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Education Abroad Network
Education Abroad Network
Education Abroad Network

Buddhism in Southeast Asia

Program not available in 2016

Module Information

The Southeast Asian Studies Summer School can be taken as a three week (3 credits) or six week (6 credits) experience. While we strongly encourage all students to undertake the full program of 6 weeks, we also understand that due to individual situations some students may not be able to participate in the longer program. As a result the program has been designed as two ‘stand-alone’ independent 3-week modules. We have also built in a week for travel/rest between the two modules to give students the opportunity to experience more of this exciting region!

Each course involves a number of off campus excursions or experiences. Students live on-campus at Chiang Mai University and take classes on the campus. All instruction is provided by Chiang Mai University professors and grades appear on a Concordia University official transcript. These courses are open to university students from the US, Australia, and local Thai students. All instruction is in English. Students taking both Module 1 and 2 will receive a discount on the total cost of the program.

Course Description

A unique and historically connected form of Buddhism exists in mainland Southeast Asia. Called Theravada Buddhism, it has been a significant force in the culture and lifeways of Southeast Asian peoples. This course will first give a broad overview of the main beliefs and practices of Theravada Buddhism along with its establishment and development. The second part of the course will look in detail at the history and contemporary developments of Buddhism in each of the Southeast Asian countries where it is the religious majority: Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar. Along with Theravada Buddhism, this course will cover significant periods of history within these four countries and Southeast Asia in general. In the course you will consider contemporary issues within these four countries relationship with Buddhism including social engagement, roles for women, and meditation practice. At the end of the course the students will be able to experience the Buddhist life through spending three nights at a temple with activities including teaching English to novice monks, meditating, chanting, and learning about Buddhism from English-speaking Buddhist laity and monastics.

View the course syllabus.

Program Locations

The program is based at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is a 700-year-old city caught between two worlds. Thai tradition and customs are still very much alive in this city and they happily co-exist with modern Thailand. The city is most famous for having more than 300 Buddhist temples, and one of the most holy, Wat Doi Suthep, sits atop the mountain that overlooks the city. Chiang Mai is rife with festivals and is definitely the handicraft capital of Thailand with beautiful woodwork, jewelry and ceramics. The city also has a vibrant nightlife with many excellent restaurants and a lively music scene. Students will attend lectures on campus most mornings and participate in field excursions and cultural activities most afternoons. All courses follow their own programs and incorporate different field locations based on the academic content of the course.


The Education Abroad Network is pleased to offer students a unique living experience to aid in cultural immersion on a daily basis. As a student at Chiang Mai University, you will live off-campus at Uniloft, a modern student housing complex just five minutes from campus by foot. Chiang Mai University students are on-hand to assist program participants with assimilating into a new culture. Each participant has their own room and shares a small common living area with their roommate. Each apartment has built-in furniture, walk-in closet, refrigerator, air conditioner, TV, and bathroom.

Within the complex, you will find a lobby, meeting room, play room, fitness center and male/female pools. Washers and dryers are also located in the complex. Each offers opportunities to chat with local students.

In the UniLoft Hub, students can take advantage of convenience stores, restaurants, bakeries, laundry and ATM machines. The housing is located in a vibrant university area, with cool student cafes, awesome street food and restaurants all a short walk from your front door.

Study Break

Students completing the full six-week program will have one week to travel within the region from Saturday, June 20, 2015 - Sunday, June 28, 2015.

Program Dates:

Students taking the 6-week program:
2015 Dates: Friday, May 29, 2015 - Saturday, July 18, 2015
Travel Break: Saturday, June 20 - Sunday, June 28, 2015

Students taking the 3-week program:
2015 Dates: 2015 Dates: Friday, June 26, 2015 - Saturday, July 18, 2015

Program Fees

The program fee includes all accommodation, airport transfers, arrival orientation, all program required ground transportation, academic credit, various excursions and tours, entrance fees to National Parks, cultural centers, etc. and some meals (breakfast and dinners, Monday - Friday) in the on-campus dorm. Students will incur additional costs for personal spending, additional meals and extra travel. A full itinerary is provided upon acceptance to the program. Students should also budget for an estimated $1,500 to $1,800 for international and domestic airfare.

Module 2

Course Title: Buddhism in Southeast Asia
2015 Course Dates: Monday, June 29, 2015 - Friday, July 17, 2015
2015 Program Fees: $2,600USD


The Education Abroad Network will offer suggested flights from the United States to/from Southeast Asia. We will also arrange all internal flights/transfers within the region. Upon acceptance into the program, participants will be provided complete airfare details.


Participants in the program are able to obtain credits through universities and colleges in the United States. Grades will be posted on a Concordia University transcript. Credit transfer (generally 3 - 4 U.S. credits per course/module, 6 – 8 credits total) is subject to home institution regulations so please consult your academic advisor for guidance.


In order to participate on the program students must be currently enrolled in a degree-granting institution, have completed one year of coursework on a college or university campus by the program start date, and achieved a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0. However applications will be reviewed by examining the student’s overall application materials including: Course of Study, Letters of Recommendation, and Personal Statement. If you fall below the GPA requirement, please contact The Education Abroad Network to discuss your eligibility to participate in the program. There are no pre-requisites required.

Submitting an Application

Interested students should apply on-line.

After acceptance a $500 deposit is required. The deposit is fully refundable, less a $75 administrative fee, should students withdraw by March 15, 2015. After March 15, 2015, the deposit is not refundable.

Application Deadline: Application Deadline: Applications are assessed on a rolling basis. We suggest interested students apply by April 15, 2015, to avoid disappointment.

A pre-departure package for the program will be sent to the applicant once accepted into the program.