Learning Abroad Center
A group of students stand in front of a painting of a Thai king, their palms pressed together in the traditional Thai greeting

Hmong Language & Culture in Thailand

Asia & Oceania
LAC Program

Study Hmong language and culture in its transhistorical context of Thailand.

Program Details

Chiang Mai, Thailand
May Session
Languages Taught In
Languages Taught In

Program Eligibility

Student Type
Student Type
UofM Students
Non UofM Students
Student Year
Student Year
Language Prerequisite
Language Prerequisite
Beginning Hmong speaking ability recommended.


Situated in the lush mountainous region of Northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is city that merges ancient with modern. Despite being a large city, the historic center retains a calm and laid back atmosphere. It is surrounded by hundreds of ornate Buddhist temples, countless waterfalls, and and peaceful countryside villages. Chiang Mai is also home to fabulous food and famous markets, and serves as a lovely backdrop to immerse yourself in the Hmong language while interacting with native speakers in the surrounding villages.

The course will focus on the study of Hmong language and culture in its trans-historical context of Thailand. You will gain a deeper understanding of the intricate differences within the Hmong linguistic and cultural diaspora through a comparative approach. You will examine the complexity of Hmong dialects and regional cultural shifts.

Program Model

Study Abroad Center

Housing & Meals

You will live in shared accommodations with other program participants—generally two to four per room. Some meals, including a welcome and farewell meal, are included in the program fee.


Excursions will illuminate the program coursework, and will take place in and around Chiang Mai. Excursions may include: 

  • Hmong Market,
  • fabrics and arts factory,
  • Mae Tang,
  • homestay in Hmong Villages,
  • Ban Vina,
  • Mekong River.


All program participants will take the coordinated group flight to and from the program site. The cost of the group flight is included in the program fee that will be posted to your student account. Do not book your own flight; you will receive information from the Learning Abroad Center about your seat on the group flight once your participation has been confirmed.

This program might allow for a return flight deviation. Connect with your program contact about any inquiries.

NOTE: US passport holders are able to enter and stay in Thailand without a visa for 30 days. This program will run less than 30 days, so you will ONLY need a visa should you wish to remain in the country after the program ends.

Contact the LAC with questions about changing your return plans and any implications concerning visas. It is your responsibility to secure all visas, should they be required.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the differences among Hmong oral traditions and dialects in Thailand, compared to Hmong American practices.
  • Learn important Hmong terminology, used in both formal and informal contexts such as in everyday social settings, and in music, art, and songs.
  • Learn the Hmong historical and cultural roots in the different regions of Thailand, and the dialects associated with various regions.
  • Discover the range of social norms, fashion, art and customs of the Hmong in Thailand, with a comparative eye toward the Hmong in the US.
  • Apply learned Hmong to connect with students and teachers abroad.

Faculty & Staff

This course will be led by Bee Vang-Moua, the Director of Hmong Language Program at the University of Minnesota, who is also a part of the Hmong Women Leadership cohorts in the Twin Cities. Bee led the Moua Women Cohort to China in 2016, the Summer 2018 Hmong Language Immersion & Culture program in China, and the Summer 2019 Hmong Language & Cultural Immersion program in Thailand.

Program Structure

Program Level
3000-level coursework

One 4-credit course

This course has all instruction abroad during May–June 2024.

This seminar is a 4 week study abroad program led by University of Minnesota faculty and staff that features:

  • Intensive learning in a location that illuminates the topic
  • Small groups of 15–25 students
  • Some prerequisites or language requirements
  • Included excursions and cultural activities


This course proposes for students to learn Hmong in its natural setting, where full immersion can aide students in working towards fluency while earning credits which can be used towards a Hmong major or minor. Instructors will work with all student levels. Instruction is oriented towards helping students learn to use the language effectively. All aspects of linguistic performance—speaking, reading, writing and listening—will be addressed.

Students will journal daily, submit video reflections, and write a final paper on Hmong language and culture. Additionally, there will be group projects related to the excursions throughout the program.

Receive credit for: AMES 3773

Prerequisites: Beginning Hmong speaking skills

Fulfills: ALL Hmong Major and Minor elective.

Liberal Education Fulfillments: Global Perspectives

Syllabus for Hmong language Immersion & Culture in China (PDF)

Academic Registration

Confirmed students will be registered for their course by the Learning Abroad Center once registration opens for your term abroad. Make sure you have no holds that would prevent registration.

If you haven't already, communicate with your academic adviser(s) as applicable to review the course for your major, minor, or college requirements. University of Minnesota students should use the Academic Planning Form (PDF), located on your confirmation checklist.

Dates Details

Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:

TermProgram DatesPriority Application Deadline*Final Application Deadline
May Session 2024May 10–June 10, 2024 (Tentative)February 1, 2024March 1, 2024

Program dates are subject to change.

If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

Important Note: Enrollment on this program is limited to 25 students. Admission is granted on a rolling basis and applications are reviewed in the order they are completed. Some programs may fill to capacity prior to the application deadline, therefore applying early is recommended. Additionally, applying early will allow for more time to plan ahead and prepare for the program.

NOTE: US passport holders are able to enter and stay in Thailand without a visa for 30 days. This program will run less than 30 days, so you will ONLY need a visa should you wish to remain in the country after the program ends.

Contact the LAC with questions about changing your return plans and any implications concerning visas. It is your responsibility to secure all visas, should they be required.

Information Sessions

Join in-person or over Zoom. Register and learn more about this and other events on our events page.

Wed., Jan. 2411:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.May & Summer Program Expo
Walter Library Room 101
Fri., Jan. 2612:00 p.m.Online (register for Zoom link)
Thurs., Feb. 112:30 p.m.Online (register for Zoom link)

Orientation Dates & Locations

Orientation will be conducted in 2 parts: an online orientation, which is mandatory for all students, and an in-person, program-specific session. You will receive more information about the online orientation via email. Failure to complete the online orientation will impact your ability to go abroad.

See below for tentative dates and times for your in-person session. You will be notified of the official date and time via email. Participants will receive applicable orientation materials via email approximately 1 week prior to the in-person session.

Term AbroadDate/TimeLocation
May session 2024TBDTBD


May Session 2024 Cost of Participation forthcoming

The cost of participation includes educational costs, group flight airfare, program administration, housing, most meals, international health insurance, entrances to course-related excursions and site visits, and local transportation.

Billed to UofM Student Account:

  • UofM Students: $9,2775
  • Non-UofM Students: $9,775

You must also budget for visa, passport and passport photos, meals not included (most are included), spending money, and miscellaneous living expenses.

Recent increases in international airfare and accommodation costs have impacted all instructor-led program fees. The LAC strives to follow best practices to provide the lowest cost program while ensuring a quality academic experience.

If you do not see a budget estimate for the term you intend to go abroad, the fee has not yet been finalized. We strive to post fees for this program at least 30 days prior to the application deadline. The Learning Abroad Center will delay the posting of some fees until enrollments, inflation and exchange rates are determined. Note the average increase in fees will be 3–10%. Program fees are based on estimates and may change depending on international economic factors.

Billing & Payments

Visit Billing for information about the billing process for application fees, deposits, and program fees.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Visit Financial Information for information on using financial aid and scholarships for study abroad.

Cancellation Policy

Before you apply to or confirm your participation on this program, review the Learning Abroad Center's Cancellation Policy to inform yourself of the timeline and financial obligations for canceling.


Complete pre-application advising.

US Passport holders require a visa to study on this program. In order to obtain a visa, you must have a valid passport. Current US passport processing times are longer than normal. If you do not have a passport, or your passport expires less than 6 months after your return date from your time abroad, apply for a new passport now.

COVID-19 Information

Participants are expected to follow local and governmental COVID-19 guidelines and requirements while abroad. Visit the CDC International Travel website and the LAC COVID Policies page for updated information.

US Consulate in Thailand COVID-19 Information site (current updates on entry/exit and local requirements).

More information can be provided during advising sessions and pre-departure orientation with the program contact in the LAC.


The COVID-19 vaccine series is strongly recommended, pursuant to CDC guidelines, but not required for participation in this program.

You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

Apply Now


After you submit your application, you will receive an email notification confirming that your application was received. Submitted applications are assigned an application checklist, which will include the following items:

  • Application Essay

Detailed descriptions and instructions for submitting each checklist item are included on the application checklist assigned to you.

If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit an additional essay. It will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when it has been added.

Next Steps

  1. After you complete all required application checklist items, you will receive an automated email message indicating your application is ready to be reviewed.
  2. Your completed application will be reviewed by the Learning Abroad Center.
  3. If admitted, the Confirmation & Payment Agreement form will be added to your checklist. Complete this form to secure your spot on the program. By submitting the form, you also give your approval for the program deposit to be billed to your UofM student account.
  4. Complete the confirmation checklist, which include the following items in additional to program-specific forms:
    • Passport Information
    • Emergency Contacts
    • Health Information Form
    • Online Health & Safety Orientation
    • Release & Waiver
  5. You will receive information about additional steps from the sponsoring college/department.

After You Apply

Before your program begins, review these resources.

Health & Safety

Learn more about staying healthy and safe abroad, including mental health and wellness, international travel insurance, and safety precautions.

Power of Attorney

Consider designating someone as your power of attorney to act as your legal representative while you’re abroad.

Student Identity

Consult our resources on student identities as you prepare for your abroad experience.

Travel Resources

Ready to go abroad? Our travel resources will help you pack and learn what to expect.

Program Contact

For further information or questions about this program, send an email to

Kate Meyer or call at 612.626.7535