Upland plant propagation - Leah learns traditional splicing techniques - UHDP organic farm, Fang.
About Us

About Us

The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI) is a recognized leader in innovative study-abroad programs.

In 2005 ISDSI’s People Environment and Development program was recognized as one of three “best practice” programs by the Institute of International Education (IIE) Andrew Heiskell Awards, and in 2006 was nominated as a UNESCO Centre of Excellence.

ISDSI developed the People, Ecology and Development program with Kalamazoo College, widely recognized as one of the top schools in the US for study abroad, and ranked #1 for its study abroad programs in US News & World Report 2003 America’s Best Colleges.

ISDSI has also achived recognition for leading the field of study-abroad in risk management, with published papers and participation in international conferences on risk management, including our paper on “The Objective Hazards of Culture” from the 2004 NOLS/OB/SCA Wilderness Risk Management Conference and “Risk Management in Study Abroad” in Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, Vol. 9, 2003 (available online or as a download).

Who we are as an organization

The International Sustainable Development Studies Institute (ISDSI) began as an initiative of the Center for International Programs at Kalamazoo College. The Institute exists to help develop experiential educational programs with other schools, organizations or groups. In addition to our core semester length program, People Environment and Development, we also host a number of short term (multi-week) study-abroad, service-learning and related programs.

ISDSI is a part of The Foundation for Experiential Learning, a non-profit educational foundation established¬† in Thailand to help support the development of innovative experiential learning internationally.¬†While Northern Thailand remains our base, ISDSI Expedition Field Courses take place throughout Thailand–from remote islands in the Andaman sea to remote tribal villages in the mountains.

What Others Say

ISDSI is committed to excellence and accountability and has invited reviews from the National Outdoor Leadership School, the School for Field Studies and our academic partners in colleges and universities.

Molly Doran (Global Operations Director, NOLS), from a National Outdoor Leadership School review of ISDSI:

“The students I spoke with said the program exceeded expectations… this program has strong, creative and capable leadership and is professionally managed… It would be impossible to list all the things ISDSI is doing well or soundly as they are lengthy. I was impressed with the program and will recommend it to others.”

Bill Fredrick (Safety Director), School for Field Studies:

“I wish to compliment you on your program. The risk management was heads and shoulders above what most of study abroad is doing. Also, after spending several days of sitting in on program debriefs, reviewing documents and interviewing staff and students, my impression was that the program is outstanding… Far from the “party” caricature so common in study abroad, these students were humble, earnest and very thoughtful about their experiences. “