The final step of rubber production - Erin runs sheets of latex through a hand powered press - Libong Island, Trang.

Study Abroad in Thailand!

Academically challenging and intensely experiential, ISDSI programs are expeditions into the cultures and ecology of Thailand. Each hands-on course is focused on understanding sustainable development and is designed in collaboration with local communities.

Integrating both the social and natural sciences, on our courses students may work on an organic farm alongside villagers while learning about agroecosystems, backpack on remote forest trails in the mountains with upland people in order to study indigenous forest management or sea kayak to learn about oceans, reefs and fishing communities.

Components of the semester in Thailand include:

  • Home stays: An initial 5 week home stay with a Thai family in Chiang Mai.  Following this, students will often be in home stays on-course, in the villages where the courses take place. These include Northern Thai, Karen hill tribe, Southern Thai, and other cultures.
  • Independent living: After the home stay, students move into apartments and stay there while in Chiang Mai for the seminars and internship portions of their coursework.
  • Expedition travel: Our programs contain a significant component of expedition travel, including hiking, backpacking and sea kayaking.
  • Field research: Both natural science methods and survey methods from the social sciences are used in ISDSI courses.  Students may be doing a field experiment or biodiversity survey one day, and the next interviewing farmers or fishermen about their livelihood the next.
  • Language immersion: A core component of the program is intensive Thai language study — using small classrooms with hands on and interactive learning while in Chiang Mai, and required field use of Thai while on the courses. Students come out of the program with a solid working knowledge of Thai.


Now accepting applications for SPRING SEMESTER 2015!

Apply for Spring 2015, People, Ecology and Development program or our new Spring 2015 Sustainable Architecture and Design program! Deadlines for Spring Semester: October 12, early application deadline September 12.

To apply please email for an application.


March 14th, 2014

Organic Farming and Mae Ta Village

After spending time with Upland Holistic Development Project in Chiang Dao and Fang for 10 days, the students headed to Mae Tae village for the last five days of the agroecology course.  Mae Ta is known for organic farming, forest conservation and its co-op, and it was great for the students to see a village [...]

February 27th, 2014

Fair Earth Farm Day Trip and Duck Tractors

The phrase “Duck Tractor” is not one you will find in the index of a college textbook. However, it’s a key factor for many farmers who practice sustainable agriculture and permaculture.  So, what is it? A “duck tractor” is the use of ducks to prepare and maintain rice fields.  The ducks are used between planting [...]

February 17th, 2014

Farewells, Zip-lining Through the Canopy and More

  After moving into the apartments on Friday, the students had an early morning on Saturday as they joined with ISDSI staff and a couple hundred people for a 5km fun run that raises funds to help people in the conflict areas of Burma.  They each crossed the finish line with a smile and feeling [...]

February 9th, 2014

Hands-on Learning at a Tilapia Fish Farm

It’s not every day you get to learn about breeding Tilapia fish, and then help in harvesting fish eggs only to finish the day off with catching fish in order to move them to a new breeding pond. However, this is what class looked like for ISDSI students on Friday! The morning started with meeting [...]

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