People, Ecology and Development

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Program Description

Make the expedition field your classroom! ISDSI's unique expedition-style field courses get students out of the traditional classroom and learning hands-on about sustainability while travelling throughout Thailand. You will be immersed in a variety of local vibrant cultures and learn from community leaders while living with families of different ethnic groups, and backpacking, sea kayaking and traveling through the landscapes you are studying. With a focus on connecting natural and social sciences, you will find that ISDSI courses are academically challenging and rewarding. Join in assignments including ethnographic research and coral reef survey. Whether in Northern Thailand with remote hill tribe villages or on the islands in the Andaman Sea, participants are engaged with the local people and have the opportunity to expand understanding of how diverse ecosystems and rich cultures intersect. Alumni often comment on how well ISDSI's program prepared them for a future working in a variety of disciplines.

After completing the semester course, there is an independent research and internship option for 4 to 6 weeks.


Become engaged and immersed in the local community as you are challenged physically, emotionally, and intellectually.

Students will:

1. Learn hands-on outside of the traditional classroom and in the expedition field
2. Live with host-families and engage with community leaders
3. Study management of indigenous forests with ethnic Karen people while backpacking on remote forest trails
4. Work on an organic farms while learning about agroecosystems
5. Sea kayak in Southern Thailand to learn about mangrove conservation, oceans, reefs and ethnic-minority fishing communities
6. Develop expedition and leadership skills
7. Gain basic language proficiency in the Thai language

What`s Included

ISDSI charges a comprehensive fee so that students may apply existing financial aid to tuition and the cost-of-living while studying in Thailand.

This fee includes: tuition, housing, program-related meals, in-country books/readers, program related travel and a monthly cash stipend for food/local transportation.


Agricultural Sciences, Agriculture, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Asian and Asian American Studies, Biology, Culture, Development Studies, Earth Sciences, Ecology, Environmental Management, Environmental Management Systems / Policy, Environmental Sci. (Atmosph.), Environmental Studies, Geography, Human Rights Advocacy, International Relations, Marine Biology, Marine Science, Natural Sciences, Plant Sciences, Social Sciences, Sociology, Sustainable Development, Tropical Biology, Women's Studies

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Program Locations

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Program Details

International Sustainable Development Studies Institute
  • Thailand: Chiang Mai
School Term:
Fall, Spring
English, Thai
American, WorldWide
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