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International Programs, Global Learning, Study Abroad | EpiCenter

Spring Semester in Thailand


Spend next Spring experiencing Thai culture firsthand!  Gain an insider’s perspective by living with a local family in Chiang Mai and by taking classes at Chiang Mai University.  Courses focus on Thai culture and language.  For 16 hours a week, students participate in an internship at a church, government, or educational agency, discussing their unique experiences at a weekly seminar.  For the last part of the program, students journey to the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern Thailand, where they live in a Thai tribal village.  By interacting with village leaders and families, students examine the growing effect of broader Thai culture on these indigenous communities.  This 12 week program is perfect for students who wish to explore a different country as a member of its society, not simply as a tourist.  This program is only available to Messiah students during the spring semester.


Video about the program.


Want a student's view? Read Melissa's Story. 

Click here to view photos from a Site Visit.


Follow their blog to learn what they are doing throughout the semester!

Students must have completed one full year of college and have at least a 2.75 GPA to qualify for the program.  Students are required to attend all Messiah-run pre-departure orientation sessions the semester before studying abroad as well as a half-day re-entry retreat upon returning to campus the following semester.

Credits / Grades
The sixteen to eighteen credits earned may meet some general education or major requirements. Courses taken will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades. Please refer to the grade conversion scale.


Students will meet their third language/cross-cultural requirement by participating in this program. Students will not earn 3 credits, rather the requirement will be waived.


Costs: 2014-2015

Because of the high cost of this program, participation is capped at 9 students per academic year.

Messiah tuition, room, board plus $1,700 off-campus study fee.

Fee covers tuition, housing, round-trip international airfare provided by program, meals educational excursions, airport taxes, pre-departure, re-entry orientation, as well as $700 for visas and books,.  Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, passports, immunizations, and course fees. 


Optional Post Semester Courses

Chiang Mai University Language Institute TEFL Program - Certification (no credits) - additional $1,500

Ethnographic Research on Thai Tribal Peoples (3 credits) - additional $1,500


Messiah Application Deadline


Spring 2015 – April 1, 2014


Begin the application process here!

Course Equivalencies
The Registrar’s Office has determined that the following courses taken at the Spring Semester in Thailand will fulfill the following General Education requirements:

General Education
Requirement Met

THAI 125
Intensive Introduction to Thai Oral Language (4)

THAI 128

Intensive Introduction to Thai Written Language (2)

Must take both 4 and 2 credits to fulfill

two language courses. 

4 Credits of Language


2 Credits of Language

SOC 350
Thai Culture and Society (4)

IDNW 200 Non-Western Studies

SOAN 300 Soci/Anthro Elective

SOAN 381 Topics in Non-Western Culture

SOAN 382 Topics in Soci & Anthro

HDFS 300 Human Development & Family Studies

ART 438
Principles of Lanna and Thai Fine Arts (4)

ART 100 Gen Ed Art Elective

SOAN 300 Socio/Anthro Elective

INT 399
Study / Service Internship (4)

ELET 100 Elective

PSYC 391 Psychology Practicum

SOAN 300 Socio/Anthro Elective

SOAN 391 Socio/Anthro Pract.

HDFS 391 Family Service Pract.

Participation in the program
Cross-Cultural Waiver
Optional Post Semester Courses:    
Chiang Mai University Language Institute TEFL Program    
Ethnographic Research on Thai Tribal Peoples    


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“By learning in a Buddhist country and a strong Buddhist environment, I actually found that my faith grew stronger and that I was reacquainted with what it actually means to be a follower of Jesus”

--Amy Kennedy


To learn more about BCA program in Strasbourg, France, check out:

CIA: World Fact Book: Thailand



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