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THAILAND - MSID International Development in Thailand

Study international development in Thailand, the only southeast Asian country not colonized by European powers and a hub for manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. You’ll also contribute through an internship or research project with a nonprofit organization while you are there. Explore the complexities created by issues such as the environment, globalization, sustainability, and social justice.

Eligibility

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 junior 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 2.5.  
Location

The MSID Thailand Center is based at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI), which has been in Chiang Mai, Thailand, since 1998. ISDSI is staffed by a mix of American, Thai, Karen, and Hmong instructors and support personnel, with a unique, team-based approach to teaching.

The new sustainably built center’s amenities include WiFi, a library, a cafe, a gym, a yoga studio, and an outdoor cafeteria that serves fresh Thai lunches daily.

To learn more about the visa process for this country, please visit the Embassy of Thailand Website

  Academics

The MSID curriculum explores the theoretical and practical implications of international development and intercultural issues. Field experience is an integral part of all courses. All of the curriculum except the language course can be taken for graduate-level credit.

Spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Chang Mai, followed by 6 weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. 

Combine classes at an MSID study center with an extended internship or research project.  More information about courses can be found here.

The MSID 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.

Internships and Research

The internship and research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program and may be where you will learn the most. Your placement will be with an agency engaged in grassroots work related your selected track and will immerse you in the social realities of the poorer strata of the population.

During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an agency whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

The internship or research objectives will be agreed to by MSID, the agency supervisor and you, and will involve at least 25 hours per week of work. 12 contact hours are incorporated into the classroom phase and provide specific training on research methodology to prepare students for their research or internship project. 

See a description of past internship and research placements for this MSID country.

Student Life

The MSID Thailand Center is based at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI), which has been in Chiang Mai, Thailand, since 1998. ISDSI is staffed by a mix of American, Thai, Karen, and Hmong instructors and support personnel, with a unique, team-based approach to teaching.

The new sustainably built center’s amenities include Wi-Fi, a library, a cafe, a gym, a yoga studio, and an outdoor cafeteria that serves fresh Thai lunches daily.

Although excursions change from semester to semester, students can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development agencies, and areas of interest around Chiang Mai.

Housing and Meals

 You will live with a homestay family throughout your time in Thailand. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Chiang Mai will have a second homestay placement.

Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily. You will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but students with severe food allergies and/or restrictions should discuss their situation with the program team prior to applying.

Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and provide a vital connection to local culture. The homestay aspect of the program is often a highlight for participants. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Thai life with a student.

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 includes orientation, host program coordinator, college fees, health insurance, housing, and most meals (all meals except lunch during the internship phase).

Here is an estimated budget for the Fall 2019/Spring 2020 programs:

Budget Item

Amount

Lake Forest College Tuition

$23,840

Program fee (estimated)

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

TBD 

Total Expected Billed by Lake Forest College

TBD

Additional Meals

$300

Estimated Airfare

$2,250

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

$2,710

Total Expected Out-of-Pocket Expenses

$4,960

Total

TBD

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
    847-735-5231
    aolson@lakeforest.edu