• Thailand
    • Chiang Mai
Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Asian Studies Cultural Studies History International Relations Religious Studies Sociology Sustainable Development

Program Details

Degree Level
Guesthouse Host Family


Starting Price
$10,000 USD
Price Details
Cost includes everything except for domestic travel to US Orientation location, medical costs (which can be reimbursed through insurance which is provided) and personal spending money.
Apr 14, 2016
Dec 12, 2015

About Program

Go ED. Mekong: spend 15 weeks in beautiful Northern Thailand with classes focused on human trafficking, transformational development, poverty alleviation, religion, and culture. Students also participate in a 4 week practicum in groups of two where they can observe first hand the work of various organizations with minority groups, orphans, displaced peoples, local villages, and work in situations related to their major such as education, business, photography, digital media, international development, sustainability, TESOL, and journalism. Emphasis is placed on students understanding their role in owning and ending poverty and engaging the culture through forming relationships.

Program Reviews

10 Rating
based on 6 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 100%
  • 7-8 rating 0%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.2
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Yes, I recommend this program

A transformational Experience

It's not just about riding elephants in the jungle, visiting beautiful temples, eating amazing food, living in Thai villages, partaking in the activities of the different villages: harvesting rice, picking coffee, petting monkeys…
There are many amazing, fun stories to be told about the jungle, the tribal people, like rides in the back of a truck to go up to the farm at the top of the hill or funny foot massage stories.
What made this program so special was the Truth. The Inspiration.
The Connection.
Go Ed is a Transformational Experience. It is organic. It is intense and pushes you to the limits not in that harsh, tense way but in the way a blossom comes from a seed. Go Ed embeds you into a community, you become a community thanks to the strong structures of Love and Truth that are in place. Never have I been so truly inspired from the depth of the core of myself. Go Ed is about Community Development and YOU experience this firsthand as you are the Community of Go Ed.
The Program is constructed in a way that you are challenged and lifted up to be a creative actor of change! You are equipped through this Program and the wide range of vibrant experiences that come with it to to engage with important issues in a multidimensional way.
My experience at Go Ed changed me. Or perhaps what is more accurate to say is that it refined me. I accepted and grew in my relationship with God, with my fellow American students/christians, with myself in a way that I was not expecting. To me it is a testimony that God honors the desires of your heart. For me, it has to do with hearing the cry of the hopeless, speaking the words of the speechless, empowering, witnessing and bridging people to one another. God brought together all the elements of the reaction that He wanted and I needed and could never have fathomed. I am filled with gratitude. The only difficulty now is finding a graduate program that can measure up to the standards Go Ed set!

2 people found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Choosing to study abroad with the Go ED. Mekong program in Thailand was easily the best decision I have ever made. One of my favorite parts about the program was the exposure to culture. Housing is provided on a campus where members of the Lahu hilltribe live and go to school. We had the opportunity to interact with them on a daily basis, and they included us in their community by teaching us how to harvest rice and backstrap weave.We also had the chance to go to several villages and do a homestay overnight. Visits to local temples were numerous, as were learned about the dominant religion of the country: Buddhism. The fabulous cook prepares delicious and authentic Thai dishes, and there are plenty of opportunities to travel into the city of Chiang Mai and explore.

As by the program's nature, I was challenged both intellectually and spiritually by the topics that were discussed in class. My worldview has been molded as I have internalized and dealt with these issues. The professors act as a great support system, as they offer their insights and knowledge in their respective studies.

Beyond the classroom lies the opportunity to explore and experience Thailand. A month-long Practicum gives students the chance to live with their peers while working alongside local organizations in different areas of the country. Trips include an elephant ride in Chiang Rai, a visit to the beautiful beaches of Phuket, an exploration of Bangkok, and an unforgettable night at Loi Kratong, the lantern festival. There's always plenty to do, whether its bamboo rafting or just hanging out at the nearby coffee shop and getting a foot massage.

Go ED. is more than just a semester abroad. I have developed relationships with the 5 other students that I studied with which has helped immensely in my transition to living back in the States. The Student Life Coordinators and Program Directors are encouraging and open to discussion as I continue to process my experience. The things that Go ED. exposed me to really did change me as a person.I cherish the time that I spent in Thailand.

What would you improve about this program?
I wish there was a place in the US where alumni could meet and share their experiences.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I love GO ED!

Our classes are divided into thirds: we have 2 classes the 1st month, our practicum in the middle and 2 classes for the last month. We spend a lot of time doing field work and seeing museums and temples in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. We also have spent a considerable amount of time in some of the villages in the very northern part of Thailand. One of the reasons I love this program so much is because we are put in settings that are difficult, that are truly gut-wrenching. These experiences make you think, and makes you feel emotions that are some what uncomfortable. Yet, this has been one of my favorite experiences--being in these uncomfortable situations because those are the places where I grow the most.

In GO ED, our main focus is on poverty alleviation and community development. I feel that this program has a great balance: 1-allowing us to engage in what we are learning about, see poverty first hand, see exploitation and 2-have people around us we we can talk to and journey through our experiences here, where we are free to express ourselves, whatever it is we're thinking and feeling.

I will always remember my time abroad in Thailand. This experience will not just leave when I board my flight back to the USA. This experience has changed me and has inspired me to use everything I have learned in my future endeavors.

What would you improve about this program?
More organization, as in knowing what specific plans are more in advance.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

GoED is my home!

GoED has been the best experience of my life.. so much so that i did the program twice in both locations.. Africa and Mekong. The GoED staff takes great care of everyone and we all become like a family. I have gone on an authentic African safari, white water rafting on the nile river in Uganda, trekking through mountains and hill tribe villages on elephants, to the beaches of Phuket, to Bangkok, Laos, Burma and have seen and experienced amazing things in all of these places. GoED has not only taken me on amazing experiences, it has largely influenced and shaped my thinking about development work and living overseas. I don't think there is any other program as special as GoED. Everyone should go!!

What would you improve about this program?
If i had to change one thing about GoED, I would change the fact that we don't have a GoED house in the states for alumni to meet up!
1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

An Unforgettable Experience

During my semester with Go ED Mekong, I have been challenged to confront tough issues and really reconsider my worldview. Living in a completely new culture is sometimes a challenge, but this program uses those times to stimulate intellectual and spiritual growth, something I have greatly appreciated. It has also been incredibly fun, with trips ranging from hikes and a beach trip to an elephant trek and access to downtown Chiang Mai.

My fellow students and I have gotten to know the day-to-days of living in Thailand. After a month or so of living here, we knew how to get around town and barter at local markets, how to spot a good restaurant, and which street foods shouldn't be passed up. We ate the best tropical fruits almost every day, and indulged in things like mango with sticky rice, and rotee, whenever we were in town. As the semester progressed, I have come to feel less like a tourist and more like I live here- though I couldn't call myself a local, I'm still a Westerner. But this makes no matter, we have felt welcomed by Thais and Hill Tribe groups alike, and have been blessed by everything they've taught us, and the relationships we've formed.

This also goes for our classes and professors. Since the number of students per semester is small, we have the opportunity to bond with each other and get to know our professors. They are experts in their respective fields, and challenge us to not just learn, but internalize and process- and do something with those experiences. In addition, Go ED's unique Practicum experience lets students engage hands-on with local organizations in areas related to their majors. We had daily interaction with the staff of these organizations and often the people they help. No matter where we were, each person had a really good experience.

I could not imagine choosing any other program besides Go ED, and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to experience another culture and be challenged on multiple levels (you do, trust me). The atmosphere is open, inviting, stimulating and fun. As I write this, I have 3 weeks left, and will be very sad to leave. If you're looking to study abroad, please consider Go ED. You'll be glad you did.

What would you improve about this program?
I would include a Thai language class. We had some informal lessons, which were helpful, but I really haven't learned much Thai. Of course this depends on how much a student really wants to learn, but we also don't need it much, because we live in a house with American students and American SLC's. However, I appreciate that this setup provides a safe space for processing our classes, and some escape from culture, if we're feeling a bit culture-shocked (happens to everyone). So even with this slight downside, I still wouldn't change the housing, I'd just add a more formal language class.
1 person found this review helpful.
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Yes, I recommend this program

Holistic, Enriching, Personal, Relational

My favorite part about the Go ED. Mekong program is its holistic nature - the academics were challenging and insightful, we were able to stay both on a small campus and do village home-stays throughout the semester, we engaged with the local community, we had opportunities to do some of the more touristy excursions (like riding elephants, speed-boating around the islands of Phuket, sight-seeing in Bangkok...), we ate delicious food (the program has a wonderful cook!), we had a month-long internship at various organizations, and overall we learned about how God is at work in another culture and how faith plays a role in all the aspects of what we experienced. Go ED. does a wonderful job of making sure the students are taken care of, whether through providing three meals a day, organizing transportation for trips and travel, coordinating visa renewals, etc. There were very few instances where I questioned any kind of safety.

Of course, Thailand is very beautiful. The housing for students is on a fourth story, overlooking the lush rice fields and mountains of northern Thailand - a great view to wake up to in the morning and to watch the sun set in the evening! The weather is fairly hot and humid, which was a little hard to get used to at first due to the fact that most place did not have air conditioning. There is pretty stable internet connection at the house, but it did go out a few times. Cell phones are provided by the program.

The semester is split into three sections - there are two classes for the first 4 weeks, a month long practicum, and then 2 classes to finish out the semester. When classes are in session, it's a little harder to find free time to explore the city, but practicum and breaks in between allow for a lot of time to engage with the communities. There is a nice coffeeshop nearby the house, which is a great place to study (and get great coffee for very cheap - the food and drinks in Thailand are comparatively much cheaper than in the U.S.). We also were able to visit the markets in Chiang Mai pretty frequently, and attended the country-wide lantern festival (in the fall semester)!

The Mekong program is fairly small in size. We had six students when I went, so we all got to know each other very well as we did most things together. Everyone takes the same classes, but we were split up for practicum. I really appreciated the relational aspect of the program - I felt fully supported and was able to build relationships with the Student Life Coordinators, the students, and the local Thai and hill tribe people.

2 people found this review helpful.
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