MSID—International Development in Thailand

MSID—International Development in Thailand

  1. Program Details

    Study international development in Thailand, the only southeast Asian country not colonized by European powers and a hub of manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. The program includes a six-week internship or research project with a grassroots organization focused on entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.

    Location Chiang Mai, Thailand
    Term Fall Semester, Spring Semester
    Housing Homestay
    Credit Type Resident Credit
    Sponsor Learning Abroad Center

    Program Eligibility

    GPA 2.5
    Student Type UofM Students, Non UofM Students
    Student Year Juniors, Seniors
    Language No Language Prerequisite
  3. About MSID—International Development in Thailand

    Learning from experience is the core of Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID). The program puts you in direct contact with the social and economic realities of actual communities and people working within them to address complex problems. Through classes, field trips, and an extended internship or research placement, MSID strives to establish a continual dialogue linking experience with theory and critical analysis. Learn more about the mission and educational philosophy at MSID Philosophy.

    Thailand is the only southeast Asian country not colonized by European powers and a hub of manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism. The program includes a six-week internship or research project with a grassroots organization focused on entrepreneurship, health, human rights, or sustainability.

    About the Center

    The MSID Thailand Center is based at the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI), which has been in Chiang Mai, Thailand, since 1998. ISDSI is staffed by a mix of American, Thai, Karen, and Hmong instructors and support personnel, with a unique, team-based approach to teaching.

    The new sustainably built center's amenities include WiFi, a library, a cafe, a gym, a yoga studio, and an outdoor cafeteria that serves fresh Thai lunches daily.

    The Center's New Home

    Housing & Meals

    You will live with a homestay family during the classroom phase of the program. Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Chiang Mai will have a second homestay placement. Students who choose an internship or research placement in Chiang Mai will have a second homestay or can decide to stay in local apartments

    Homestay families provide breakfast and dinner daily; you will be responsible for providing your own lunches. Host families can typically accommodate a variety of dietary needs, but if you have severe food allergies and/or restrictions, contact the program team prior to applying. Students who decide to stay in the apartments will be responsible for all of their meals. 

    Homestays are an integral component of the learning experience and often a highlight for participants. Your family provides not only housing, breakfast, and dinner but also a vital connection to Thai culture. Nearly all families have hosted program participants before and have been chosen for their genuine interest in sharing Thai life with an MSID program participant.

    Students who choose an internship or research placement outside of Chiang Mai will have a second homestay placement. Those who choose to stay in Chiang Mai can choose a second homestay or an apartment. Students in homestays will receive breakfast and dinner; students in apartments are responsible for their own meals.


    Although excursions change from semester to semester, students can expect to visit a variety of sites that may include local markets, development agencies, and areas of interest around Chiang Mai.   


    The Learning Abroad Center works with Village Travel, a local travel agency, to arrange a coordinated flight for program participants. The flight is optional, and is arranged for those who want to fly with other program participants. Group flight information is typically available by the program application deadline, if not before.

    Ground transportation from the Chiang Mai International Airport (airport code: CNX) into Chiang Mai is provided by our partner organization and the cost is included in the program fee. The transportation schedule aligns with the group flight arrival time. Our partner organization comes to the airport once to collect everyone.

    Therefore, you can either book a ticket on the coordinated group flight, or book a flight independently that arrives prior to the group flight's arrival. If you arrive late and miss the group, you may be responsible for arranging and paying for your own transportation into the city.

    For immigration purposes, you should purchase a round-trip ticket, since you must be able to show your entry and exit dates from Thailand. You should also not enter the country more than 7 days prior to the start of the program. 

    Learning Outcomes

    • Foster an understanding of the global context through classroom and experiential learning
    • Cultivate awareness and appreciation for development issues through engagement with diverse communities
    • Translate insights gained into thoughtful and respectful long-term perspectives on concepts of social justice and sustainable development
    • Strengthen communication skills through acquisition of local languages and cultural awareness
    • Gain cross-cultural competencies through extended engagement at a local grassroots organization

    Faculty & Staff

    A team of dedicated local staff based in Chiang Mai work to ensure that your MSID experience is safe, academically enriching, and rewarding. All MSID courses are taught by Thai faculty who are experts in their fields.

    MSID Thailand staff

    Mark A. Ritchie, Ph.D., Resident Director

    Ajaan Mark has lived in Thailand for over 20 years, working with local communities, international development work, as well as international education. Originally from the United States, Mark studied the transition of agrarian rural communities in Northern Thailand, and has been involved in project evaluation and assessment, participatory development research, and training of local communities in Asia. He is the Executive Director of the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI).  He founded ISDSI with his wife, Dana E.C. Ritchie, over 15 years ago, and is currently working on empowering local communities through international education.

    Supawadee "A" Chimmanee, Associate Director

    Ajaan A works with ISDSI as an Associate Director, assisting in planning, coordinating, and evaluating the MSID Thailand program. She also trains American students about Thai culture, including social and development issues in Thailand. Ms. Chimmanee has a BA in English from Srinakarinwirot University and is working toward an MA in Human and Environmental Management from Chiang Mai University, with a master’s thesis on the network model of natural resources management rights claim. In the past, she worked as a trainer and instructor for the Peace Corps Volunteers and as a project coordinator and in-country consultant for a number of nongovernment NGOs. 

    Angkarin "Tik" Pimpaeng, Associate Director

    Ajaan Tik works with ISDSI as an Associate Director assisting in planning, coordinating, and evaluating the MSID Thailand program. She holds a MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Wheaton College. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been working with international education since 2010 and uses her background in mental health counseling to provide support for students onsite.  

    Wanlee Kongnim, MSID Coordinator

    Pi Wanlee works with ISDSI as the MSID Coordinator, serving as a main point person for students on the program. Prior to working with ISDSI, she worked on expanding access to counseling and testing for HIV/ADIS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis. 

    About the Learning Abroad Center

    Learning Abroad Center programs are:

    • Affordable: our programs are cost effective.
    • Academically strong: many programs have strong University of Minnesota departmental support and offer pre-approved courses for many majors.
    • Culturally rich: regardless of the program you choose, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture.
    • Expertly managed: our staff in Minnesota and abroad are trained professionals and are always available to answer your questions from extensive pre-departure advising and online orientations to reentry programming. Your safety and well-being are paramount, and we work hard to ensure you have a rewarding and safe experience abroad.
  4. Program Structure

    Program Type Field Study, Study Abroad Center
    Program Level 3000–4000 level courses

    You are required to take 16 credits for fall or spring semester


    MSID Timeline Chart

    Spend 7 weeks engaged in coursework in Chiang Mai, followed by 6 weeks working as an intern or conducting a research project with a local grassroots organization. MSID students enroll in 4 required courses, including an internship or research project:

    • Historical & Political Context of Thailand
    • International Development
      Choose a theme to focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project. See theme descriptions for more information.

      • Entrepreneurship
      • Health
      • Human Rights
      • Sustainability

    Internships and Research Projects

    The internship or research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program. Your placement will be with an organization engaged in grassroots work related to your chosen international development theme.

    During the classroom phase, the on-site staff will review your interests and attempt to place you with an organization whose goals match your objectives. Most requests within a general field can be accommodated, but adjustments may be made based on availability. You will work at least 25 hours each week. Details about the internship and research process are in the Program Handbook.

    See a description of past internship and research placements. The chart below will help you differentiate between an internship and a research placement. 

    Theme Internship Example Research Example
    Entrepreneurship Meet with micro loan applicants and review loan application materials Analyze the loan repayment rate at a microfinance organization
    Health Provide support to health care professionals in a small regional hospital or clinic Survey the hospital’s education and outreach plan to address local health disparities
    Human Rights Provide support to an organization that provides job skill training for women

    Analyze the wage gap between men and women in various sectors of the local economy

    Sustainability Participate in an agroforestry project in collaboration with an organization that focuses on sustainability Compare and contrast local and national research on the environmental impact of agroforestry programs
  5. Fall or Spring Semester Curriculum

    The semester courses and syllabi are outlined below; all courses are taught by local faculty. Students will select one course option from each of the four headings below for a total of 16 credits. Your selections will be indicated on your Academic Information form found on your confirmation checklist. Through the coursework and the internship or research project, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of the complex and diverse nature of international development in Thailand.

    Historical & Political Context

    All students will be enrolled in this interdisciplinary course, designed to provide context to your time in Thailand.

    Historical & Political Context of Thailand
    THAI 4101
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course explores the history of modernization, conditions of social transition, and current issues that characterize Thailand and influence relationships among various social groups. Students will enhance their understanding of the process of modernization and multi-level adjustment of Thai society in different historical contexts. Cultural diversity, political transition, and economic development are integral in analyzing and understanding these topics.

    Syllabus for Historical & Political Context of Thailand

    International Development

    This course begins with 20 hours of common discussion on international development. From there, the course will be divided into the below themes. This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.

    International Development: Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Food Systems
    THAI 4002
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will pay particular attention to how farmers, businesses, entrepreneurs engage in the process of agricultural and entrepreneurial development and how this development impacts food systems. Given the importance of agricultural-related production to northern Thailand, this course will focus on community support agriculture; the growing, processing, and production of coffee, tea, and chocolate (cacao) in northern Thailand; growth of fair trade/fair work cafes; sustainable agricultural practices and community supported agriculture; and community-based agrotourism.

    Syllabus for Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Food Systems

    International Development: OneHealth: Humans, Animals, & Environment
    THAI 4003
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will focus on the concept of “One Health”—integrating the health sciences so that health is understood as a broader concept rather than a narrow disciplinary focus. Topics discussed in this course will include public health; health education within local communities; veterinary and animal care; the relationship between human health and animal health; rural clinics and local urban hospitals; and traditional medicine.

    Syllabus for OneHealth

    International Development: Human Rights & Marginalized Communities
    THAI 4001
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will focus on human rights and marginalized communities within Thailand, with an emphasis on communities in the northern portion of the country. Subject matter in this course will focus on how to best work with and serve vulnerable populations, in particular working on citizenship and orphan/vulnerable children, as well as human trafficking, disabilities, migrant workers, and LGBT issues in the Thai context, as well as minority issues, especially with the hill tribes of northern Thailand.

    Syllabus for Human Rights & Marginalized Communities

    International Development: Sustainable Architecture & Design
    THAI 4004
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will examine sustainable architecture and design practices in Thailand. Topics that will be discussed in this course include vernacular architecture, sustainable product design, urban planning, alternative/green power sources , sustainable engineering, and sustainable and alternative architecture. Students will learn how design can be used in development to support sustainability, especially in the built and manufactured environment, drawing on culturally and ecologically appropriate design principles.

    Syllabus for Sustainable Architecture & Design


    Beginning and advanced beginning courses are available. Students with intermediate or advanced knowledge of Thai should contact LAC staff to discuss potential options. Select the one that corresponds to your language level.

    Beginning Thai I
    THAI 1001
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    Thai language course provides skills and knowledge about Thai language and culture. This courseuses a competency- based approach and is designed for beginners for whom Thai is a foreign language. This course emphasizes speaking, listening and reading skills. Writing is integrated in the lesson in order to enhance reading and practicing writing specific phrases guided by homework assignments.

    Thai language course provides fundamental skills for students to practice and build vocabulary focusing on everyday phrases as well as vocabulary that may be useful at their internship sites. The topics and skills of each week can be flexible depending on students’ progress. As speaking and listening skills are emphasized, assessment will include comprehensive oral examination at the end of classroom phase.

    Syllabus for Beginning Thai I

    Internship or Research

    After completing the three courses above, you will spend six weeks with a local organization completing an internship or research project. Your placement will correspond with the theme you chose in the International Development course.

    Internship in Thailand
    THAI 4896
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course provides a cross-cultural experience of working on various development issues with a regional nonprofit organization. The course focuses on guiding students to understand their own identity as they integrate theory with reality by participation in local development sites. Students are prepared for entering into their community work through discussions on stakeholder and agency analysis, culture specific gender and diversity context, and power and privilege. The students are urged to play an active role in their internships by providing suggestions, solutions, discussing alternatives and investigating all areas of their internship placement to garner a holistic experience on the realities of development work. Through practical internship experiences as well as readings, discussions, and written assignments, students will deepen their understanding of the host-country cultural context, development work from an international perspective, and critically examine their own worldview.

    Syllabus for Internship in Thailand

    Research in Thailand
    THAI 4201
    Fall, Spring
    4 Credits

    This course will introduce the MSID student to: various research concepts and practices; experience decisions involved in research regarding selection of topic and title for their study, developing statements of problems and choice of research questions, appropriate research design; issues related to research ethics and; develop their skills in choosing data collection instruments and analysis of the data they collect for their research. It does this by introducing various topics in the research cycle and providing a forum in which students can share with one another their research experience at each stage of the process.

    Syllabus for Research in Thailand

    Optional Online Course

    Global Identity
    OLPD 3332
    1 credit
    Global Identity: Connecting Your International Experience with Your Future is an optional 1-credit online course that helps you process your international experience and apply what you've learned upon your return.  Global Identity gives you the opportunity to work individually with a trained cultural mentor, helping you articulate your newly acquired skills and differentiating you from your peers.

    This course is offered at no additional cost on programs six weeks or longer. The Learning Abroad Center will email out registration instructions, or you may contact a program team member.

    Syllabus for Global Identity (PDF)

  6. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Rights, Sustainability). 

    Internships involve participation in and observation of the daily activities of a local agency. You will put into practice the theories you learned in the classroom. 

    Below are examples of past students’ internships:


    • Assist with organizations that are training people to start and develop a small business
    • Work in rural co-ops helping market locally produced goods and crafts
    • Help with marketing the products of rural communities
    • Work with organizations who are working to fund and develop small businesses for people in rural areas
    • Get involved in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group and help promote farmer-to-consumer links
    • Work in a local seed bank conserving heirloom seeds and indigenous crops
    • Practice and learn organic agriculture in upland and lowland communities


    • Assist in the preparations of medical supplies for relief organizations that serve refugees
    • Provide support at a home that serves children of families with HIV
    • Collect information regarding traditional medical plant remedies that are used among indigenous people
    • Help train community health workers by supporting staff of a relief organization that strives to provide health infrastructure for struggling communities
    • Work with a relief organization with a focus on an HIV prevention project with migrants in Thailand
    • Assisting in building mobile health clinics that will be used to improve the health of populations of internally displaced people

    Human Rights

    • Work with pre-school programs for ethnic minority children who live in rural hill tribes
    • Assist and tutor students who are writing about environmental issues
    • Work with organizations that are helping young girls who have been trafficked or are at risk of being trafficked
    • Help human rights advocates on minority and refugee rights, statelessness and citizenship
    • Work in a center focused on assisting young men and boys working in the red light district
    • Be involved in rural education programs aimed at reducing child trafficking
    • Work with upland tribal communities promoting Community Based Tourism to educate international visitors about local culture
    • Help develop culturally appropriate curriculum for rural an minority communities
    • Work with migrant students and children from around Southeast Asia
    • Teach English in a local school or NGO project


    • Learn how sustainable elements of vernacular architecture and how to use non-traditional materials in sustainable design at an architecture firm
    • Assist with research on renewable energy that is suitable for Thailand
    • Learn and live about self-sufficiency and sustainability but living with local Karen communities
    • Intern with a university/NGO partnership forest nursery and reforestation project
    • Research plant species that are suitable for reforestation
    • Work with communities that are ready to reforest by sharing knowledge and follow up with reforestation
    • Help build and set up solar system to communities or organizations that request
    • Work with communities on setting up and documenting successful community forest activities
  7. As an MSID student, you will complete a research project or participate in an internship for six weeks. In either option, you will be placed with a local organization related to the theme you chose for the International Development course (Entrepreneurship, Health, Human Services, Sustainability). 

    A research project involves a systematic investigation of a specific topic, question, hypothesis, or theory. You will conduct research under the guidance of a project supervisor from the MSID program and a local organization. 

    Below are examples of past students’ research projects: 

    • The Thai Approach to Maternal and Child Healthcare: Through the Lens of a Sub-District Hospital
    • International Limits: LGBTQ Stigma and Discrimination in Thailand
    • Policy Implementation of Land Use: Kor Tor Chor (KCT) in Mae Jam, Thailand
    • Reducing Disability Related to Physical Independence in Frail Adults over 65: Mae Sa Clinic
    • NGOs Effectiveness in Fostering the Needs of Statelessness in Thailand
    • The Prevalence and Impact of Cosmetic Medical Tourism in Northern Thailand

    Human Subjects Reasearch

    The governments of the United States and MSID countries have laws protecting human subjects of research. Due to the timeline for gaining the necessary permissions for doing research with human subjects, such research cannot be conducted while abroad on LAC program. However, there are still a wide variety of projects, that include interaction with people, that are available. See more information on options for Undergraduate Research Abroad.

    Research Funding (for UofM students)

    The Learning Abroad Center offers a number of programs (including all MSID programs) that include research opportunities and are eligible for the Learning Abroad Center’s International UROP scholarship of $2,500 (available to UofM students only). Learn more about IUROP funding.

  8. Select one of the four themes for your International Development course.  This theme will focus your studies and prepare you for your internship or research project.


    Entrepreneurship looks different in each cultural context. Examine the history, development, challenges, opportunities, and role of business and microfinance in the economic and social development of the local community. The theme includes an analysis of informal sector enterprises, the role of social entrepreneurship, and an overview of key aspects of microfinance. 


    Examine health care systems, the management and prevention of disease, and the philosophical approaches to health care, including the role of traditional medicine, through this theme. Specific topics for discussion may include holistic health, women’s and children’s health, public health, animal health, and rural vs. urban health care facilities. 

    Human Rights

    Understand how human rights are legislated and regulated at the policy level, as well as how they are implemented at the grass roots level. In particular, this theme will consider the impact on the most vulnerable members of society, including women, children, indigenous groups, people with disabilities, and homeless, migrant, and elderly populations. 


    Investigate the relationship between environmental and natural resources challenges and the local community. This theme may cover critical issues, biodiversity, sustainable food and water sources, responsible agricultural practices, design practices, natural resource utilization and management, climate change, wildlife management, and sustainable development.

  9. Dates & Deadlines

    Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
    Program Term App Open Date Deadline*
    Fall 2021 Dec 1 May 1
    Fall students depart from the US Aug 26
    Fall students arrival in Chiang Mai Aug 27
    Classroom phase ends Oct 22
    Fall break period Oct 23 – 29
    Internship phase begins Nov 1
    Internship phase ends Dec 10
    Final seminar begins Dec 13
    Last day of program Dec 17
    Depart from Chiang Mai Dec 18 – 19
    Spring 2022 May 1 Oct 15
    Spring students depart the US Mid-January
    Spring students arrival date in Chiang Mai Mid-January
    Classroom phase ends Mar 11
    Spring break begins Mar 12
    Spring break ends Mar 18
    Internship phase begins Mar 21
    Internship phase ends Apr 29
    Final seminar begins May 2
    Last day of program May 6
    Departure day May 7 – 8

    Program dates are tentative due to COVID-19 arrival procedures. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.

    *Program dates are subject to change. Contact the LAC for verification of dates before purchasing your airfare.
    **If the deadline falls on a weekend, submit your materials on the following business day.

    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 Abroad Date/Time Location
    Fall 2021 TBD TBD
  10. Fees for MSID—International Development in Thailand

    University of Minnesota participants pay the program fee instead of on-campus tuition and fees for the term they are abroad.

    Spring 2021 Program Fees


    Fall 2021 Program Fees


    Note that due to additional measures brought about as a result of COVID-19, the cost of participation has increased from previous semesters.

    Fees or tuition from home institutions may be added to or differ from the University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center fees listed on this page.

    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.

    Bridging Loan

    Bridging Loan, a no-interest/no-fees loan that funds the upfront deposit and flights costs, is available for this program for eligible students.

    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.
  11. Center Name TC Learning Abroad Ctr
    Education Abroad Term See Program Dates for track options
    Program Name MSID Thailand
    Track Name See Program Dates for track options
    Country Thailand


    May & Summer Programs – University of Minnesota Students

    Use your University of Minnesota internet ID and password to log into the Education Abroad application system. Your student account will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now

    May & Summer Programs – Non-University of Minnesota Students

    Once you submit your application, Learning Abroad Center staff will create a University of Minnesota student internet account for you. You will use this account to access the Education Abroad Application System, and other University of Minnesota services. You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Our staff will contact you within 2–3 business days with your internet account information, and additional application instructions.

    Apply Now

    Fall 2021 & Beyond Programs – All students

    All students, both UofM and Non-UofM should use this apply button if applying for a program Fall 2021 or beyond (academic year, winter break etc.). You will be charged a $50 application fee for each application you submit.

    Apply Now


    Complete Checklist Items

    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:

    • Resume
    • Statement of Purpose
    • Academic Recommendation

    Additional Items Required for non-UofM Students:

    • Transcript
    • Home Institution Nomination

    If you do not meet the GPA requirement for this program you will be required to submit two additional application items- the Low GPA Essay and Special Circumstances Recommendation.  Both items will be added to your checklist after you start your application, and you will be notified when they have been added.

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

    Application Review Process

    After your application checklist is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. If accepted, you will be assigned an acceptance checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.

  12. Passport

    You will need a passport to enter and exit Thailand. Your passport must be valid for the entire duration of your program. If you have not already obtained your passport, apply for one immediately. Information about applying for a passport can be found on the US Department of State's website.

    Visa Application Instructions

    MSID Thailand participants should apply for a single-entry, non-immigrant educational visa through the Royal Thai Honorary Consulate General in Portland. The Learning Abroad Center will send an invitation letter directly to the honorary consulate. You can download the application from the Consulate's Visa Application page or use this partially completed visa application. See detailed directions and a checklist. Follow each of the detailed steps one by one, paying special attention to what must be included in the package you send to the Thai Consulate. Use the checklist on the instruction sheet to ensure you aren't missing anything. If you have questions, contact the Learning Abroad Center MSID program team.

    Visa and Flights

    It is important to note that your student visa will only allow you to enter on the official program start date and stay only an additional 7 days after the official program end date. 


    You should begin the application process 60 days prior to the official program arrival date and your application should be submitted no later than 45 days in advance of the official program arrival date. Students who apply for their visa after this date are not eligible for financial assistance with travel change fees. You must enter Thailand within 90 days from the date of issue of the Visa.  Do not send your application to the consulate more than 90 days before you intend to enter Thailand.

  13. Program Contact

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

    Ryan McCarthy or call at 612.626.9373.

  14. Contact Program Alum

    Catlyn Christie is a Program Assistant for the MSID Thailand program. She is a senior majoring Public/Nonprofit Management and Human Resources & Industrial Relations and minoring in Sustainability Studies. She studied abroad on the MSID Thailand in Spring 2017 and was in the Susutainability & the Environment track. While abroad, she interned at a rural agriculture village where she learned about organic farming. She loved always being surrounded by such beautiful, lush landscapes and finding vibrant flowers and fruit trees at every turn. Her advice to future students: "Take full advantage of opportunities that help you build relationships with local Thai students. You'll make new friends and learn about the culture from a unique perspective while doing so." 

    Lauren Kraft is a Program Assistant for the MSID Thailand program. She is majoring in Family Social Science with minors in Sociology and Sustainability Studies. She studied abroad on the MSID Thailand in Spring 2017 and was in the Social Services track. While abroad, she interned at a children's shelter in rural Northern Thailand learning about human trafficking and what is being done to combat it through the shelter. Lauren loved the relaxed pace of life, how deeply important relationship building is to Thai people, and how every day was an adventure. Her advice to future students is: "Grasp every opportunity that comes your way, no matter your preconceived notion or how far you may be pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. Some of my best memories involve saying 'yes' and pushing myself to trying all sorts of new things."

    Below is a list of additional students who participated in past program sessions. They are ready and willing to answer your questions about this program. Feel free to contact them during your decision-making process or anytime during your pre-departure preparation to get a student perspective.


    Noah B— Architecture major, Spring 2017, Sustainability & the Environment track

Program Handbook Program Orientation Visa Information

COVID-19 Update

This program was canceled for spring semester 2021 due to COVID-19.

University of Minnesota students participating in a research project on this program may be eligible for the International Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (I-UROP) Scholarship