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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: IPSL: Study Abroad + Service-Learning 
  • Restrictions: Augsburg applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Sawasdee! Yin dee dton rhab! ...Welcome to Thailand!

IPSL students have an exclusive opportunity to volunteer with and learn about rural Thai life by exploring the language, culture, and social issues of the people of Baan Ton Chok villiage to help create sustainable change. On the IPSL Service-Learning PLUS program, students travel to rural northern Thailand and spend a week living with a Thai village family and  engaging in a language and cultural exchange while volunteering alongside local villages, helping in the work of their daily lives. The IPSL Service-Learning PLUS program exposes students to a location different than urban Chiang Mai and provides a venue to begin to learn Thai,  gain cultural understanding and serve others.

IPSL students return each semester to Baan Tok Chok to volunteer with locals to help further the goals of the community and engage in hands-on service to promote equitable relationships, social justice and sustainable change for local communities.

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a land of contrasts: gorgeous countryside of rice fields, mountains, hills, and ancient temples; bustling city life in the capital, Bangkok; and beaches world-famous for diving and snorkeling. A largely Buddhist society, Thailand’s population is varied with many tribal groups and immigrants. Through service-learning, you will learn about Thai culture, religion, and contemporary social issues while addressing social and economic problems caused by globalization and rapid development. Set amidst the cool and beautiful mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai has the advantages of a city but with the feel of a small town where the traditions of Thai living are preserved.

You will spend a semester in Chiang Mai, studying Thai culture, language, and society at Chiang Mai University; living near the campus; and engaging in substantive volunteer service for 10-15 hours per week. Your volunteer service immerses you in the culture and deepens your understanding of Thai society in a way that goes beyond that experienced in traditional study abroad programs. It also contributes to your knowledge and use of the Thai language.

IPSL Chiang Mai...a very unique opportunity to experience Thailand like a local

Nestled in the mountains of northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is an amazing city with roots dating back to the 13th century. It is the second largest city in the country, but in many ways it remains a small town, attracting visitors for its historical charm, dramatic mountain backdrop, hundreds of temples, and friendly people of diverse cultural identities. In Chiang Mai, you will enjoy exploring rich cultural sites, sampling (and learning to prepare!) Thai cuisine, browsing exquisite handicrafts at the many late-night shopping bazaars, observing festivals and traditional performances, and experiencing the warmth and graciousness of the Thai people.


Language of Instruction: English and Thai

Affiliated Institution: Chiang Mai University

Courses & Credits:


Thai Language | Credits: 3-6
Service-Learning™: Institutions of Thai Society | Credits: 3
IPSL Reflections / SL Practicum Seminar | Credits: 3

Elective(s) from the following possible choices - these may vary depending on term:

Buddhist Meditative Traditions in Southeast Asia | Credits: 3
Socially Engaged Buddhism in Asia | Credits: 3
Religions of SE Asia | Credits: 3
The Government and Politics of Thailand | Credits: 3
Political Sociology: The Struggle for Human Rights in S.E. Asia | Credits: 3
Human Security in Asia | Credits: 3
Government and Politics of Thailand | Credits: 3
Self Exploration through Visual Art and Culture of Thailand | Credits: 3
International Relations of Mainland SE Asia | Credits: 3

Housing: Students live in modern apartments very close to the campus of Chiang Mai University with a Thai student room mate. The apartments accommodate both international and Thai students, and are situated near plentiful, delicious and  inexpensive cafes. There are also many services on campus and in the dorms including a post office, banks, cafes, fitness rooms, a pool, hair salons, stores, laundry service and much more. There will be a meal stipend for Breakfast and dinners during the weekdays provided upon arrival.  Program fees do not include utilities (electricity and water) that would be paid directly to the building management (averages about $20 per month) nor some meals.

Service Opportunities

services to disadvantaged children
English language consulting and/or tutoring
schools for the deaf and blind
a residential school for children living with HIV/AIDS
organizations serving the needs of gay and transgender people
environmental/conservation programs
hospitals and rehabilitation centers
organizations serving the elderly and the handicapped, Burmese refugees/immigrants, street children, hill tribe girls, sex workers, or farmers who are seeking another means of livelihood
additional opportunities may be available


Learn a language faster (because you're more immersed in the local culture)
Because the IPSL teams are nice!
Make a difference to people in need
Do something that will really enhance your résumé (e.g. International Work Experience!)
Meaningful growth and personal insight

Program Director(s): Mr. Adam Dedman


Eligibility: The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550.

Program Fees Include: Fees include: instruction; administrative fees; orientation; service placement and supervision; academic excursions; health insurance; and accommodation.

What's typically NOT Included: passport, visa and vaccine fees; airfare; books; all lunches and all meals on weekends (a meal stipend for dinner and breakfast for the weekdays will be provided); local transportation; inexpensive school uniforms (required uniform accessories can be purchased on campus and the black skirt and white blouse (females) and black slacks and white shirt (males) as well as black shoes can be brought from home; spending money; local personal transportation; local cell phone and independent  travel. A small monthly fee for air conditioning utility is also not included and payable directly to the building management. Students are responsible for their own bedding (also very inexpensive).

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall Semester 2019 03/01/2019 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.