CIEE Development + Globalization in Khon Kaen, Thailand

Video and Photos

Two program participants exploring an organic farm in Chaiyapum
Two program participants exploring an organic farm in Chaiyapum
My host family's grandchildren, playing after school.
My host family's grandchildren, playing after school.
Exploring an herbal medicine doctor's garden, at a wat in Yasiton
Exploring an herbal medicine doctor's garden, at a wat in Yasiton
Island life
Island life


Start doing. What better way to begin understanding the complexities surrounding environmental, development, and globalization issues, than to engage with and confront them yourself? In Thailand, you’ll engage in a real-world learning model to examine issues of development and social justice on a grassroots level.

Study abroad in Thailand where coursework and the classroom are a springboard, propelling you out into the field where you’ll interact with, learn from, and contribute to communities and organizations in the Northeast of the country.

In Thailand you will:
- Immerse yourself in Thai culture through community stays, translated exchanges, Thai student roommates, and peer tutors
- Spend significant time living and exchanging with villagers and NGOs
- Conceive, collaborate on, and present a final, group project which uses methodical, field-based research and contributes to the public sphere


CIEE Scholarships
CIEE Offers More Than $8 Million in Scholarships Every Year!

We know cost is one of the biggest barriers to studying abroad. At CIEE, we dedicate real resources to help break down the cost barriers so every student who wants to study abroad, can do so.

$500 - $2,500

Questions & Answers


based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 8.9
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.6
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.8
Showing 16 - 17 of 17
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Variety of experiences

The program, while time intensive in the beginning, allowed for a variety of experiences. I had the experience of staying in a dorm with a Thai roommate, while also getting to stay in a variety of home stays in different provinces. I appreciated the mixed educational model of classroom time and peer facilitated spaces, while also gaining hands on experience. It was a transformative semester for me.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Live in a Village

This program lets you see a side of the world you can not even imagine. There is no other way to get the depth into Thai society than to see it with the help of the experienced, thoughtful staff and interns of this program. About half of the time in the program is spent in the home city of Khon Kaen (a non-touristy city that rarely sees outsiders) in dorm-type housing with a Thai roommate. The other half of the time is spent living with different Thai families that are involved with local issues and this is the real unique feature of the program. This gives you an unparalleled glimpse into how people really live. You sleep where their children sleep, you eat what they eat, you do what they do and truly see what it means to be a Thai villager. Spending time with people that do not speak a word of English really pushes you to learn the language too.

The primary objective of the program is learning about social organizing and grassroots efforts. Thailand is part of the global economy for good and for bad. This program shows you what it means to get the short end of that arrangement. Many of the communities you visit are battling issues such as dams flooding their community in the pursuit of electricity, finding a way to make a living by sorting through the trash at the landfill, and what it means to be a sex worker. These experiences are nothing less than amazing and the highlights would be too too many to list. Some of the things that stay with me are:
- eating a silkworm prepared by an old woman spinning silk for a weaving cooperative
- trying to pay attention to an interview with a sex worker while a trained elephant did tricks in a dark alleyway
- spending the night in the landfill and playing with the children that make that place their home
- harvesting rice
- eating a rat that the boys smoked out of its hole and waked with a shovel with a side of lotus flower stalks and bamboo shoots I harvested as we were subsisting off of the bounty of the swamps
- meditating with monks and following them on their morning alms rounds
- meeting with USAID officials about their Thai programs

This program is truly one of a kind. It is not your typical party semester abroad but if you want something different this is it. It will realign your perspective as a global citizen forever and for the better.


Thai Baht
95 F / 57 F
91 F / 72 F
90 F / 73 F
88 F / 59 F
Suvarnabhumi Airport
( BKK )
Don Mueang Airport
( DNK )
Phuket Airport
( HKT )

Thailand has become the most tourist visited country in Southeast Asia. This country provides dense jungles, beautiful beaches, world-class shopping, and stunning architecture. No matter your budget, there is something for you to take part in in Thailand.


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About CIEE

A nonprofit, non-governmental organization, CIEE is the world leader in international study and exchange programs. For 65 years, CIEE has helped thousands of students, professionals, and educators gain the knowledge and skills necessary to live and...