Global Service in Thailand – Summer 2018

 Deadline To Apply: February 28, 2018

Program Dates: June 22, 2018 – July 20

Experience the charm of an exotic and ancient culture while engaging in international service in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This program is open to all MU undergraduate students. Participants will earn six credit hours for an intensive service-learning and cultural experience living and working in Thailand during Summer 2017.

In this country is full of exotic temples, lush tropical jungles, beautiful beaches, ancient cities, and delicious unique cuisine you will have the opportunity to engage daily in direct service at individual projects (in small groups) with local organizations in addition to several large group projects. You will choose projects from one of the focus areas listed below. The program is designed to immerse students in Thai culture and the issues faced by Thai citizens and resident minority groups. Working alongside local NGOs and local non-profit organizations, you have the opportunity to experience the operational activities and structure of effective development projects in fields listed below, and enable individuals to contribute actively to real initiatives make a real difference. Students may choose projects from one of the focus areas listed below.

  • Teaching English
  • NGO/Non-profit business development and administration
  • Health education
  • Child and human trafficking issues

Activities listed are sample options – final projects will vary based on the needs of the community identified before the group arrives in Thailand. Full descriptions will be provided in Spring 2017.

You will experience Thai sociopolitical history and culture through a three credit hour prerequisite course on the MU campus during the spring 2017 semester. Once accepted into the program, you will meet at an arranged time during the last eight weeks of the spring semester. This learning will continue through various in-country excursions and activities.



All students will enroll in a 3-credit hour prerequisite orientation and cultural studies course that takes place during the Spring semester. A second 3-credit hour course will be taken in-country, for a total of six undergraduate or graduate credit hours, awarded in the Summer semester. These courses are designed to integrate academic and experiential learning with cultural immersion, identity exploration, and global engagement. The general undergraduate course numbers are listed below. Undergraduate students interested in other credits and graduate students may earn credit by arrangement with the Office of Service-Learning and their individual departments.

SRV_LRN 3028 or SRV_LRN 3028H: Pre-departure Orientation and Cultural Studies (3). The 3 credit hour prerequisite course takes place during spring 2017 on the MU campus. The course focuses on building cultural competencies, critical thinking, and self-discovery. In addition students will research and study the host country’s history, culture, languages, politics and geography.

Class Schedule – must attend all classes

Monday, April 9th, 16th, 23rd, & 30th, at 8 pm to 10 pm

SRV_LRN 3028 or SRV_LRN 3028H: Global Service (3). Students will earn 3 credit hours while engaging in intensive service in the host country. The main objective of this course is to promote service-learning through direct contact, classes, discussions, reflections, and projects while living in host country. Academic coursework will emphasize the development of critical consciousness while engaging in reflection and group dialogue.

Academic Credit

You will be enrolled in MU courses and are guaranteed to receive MU credit for successfully completed coursework. Grades earned on this program will calculate into your MU GPAs and appear on your MU transcripts when grades are recorded by the Program Leader. You must work with their academic adviser(s) to obtain pre-approval as to how courses might fulfill degree requirements.

Additional Learning and Academic Activities

While living in the host country students will participate in multiple cultural activities. Excursions are considered as part of the coursework and should be looked upon as once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Part of the final grade will come from their participation and attitude towards learning during these activities and excursions. Faculty will require students to reflect on your experiences on the excursions as part of a final multimedia project.


Set at the foothills of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of sacred temples and a growing, modern, international community. The men and women living and working in Chiang Mai are considered laid-back, creative, and reverential with a modern flair and down-to-earth charm. The university in Chiang Mai draws a youthful energy to parts of the city where you can find trendy nightclubs, discos, and eateries. Whether your pallet calls for sushi, Burmese curries, or Thai street food, there is no shortage of traditional and infusion-style culinary treats for you to enjoy! The night bazaar in Chiang Mai is not to be missed with its rows and rows of woven fabrics, bags, local crafts, hats, jewelry, woodcarvings, and iron and bronze Buddhas. Save room in your bags for all the wonders of Chiang Mai and Thailand you will collect on your service program!

Thailand was known as Siam until 1939 and is the only country in South-East Asia never to have been colonized. Thais are very proud of their independence, which has shaped its unique culture. Operating as a monarchy, the current Thai king is the longest reigning monarch in the world and is much loved by the Thai people.

Host Program

The Global Service in Thailand program will be hosted by KAYA. Kaya is a responsible travel organization that specializes in providing meaningful travel experiences for both individuals and groups. Their mission is to promote sustainable social, environmental and economic development, empower communities and cultivate educated, compassionate global citizens through responsible travel.

Kaya offers a wide range of volunteer projects across 26 countries worldwide. Their project model means that they only commit to projects where there is a genuine need for the physical aid of a volunteer, not just financial assistance, so every volunteer is welcomed and is useful. We help to shape these initiatives that in the long run does not encourage dependence on aid, but instead establishes foundations upon which the people of that country can build and develop themselves. And they ensure that the members of those communities are open and eager to learn and discover our culture as we to become a part of theirs.

Accommodations and Meals

Students will reside together in a guesthouse in the center of Chiang Mai. Meals provided are: breakfast daily and two group dinners a week.

Travel Itinerary

To be determined

Possible excursion sites

Students will travel with the group but they will have opportunities to explore some sites independently during their time abroad. Visits around Thailand might include tours of:

  • Chiang Mai city tour
  • Cultural Center performances
  • Hilltribe Trek and bamboo rafting
  • Chiang Rai – Golden Triangle, Hall of Opium, Wat Rong Khun
  • Optional Bangkok city tour

Program Costs

Estimated program costs for the Summer 2018 session can be found here: SS17 Budget – Global Service in Thailand

For more information about financing your Global Service Program, please see the Financing page.

Application and Eligibility

Before you apply to your chosen program, please review the How to Apply page.

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of a student’s academic transcript, quality and depth of response to the personal statement. In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good disciplinary standing with the University for consideration. A personal interview may be required. Admission to a global service program is not guaranteed.

To apply for this Global Service Program, please submit the Online Application by:

  • Final deadline: February 28, 2018.

More Information

For more information, please email the Office of Service-Learning. To schedule an appointment, visit MUConnect on Blackboard, go to your “My Success Network”, type in “Service-Learning”, and click on the link for Global Service staff on the Service-Learning page.