  • Fall
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 400-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese
    Spring
    Chinese World Languages and Literatures 400-level 3 credits Taught in Chinese

    This course is for the third-year students of modern Chinese language and the equivalent (i.e. those who have completed studying of basic Chinese language at elementary and intermediate level).

    Prerequisite: seven semesters of college Chinese

Health and Wellness

  • Fall
    Psychology Religious Studies 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    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.

  • Fall
    Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Mindfulness meditation and other similar contemplative practices have garnered significant attention from both scholars and practitioners in the past 15 years, especially as it relates to using mindfulness to treat a myriad of psychosocial concerns. This course will introduce students to the concept of mindfulness meditation, specifically as it relates to health, psychology, and other applications through both didactic and experiential learning. Students will study the varied applications of mindfulness-based interventions with special attention given to psychopathology. Students will also be asked to cultivate their own practice of daily meditation/contemplative exercises while also being led by the instructor on various contemplative exercises.

    This course has an additional fee for field trips.

  • Fall
    Anthropology Community Health Sciences 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course examines the following: systems of traditional healthcare in Asia; healing modalities widely used in Eastern medicine, use of evidence-based criteria to evaluate the risks and benefits of traditional healthcare, cultural perspectives of herbal medicine, and the botanical/chemical basis of ethnomedicines. Students will develop the foundational skills to utilize Asian healing modalities and herbal medicine. Students will also apply their critical thinking skills to produce a research project related to traditional medicine.

    This course has an additional fee

    Prerequisite: one semester of college community health sciences

Thai Culture and Asian Studies

  • Fall
    Philosophy Religious Studies 400-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Philosophy Religious Studies 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course covers the history and fundamental teachings of the Buddha. Students will develop the theoretical foundation necessary to effectively analyze topics in Buddhist teachings and how Buddhism continues to influence Thai culture and society.

    Prerequisite: introductory coursework in college-level religious studies or sociology

  • Fall
    Art Religious Studies 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Art Religious Studies 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course presents the Buddha's life story and teachings as shown in paintings, sculptures, and other artworks. It explores subjects and themes that frequently appear in Buddhist art and examines the stories and legends of the Buddha and their depiction in Buddhist artworks in different eras and locations. Students will develop a robust theoretical foundation to effectively analyze paintings, sculptures, and architecture of Buddhist monasteries in northern Thailand. The course will provide both a religious setting and cultural context for several major Buddhist art types.

    This course has an additional fee

  • Fall
    Anthropology Sociology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Anthropology Sociology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course explores the historical background of the highland ethnic groups in Northern Thailand and their social transformation. Students will analyze the impact of state government policies on the development of ethnic communities, and the evolution of these communities throughout history.

    This course has an additional fee

    Prerequisite: one semester of college-level anthropology or sociology

  • Fall
    Chinese 200-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Chinese 200-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Students will evaluate Chinese culture and society by means of a descriptive and analytic survey of chosen topics. While focusing on the cultural and social mainstream of contemporary China, the course also presents and analyzes various historic events, legends, traditions, ancient philosophies, religions and social norms in a sociological and economic perspective so as to enable students to have a better understanding of the evolution of and interactions between the Chinese culture and society.

    Field trips to museums and theatre of Sichuan opera are part of the course.

    Major topics include but are not limited to the following:

    • Social Norms as Reflected in the Chinese Characters

    • Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Their Influence on the Chinese Culture and Society

    • Chinese Ethnic Minorities

    • Education in China

    • Sex, Marriage and Family Life in China, Today and the Past

    • Family Plan and Birth Control

    • Cultural Revolution

    • China’s Economic Reform and Opening Up Policies

    • Holidays and Traditional Festivals: Their Folkloric Origin and Modern Impacts

  • Fall
    Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Spring
    Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English

    This course will provide students with an introduction to Muay Thai (the sport of traditional Thai boxing) and its self-defense applications. Students will learn the following movement fundamentals:

    • Basic movement

    • Basic skills of Punch/ Elbow/ Knee/ Kick/ Push Kick

    • Boxing Parent timber of Mae Mai Muay Thai/ Luk Mai Muay Thai

    • The tradition of Muay Thai form of homage Wai Kru/ Dress

  • Fall
    Anthropology 200-level 3 credits Taught in English

    The course aims to equip students with a preliminary knowledge of Thai society and culture from a critical perspective. It focuses on the historical development of Thailand, particularly the construction of Thainess/Thai nationalism and its effects on Thai self-perception and foreigners’ perception of Thailand.

  • Fall
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Spring
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in English

    The Thai Music and Dance course provide students the chance to learn about Thai culture, namely, Thai long drum band and Thai long drum dance (Rum Terd Terng or Rum Glong Yao). Furthermore, students will also receive the opportunity to apply their knowledge to practice by playing instruments in the long drum band to perform a show and learning how to do the long drum dance.

    This course has an additional fee.

Sustainability and Social Enterprise

  • Fall
    Political Science 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course will explore international political economics while situating case studies within the Asian Pacific context. Students will be grounded with theoretical perspectives while learning to adopt a holistic approach with geographical, socio-cultural, and political lenses in examining political and economic development. Such multi-dimensionality is further complemented with an institutional perspective by discussing international organizations and multinational corporations. Finally, the roles of diverse actors in contesting global powers, variegated forms of social movements and other contemporary developments in a dynamic world will be critically explored.

  • Fall
    General Business 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    In this course, students will develop the theoretical foundation necessary to analyze social issues, sustainable development, community development, and Thailand’s economic philosophy. Students will also create a business plan to demonstrate their ability to effectively evaluate financial returns and social impacts, including the issues facing marginalized and disadvantaged communities in Thailand. This course utilizes the social business model canvas, and students will develop advanced competency in identifying screen solutions, developing value propositions, creating financial and impact goals, and evaluating external risks.

    Prerequisite: one semester of college-level business management or entrepreneurship

  • Fall
    Environmental Science Geography 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Environmental Science Geography 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Students will learn about concepts related to sustainable agriculture development in Thailand while integrating economic, social, and environmental topics. In addition, agriculture systems concerning plant and animal diversity with sustainable production, integrated farming, and climate change will be analyzed in this course. Sustainable agricultural development in the upland and rural area will also be covered. In this course, students will broaden their perspective on efficiency economics, pollution problems, and proposed solutions for better life and sustainability.

Spring Semester

Language Courses

  • Fall
    Thai 100-level 1 credit Taught in Thai
    Spring
    Thai 100-level 1 credit Taught in Thai

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

  • Fall
    Thai World Languages and Literatures 100-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Thai World Languages and Literatures 100-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This is a course for students who are interested in learning Thai orthography, how Thai words are formed and rules for intonations. The purpose of the course is to provide the students (even though they have not taken any Thai language courses before) with basic Thai writing system resources to help them read as well as communicate in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

  • Fall
    Thai 100-level 3 credits Taught in Thai
    Spring
    Thai 100-level 3 credits Taught in Thai

    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.

Health and Wellness

  • Spring
    Psychology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course is a discussion based class, based on readings, videos and personal experience, the course will be of particular interest to students with mental health and non-mental health backgrounds, who seek to understand more about psychological issues and the implementation of mental health care across diverse cultural populations. It will also be of value to those who may be seeking to assume positions in global healthcare organisations, health-related research institutions, non-governmental and governmental organisations and private consultancies with a global developmental agenda.

  • Fall
    Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Psychology 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Mindfulness meditation and other similar contemplative practices have garnered significant attention from both scholars and practitioners in the past 15 years, especially as it relates to using mindfulness to treat a myriad of psychosocial concerns. This course will introduce students to the concept of mindfulness meditation, specifically as it relates to health, psychology, and other applications through both didactic and experiential learning. Students will study the varied applications of mindfulness-based interventions with special attention given to psychopathology. Students will also be asked to cultivate their own practice of daily meditation/contemplative exercises while also being led by the instructor on various contemplative exercises.

    This course has an additional fee for field trips.

Thai Culture and Asian Studies

  • Fall
    Philosophy Religious Studies 400-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Philosophy Religious Studies 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course covers the history and fundamental teachings of the Buddha. Students will develop the theoretical foundation necessary to effectively analyze topics in Buddhist teachings and how Buddhism continues to influence Thai culture and society.

    Prerequisite: introductory coursework in college-level religious studies or sociology

  • Fall
    Art Religious Studies 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Art Religious Studies 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course presents the Buddha's life story and teachings as shown in paintings, sculptures, and other artworks. It explores subjects and themes that frequently appear in Buddhist art and examines the stories and legends of the Buddha and their depiction in Buddhist artworks in different eras and locations. Students will develop a robust theoretical foundation to effectively analyze paintings, sculptures, and architecture of Buddhist monasteries in northern Thailand. The course will provide both a religious setting and cultural context for several major Buddhist art types.

    This course has an additional fee

  • Fall
    Anthropology Sociology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Anthropology Sociology 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course explores the historical background of the highland ethnic groups in Northern Thailand and their social transformation. Students will analyze the impact of state government policies on the development of ethnic communities, and the evolution of these communities throughout history.

    This course has an additional fee

    Prerequisite: one semester of college-level anthropology or sociology

  • Spring
    Anthropology 200-level 1 credit Taught in English

    This course explores the diversity of culture and livelihood of Hill Tribe peoples through educational trips to rural villages. These first-hand experiences are designed to complement the lecture course, which provides students with the historical background and current social issues in Northern Thailand, particularly the various highland ethnic groups. Students will analyze the impact of state government policies on the development of ethnic communities, and the evolution of these communities throughout history.

    This course has an additional fee

  • Spring
    History 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course will cover topics related to Chinese history, from the beginning of the Qing dynasty to the present. We will examine the evolution and development of different ethnic groups and the tradition, culture, philosophical thoughts, political organizations, social structures, economic situations, religious practice, and foreign relations in China.

    Prerequisites: one semester of college-level history

  • Fall
    Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Spring
    Recreation / Physical Education 100-level 1 credit Taught in English

    This course will provide students with an introduction to Muay Thai (the sport of traditional Thai boxing) and its self-defense applications. Students will learn the following movement fundamentals:

    • Basic movement

    • Basic skills of Punch/ Elbow/ Knee/ Kick/ Push Kick

    • Boxing Parent timber of Mae Mai Muay Thai/ Luk Mai Muay Thai

    • The tradition of Muay Thai form of homage Wai Kru/ Dress

  • Spring
    Political Science 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    This course introduces students to the major themes in the study of peace and conflict. It recognizes the closely interlinked nature of these complex political concepts, and explores the varied modes through which actors have sought to define and explain them. Just as war and other forms of violence and conflict are a constant of human history, so too are ideas and practices that seek the conditions of peaceful (co)existence. We will explore how peace is more than just the absence of war and manifests in different forms in different contexts: just as conflict in global politics is a multi-faceted phenomenon that can (and must) be analysed from a range of perspectives. The first part of the course introduces students to major theoretical paradigms. The second half engages with key thematics integral to the contemporary study of peace and conflict, with a particular focus on the Southeast Asian region.

    Prerequisite: college-level coursework in political science or international relations

  • Fall
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in English
    Spring
    Dance 100-level 1 credit Taught in English

    The Thai Music and Dance course provide students the chance to learn about Thai culture, namely, Thai long drum band and Thai long drum dance (Rum Terd Terng or Rum Glong Yao). Furthermore, students will also receive the opportunity to apply their knowledge to practice by playing instruments in the long drum band to perform a show and learning how to do the long drum dance.

    This course has an additional fee.

Sustainability and Social Enterprise

  • Fall
    Environmental Science Geography 300-level 3 credits Taught in English
    Spring
    Environmental Science Geography 300-level 3 credits Taught in English

    Students will learn about concepts related to sustainable agriculture development in Thailand while integrating economic, social, and environmental topics. In addition, agriculture systems concerning plant and animal diversity with sustainable production, integrated farming, and climate change will be analyzed in this course. Sustainable agricultural development in the upland and rural area will also be covered. In this course, students will broaden their perspective on efficiency economics, pollution problems, and proposed solutions for better life and sustainability.

  • Spring
    Economics General Business 400-level 3 credits Taught in English

    In this class, students will learn the application of macro-economic models to analyze the development of the Thai economy and its international trade relations. Students will develop the skills to interpret nominal and real terms and understand why Economists have always referred to them throughout history. Students will also learn how to explain various aspects of the Thai government’s fiscal policy, analyze how the central bank’s monetary policy affects the economy, and evaluate topics related to international trade such as, currency, exchange rate system, net capital flow and balance of payment.

    Prerequisite: Introductory college-level microeconomics and macroeconomics

To request a course syllabus: syllabus@usac.edu

Chinese Language Tracks

Students may enroll in two or three courses within each 9-credit language track and select their remaining electives from our regular offerings in Chiang Mai, including courses on Chinese history, culture and society.

Track II: 9 credits

Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college Chinese

  1. Intermediate Chinese I
  2. Intermediate Chinese II
  3. Advanced Chinese I

Track III: 9 credits

Prerequisite: 3 semesters of college Chinese

  1. Intermediate Chinese II
  2. Advanced Chinese I
  3. Advanced Chinese II

Track IV: 9 credits

Prerequisite: 5 semesters of college Chinese

  1. Advanced Chinese II
  2. Advanced Chinese III
  3. Advanced Chinese IV

      Field Studies

      Optional field studies are an excellent way to deepen your academic experience abroad. During your 1-credit field study course, you will participate in carefully planned excursions that allow you to explore the cultural, historical, and natural features of Thailand. These overnight field experiences, combined with required academic components such as readings, research, and written assignments, will increase your understanding of the sites and locales visited.

      As an experiential learning method, optional field studies complement the larger academic program and provide you with opportunities to learn in new ways, to gain hands-on experience, and to connect your classroom learning to the world around you.

      Optional field studies have an additional fee, are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run, and may not be available every semester. Refer to the course list above for current field study offerings.

      Internships

      USAC in-person and virtual internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. Whether onsite or virtually, you will work closely with a USAC Resident Director (RD), an internship coordinator, and a professional supervisor to gain valuable experience and skills that can be applied to your chosen career field. Internships are also a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of Thailand, deepen your cross-cultural understanding, and help you develop intercultural communication and language skills in an internationally focused organization or other professional work setting.

      Among the many benefits of an internship experience, USAC in-person and virtual internships help you

      • Learn about a career that matches your academic and personal interests
      • Gain practical, hands-on experience
      • Master highly sought-after soft skills such as time management, teamwork, and problem solving
      • Build a network of professional contacts
      • Improve your resume
      • Cultivate intercultural communication skills that are essential in a globalized workforce
      • Develop an understanding of the workplace norms, expectations, and culture of Thailand

      For eligibility requirements and application information, see the USAC internship page.

      For more information about placement options, see the Chiang Mai internship page.

      Additional Offerings

      Workshops

      Quick Details

      2023-24 Application Cycle

      • Summer: Open
        • Session I or I&II deadline: April 1
        • Session II deadline: May 1
      • Fall/Yearlong: Open
        • Deadline: May 15
      • Spring: Open
        • Deadline: Oct 15

      Eligibility

      Preferred Minimum GPA: 2.5

      Program Type

      Specialty

      Credits

      US Credit

      Program Capacity

      Summer: 50 students

      Semester: 60 students

      Instruction

      English

      Passport & Visa

      Passport & Visa Information