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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Johnna Weston
Minimum GPA:
2.5
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Grad/Undergrad:
Undergraduate
Language of Instruction:
English, Thai
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
No
Program Specific Scholarships:
CIEE-PSU Scholarship
Fields of Study:
Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Journalism, Sociology
Program Description:

Overview

Eligibility

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing at Penn State
  • 2.5  cumulative GPA or better at the time of application
  • Sophomore standing or above at the start of the program 

Program Description 

Immerse yourself in Thailand’s grassroots issues in this intense, people-to-people, and group-focused program whose mission is to create solidarity between people living half a world apart. Be part of something, be engaged, and learn about yourself, this inviting part of Thailand, social justice, and your role in the world—while having time to travel in Thailand and to other countries in the region.

This program uses international and national human rights frameworks to understand grassroots and social justice issues for the past decade. Students prepare for five 1-week community stays with lectures and preparations at CIEE Khon Kaen, located just off of Khon Kaen University. The field becomes the classroom, and community leaders, government officials, and NGO practitioners are the teachers.

Language instruction is geared toward helping students function in everyday situations. It starts with three weeks of intensive instruction, with classes at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, and combines intensive classroom learning with help from peer tutors and interactive exercises. Content courses are taught by a variety of professors from Northeastern universities and as well as outside university lecturers, members of the NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-CORD), government officials, representatives of NGO and governmental organizations, and CIEE staff. Beginning Thai language courses are taught by CIEE-Khon Kaen staff, while non-beginning Thai classes are typically taught through the ASEAN Language Center at Thai Department of Khon Kaen University.

Dates

Fall: mid August - mid December
Spring: mid January - mid May

Refer to CIEE's website for the specific dates, if available. 

Location

The Northeast of Thailand, called “Isaan,” retained many of its traditional Lao and Khmer customs, and features a strong silk trade, ancient temples, museums, and recreation areas. Khon Kaen city features expansive shopping malls, top-rate private medical facilities, and chain outlets like McDonalds and Starbucks. But it also has close-knit traditional communities and historic Buddhist temples dotted along the banks of the city’s picturesque lakes. Khon Kaen is at the center of Isaan, and serves as a regional hub for development organizations, commerce, industry, government, and education. Compared to other regions, this area is well known for its welcoming attitude toward visitors.

With the Thai language skills you develop on the program and through your site visits and community stays, you’ll come to feel proud to be part of the culture and not a mere tourist. 

Education Abroad in Countries with a Penn State Restricted Travel Designation

In order to comply with Penn State’s International Travel Policy, students interested in studying abroad in countries that Penn State has designated as “restricted” for travel, a petition for a waiver must be submitted. Once a petition is complete, and if the student is approved for study on the program in question, the student may be asked to meet with the Director of Education Abroad and the petition will be reviewed by the Penn State International Restricted Travel Committee (IRTC). The necessary petition will be included in the online application process for this program. To see if your program is taking place in a restricted travel country, please visit the Global Programs website.

Academics

Available Fields of Study

Environmental Studies, Global Studies, Journalism, Sociology

Course Listings

To find courses at CIEE Khon Kaen, follow the instructions on CIEE's website under "Academics."

To see what Penn State students have previously taken on this program, see the Historical Course List, which is meant to be a guide as to what courses might be available and how they might transfer to Penn State. Courses listed here may not be offered during the semester you attend the program and the credit amount or course title may have changed. 

Note: You are not limited to choosing classes on the program Historical Course List. You should consult the full list of courses on CIEE's website before choosing a program.

Course Selection

To find appropriate courses that will fit into your degree requirements, you will need to work with your academic adviser. Suggested tips:
  • Research courses available on your program
  • Meet with your academic adviser to discuss potential courses abroad and your degree requirements 
  • Keep in mind that courses abroad may change or may be unavailable for your selected term, so you will need to discuss possible back-up course options
  • To register for courses on this program you will work with CIEE

Program-specific Courses

Students take the following four courses:

  • The Human Perspective on Development and the Environment (6 credits)
  • Directed Research Field Study/Practicum (3 credits)
  • Social Research Methods or Grassroots Journalism (3 credits)
  • 1 Thai language course (3 credits)

Academic Policies

  • You must enroll in a minimum number of 15 credits and a maximum number of 18 credits 
  • You cannot take any courses abroad on a Pass/Fail basis
  • World Campus courses should not be taken in addition to or as a substitute for courses offered abroad
  • You may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad
  • If you are studying abroad in your final semester at Penn State, please note that Penn State may not receive your grades in time for graduation 

Course Equivalency Process

In order for courses from abroad to appear on your Penn State transcript, each course must be given a course equivalency. Please visit the Academics section of the Global Programs website for information on the course equivalency process.  

Courses can be submitted for course equivalency before, during, or after the education abroad program, however, you should begin this process as soon as possible as it can take on average 2-4 months or more for courses to receive a Penn State course number. In some cases, it can be difficult to obtain syllabi from abroad before the start of the term, but when possible, courses can be submitted for review before departure. Talk to your Education Abroad Adviser about requesting syllabi.

Grade and Credit Conversion Scale

Grades and credit conversions from your host institution cannot be changed. They will be converted to Penn State credits and grades based on the following scales:
 
Grade Conversion Scale
Host Institution Grade Penn State Grade
A
A-  A-
B+  B+
B
B-  B-
C+  C+
C
D
F
 
Credit Conversion Scale
Host Institution Credit Penn State Credit
3 credits per course  3 credits per course

Housing and Meals

Housing

When students are not in the field or staying, they live in off-campus, air-conditioned, dorm-style room in a secured facility that also has internet near Khon Kaen University (KKU). Each participant shares a room with a trained KKU student.

Independent housing is not permitted on this program. There will be no exceptions.

Meals

Meals are not provided except when staying in communities. Students can purchase meals reasonably at university cafeterias or local restaurants. Vegetarian options are available. A microwave and small refrigerator are provided in each room.

Costs and Funding

Program Costs

Fall Costs
Spring Costs

The cost of a program is based on Penn State tuition rates and partner institution fees. Due to the variety of locations and partner institutions, costs will vary depending on the program. Education Abroad works closely with our partners to ensure the most accurate cost estimates, however, fees can change quickly and without prior notice. Consult the cost sheets for your chosen program often and if you have any questions please contact your Education Abroad Adviser

Scholarships 

The Education Abroad Office awards a number of grants and scholarships to students who participate in an education abroad program through Global Programs. The application for the scholarships awarded through the Education Abroad Office is included with your program application. Eligibility is based on academic merit and/or financial need. You must have a current FAFSA on file to be awarded. There are additional scholarship opportunities through our partner universities, Penn State Academic Departments, and other sources. To view a full list of scholarships, eligibility requirements, and deadlines visit Funding Study Abroad.

Program-specific Scholarships

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of CIEE's website.

Student Aid

Penn State students who plan to study on a Penn State approved program can use most forms of financial aid towards the cost of the program. Exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. If you have specific questions regarding your aid awards, contact the Penn State Office of Student Aid

Withdrawal & Refund Policy 

Withdrawal and refund details are dependent on the timing and reason for your withdrawal from a Penn State Education Abroad Program. For specific details and steps on how to withdraw, read the Education Abroad Policies

After Commitment

Once a student has committed to a Penn State Education Abroad program, they are financially responsible for any fees incurred on their behalf. Therefore, if a student plans to withdraw from a program it is their responsibility to immediately notify the Education Abroad office, in writing; email is preferred. 

Regardless of the timing or reason for the withdrawal, the student will be responsible for paying the Education Abroad Administrative Fees. Additional fees from the partner institution will be assessed according to their withdrawal and refund policies at the date of the withdrawal notice.

After the Start of the Program 

If a student withdraws after the start of a program, any adjustment of Penn State tuition charges will be made according to the Tuition Adjustment Schedule as determined by the Office of the Bursar. Students may be responsible for up to 100% of program costs. In most cases, partial credit cannot be awarded for leaving a program before its successful completion.

For additional information on withdrawal policies, separate and apart from financial consequences, please consult the University Senate Policy on Withdrawal and Leave of Absence.

Life Abroad

General Information 

Studying abroad can be one of the most exciting and transformative experiences of your college career. It is an opportunity to develop independence, build cross-cultural competencies, grow as a person, and enhance your academic program. Entering a new culture can be challenging for everyone. You may ask yourself: is this the right country for me? What are their cultural norms? How will my identity be perceived there? What can I do to prepare for this experience? What will my daily life be like? Below are resources to help you answer these questions.

Accessibility 

Penn State Education Abroad works closely with campus resources and our partner institutions around the world to ensure that students of all abilities reach their goal of studying abroad. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged on an individual basis. If you have accommodation needs or further questions please consult with the Student Disability Resources office and your Education Abroad Adviser. Additional resources are available through the Global Program Website. Disability information will not be used during the admissions process, but rather is meant to provide students with resources to help in planning a successful experience abroad.

Gender and LGBTQA

There are dramatic and subtle differences in how gender, identity, sexual expression, and sexual health are perceived in different countries. Before going abroad, it is important that you research the specific country or countries you will be visiting and have a full understanding of their cultural norms. Below are some resources to help you with that research and provide guidance for your life abroad.

Race, Ethnicity, and Faith

When choosing a study abroad location and preparing for your travels, you will want to be mindful of how your experience will be different than what you are used to in the United States. Your racial, ethnic, and spiritual identities may be interacted with and labeled by others differently than what you expect. Here are resources to help you prepare for these differences.

Non-U.S. Citizens

It is possible for non-U.S. Citizens to study abroad through Penn State. To do so successfully, you must plan early because this process may involve obtaining visas and other governmental procedures. Check with your DISSA Adviser prior to committing to a study abroad program and speak with your Education Abroad Adviser for specific information on the host country. If you plan on traveling to other countries during your study abroad experience, you will need to research and make plans to adhere to immigration policies for all of the countries that you plan to travel to and through. You are responsible for applying for visas for all applicable countries on your own. Advisers in the Education Abroad office cannot apply for your visa for you. Additional information may be available through your country's embassy and the consulate for your study abroad country.
 

Next Steps

Steps to Study Abroad

The planning stages outlined on the Global Programs website will help you have the best study abroad experience possible. We recommend that you begin this process at least one year prior to the semester you plan on studying abroad. Visit the Steps to Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website. 

How to Apply

Click the “Apply Now” button on this page to get started!

Application procedures can vary by program. Students should consult the application instructions available within each application. For more information, see the Application Process section of the Global Penn State website. 

Deadlines

You must apply to this program by the Penn State deadline. For a list of deadlines visit the Application Process page of the Global Programs website.

Contact Education Abroad 

If you have general questions about Education Abroad opportunities at Penn State, please email EducationAbroad@psu.edu.

Peer Advisers

Education Abroad Peer Advisers are Penn State study abroad returnees who advise students on education abroad opportunities at Penn State. Each Peer Adviser can explain program options, give an overview of the study abroad process, as well as provide information about their experience abroad. Peer Advisers have walk-in hours in Boucke Building during the fall and spring semester when classes are in session. For more information, visit the Education Abroad Peer Adviser website. 

Education Abroad Advisers 

Education Abroad Advisers can provide information about courses, support services, application processes, housing details, program costs, cultural expectations, pre-departure requirements, and much more. Education Abroad Advisers have two types of meetings - scheduled appointments and walk-ins. For more information about how to meet with an Education Abroad Adviser, please visit the Global Penn State website

Social Media

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For information about upcoming events, scholarship opportunities, deadlines, and much more visit the Global Programs Events Calendar and follow us on social media!
 


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 09/15/2017
**
Rolling Admission 01/16/2018 05/17/2018
Fall 2018 03/01/2018
03/14/2018 08/14/2018 12/13/2018
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing. Dates are tentative. Please consult CIEE information for confirmed dates.
Spring 2019 09/15/2018
**
Rolling Admission 01/15/2019 05/16/2019
NOTE: Start date marks beginning of orientation week. Arrival date may depend on your housing arrangements. End date marks departure from program housing. Confirm dates with CIEE before purchasing airline tickets.
Fall 2019 03/01/2019 03/13/2019 TBA TBA

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

Indicates that deadline has passed