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THAILAND - ISEP Thammasat University

Looking to take courses in English in an unusual or exotic destination? Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand is perfect for those with a sense of adventure and independence. Learn the rich culture and spirit of Thailand and meet the Thai people who are known for their smiles, friendliness, and hospitality. 

Thammasat University is one of Thailand’s most prestigious universities. Located near the Grand Palace, the main campus offers a range of liberal arts, business, and Thai studies courses taught in English. These courses are designed not only for international students but also to prepare local students for a future in an intercultural society. Engineering courses are held at the Rangsit campus and follow the Thai academic calendar. Other courses follow a calendar similar to the U.S.

Located in the heart of Bangkok, Thammasat University is the ideal study abroad destination for students who are eager for an adventure. Students have the opportunity to take classes in a variety of different fields, including the very popular Thai Studies Program which offers courses in Thai Language, Islam in Thailand and Thai Cuisine. 

Learn more about Thammasat University here! Read the ISEP Country Handbook to learn more about visa requirements, educational system, and culture.

Experiences of Former Students

“Do ISEP! Studying abroad in Bangkok gave me the opportunity to explore Asia, something I’ve dreamed about doing since I was little. Before going, I have never been outside the United States–now, my passport has more stamps than I can count.” –Alicia Hinz, University of Wisconsin, Stout

“Thammasat University is awesome!! The people in Thailand are great!!! I really recommend living in a country like Thailand any time in their life, anytime!” –Daniela Sigales, ITESM

“Living in an Eastern country was a huge difference, so was the Buddhist lifestyle. But I found that people were much more willing to help than in many Western cultures…I feel that I developed a lot more as a person and am much more confident and have a greater understanding of both America and the world abroad…” –Nichole Williamson, Central Washington University


To be eligible to participate in this program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Good academic and judicial standing during time of application AND time of participation in program
  • Undergraduates must have completed at least two semesters of study at Lake Forest College AND have second-semester sophomore status or higher before participation.
  • At least 18 years of age by the program’s departure date. 
  • Be able to stay at the host program for the duration of the semester, including through the exam and travel periods
  • Minimum GPA of 2.75.  

Students applying to ISEP must apply for an Exchange option (in any country) as a first choice but may apply to a Direct option as a back-up. Direct options may have an additional cost (see a financial section for more information).


Thammasat University has two campuses. Tha main campus, Tha Prachan, is a compact campus located on the land that was once the viceroy’s palace grounds on the Chao Phrya River, near the center of the original Bangkok. The campus is close to some of Thailand’s most sacred temples and many government ministries, as well as the Grand Palace of the reigning Chakri dynasty, the National Theater, and National Museum. Most existing international programs are located at the Tha Prachan campus. The Rangsit campus, approximately one hour from the Tha Prachan campus, offers a more traditional campus lifestyle. Rangsit houses the science- and engineering-related faculties, as well as the Bachelor of Economics program, and is adjacent to the Asian Institute of Technology.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the ISEP Country Handbook for Thailand. 


Please note that it takes 8-10 weeks from the end of the examination period before transcripts from Thammasat arrive at ISEP Central. Students that require transcripts for graduation at their home university are strongly advised to confirm with their registrar’s office that this period of time will not have an effect on their ability to graduate on time. 

Founded in 1934, Thammasat University has educated many prominent members of the Thai civil administration. Over the years, Thammasat students have been known for their activism and have played a major role in Thai politics. Most classrooms are air-conditioned. A large performing arts hall hosts plays, concerts, lectures and guest performers. A newly-built second campus (Rangsit) houses science-related faculties and modern facilities such as a hospital, dormitories, swimming pools, a soccer field, tennis and basketball court. The Asian Games have equipped the campus with state-of-the-art sports facilities.

Thammasat University offers a total of 240 courses of study in the disciplines of social sciences, humanities, science and technology, and health sciences. For Thai speakers, there are plenty of undergraduate and graduate program options. Of the 240 degree programs, 58 are International Programs, which are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and are carried out entirely in English. The following International Programs are open to ISEP students. Take note of the campus associated with each program!

Students are likely to note a marked difference in lecture style and assessment between their home universities and Thammasat.  Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States. Students should try to be flexible and open-minded as they adapt to the University. 

The typical course load is 3-6 courses per semester with 9-18 hours spent in class per week.  Students are not advised to take courses on both campuses given the distance between the two. Read more about academics at TU in the Student Handbook

The ISEP Thammasat University program uses the US semester credit system, in which 1 credit = 42-45 in-class hours, and 2 hours of out-of-class work per credit hour.

To Earn 4 Lake Forest credits, students must take 15-16 US semester credits.

To Earn 3 Lake Forest credits, students must take 12 US semester credits.

The number of credits listed here is estimated, and GEO will work with you, your advisor, and the registrar to ensure you are earning enough credits to keep you on track for graduation.

Academic Environment and Teaching Style

Please understand that the academic system is quite different. Classes are usually lecture-based, instead of discussion or group work. Classes are often much larger than those found at Lake Forest College. Grades are based heavily, at times almost entirely, on one end-of-term exam, though some courses will also offer a midterm.  Professors are often more formal than those in the United States.

All courses/modules may have prerequisites.  Some departments may have limitations on numbers of courses that can be taken within or outside it.  Be aware of these limitations.


Thai Studies Program (TS), offered through Pridi Banomyong International College (PBIC), provides an integrated and interdisciplinary program for Thai and foreign students. A wide range of courses on historical and present-day Thailand and its culture are available. Trips to artistic, ethnological, historical, political, and religious sites are included.

You can search for courses from the Office of the Registrar page. First, select ENG to translate the page into English. Then select Course Search from the Main Menu on the left-hand side. From the Main Menu, you can also search for Curriculum by the program.

Students must take the majority of courses from within one program. It may be possible to take 1-2 electives from within a different program. When selecting courses for the Course Request List, make sure the majority are from the same program. It is not possible to take courses on both the Tha Prachan and Rangsit campus. Students must choose one or the other.

Please review the ISEP country handbook for more information on the education system, grades, class hours, and classroom etiquette.

Student Life

The Office of International Affairs provides a wonderful orientation program that spans the course of several days. Very important information is covered during the orientation as well as fun cultural activities. Topics include campus facilities, campus life information, Thai Culture Q&A session, safety in Thailand, Royal Family information, visa matters, and student activities fair. For students who choose not to secure housing until arrival in Bangkok, housing tours are offered during orientation. Final course registration will also take place during this time. 

There are many activities for students to take advantage of, both on and off campus. Examples include cultural tours of Bangkok, Thai cuisine cooking classes, Grand Palace excursions, Loy Krathong Festival, International Night, Tea Ceremony, Rice Harvest Festival, and a Mangrove excursion.

  Experiential Opportunities
Since Bangkok is such a large and cosmopolitan city, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities for students to explore, both independently and through the University. Past volunteer events organized by OIA have included planting rice with local rice farmers and spending time at a local orphanage. Students also have the opportunity to participate in TU2U where they teach English to local children in classrooms around the Tha Prachan Campus.
Housing and Meals

Get ready to truly live like a local and eat some of the best food in the world! ISEP students receive a monthly housing and meal stipend to cover the cost of rent and food.   Students are taken around during orientation to Bangkok hotels, hostels, and student residences by Student Life, and then choose the best housing fit for their needs.  

Thai people eat almost every meal outside of the house. Food is very inexpensive and easy to find! The meal stipend can be used to eat at one of the many campus vendors, off campus at a food stall, or in restaurants. More information about life at TU and in Bangkok can be found in the Student Handbook

Financial Information

For all approved programs for guaranteed financial aid transferability, students pay their Lake Forest College tuition plus a program fee. The program fee for a semester with the ISEP Exchange program includes orientation, on-site director, college fees, housing and a stipend to cover the equivalent of 19/meals per week.

ISEP costs for Exchange are usually the most cost-effective, as it is intended to promote mobility of students around the world. Direct options are available for those students that prefer to attend a school with limited availability for Exchange, though costs may be different as they are set by the host school. For students that participate in ISEP Direct, the program fee includes all of the above plus insurance. However, the program fee may be different than that of Exchange.

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2018/Spring 2019 programs:

Budget Item





Lake Forest College Tuition



Program fee (estimated)

Note: Spring may have added cost for Southern Hemisphere programs, as that starts a new academic year



Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College



ISEP Confirmation and Application Fees



ISEP-required health and repatriation insurance (estimated, $90/mo)

Note: Some countries require national insurance, which may be instead of, or in addition to, ISEP insurance. Check ISEP



Additional Meals



Estimated Airfare

*Students placed on ISEP Exchange may be eligible for up to $750 airfare award



Estimated Personal Expenses (passport, visas, immunizations, textbooks, supplies, personal expenses, additional national insurance if required, travel insurance, additional travel etc.)



Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses






Tuition rates and program fees are subject to change each year, but this information was up-to-date as of February 2019. We will notify applicants, and update this page if the program fee or other estimates change.

You can discuss with Financial Aid your specific aid package and your expected family contribution.

Deposits to other programs, if required, are paid by the student to the host program, and will appear as a credit on your study abroad term bill from the College.

Keep in mind that you may spend more or less in certain areas like personal expenses, travel, meals, or airfare, depending on exchange rates and your own spending habits. Classroom or lab fees are not included in this estimate and will depend on your course registration choices.  

Don’t forget to apply for scholarships! A great listing can be found here.  

  • Contact:

    For Questions About the Initial Application Process:

    Alexandra Olson
    Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office