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International Sustainable Development Studies Institute Programs

Thailand

People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program

On this ISDSI program, the expedition field is your classroom! Traveling from remote hill tribe villages in Northern Thailand to the southern islands, you will be immersed...

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Thailand

Elephants, Culture and Ecology - Thailand

Join ISDSI's five-week summer program and have the opportunity to study elephants in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Highly intelligent, elephants have been significant in both Thai...

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International Sustainable Development Studies Institute Reviews

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    7

A memorable and formative experience

My time at ISDSI as a student was one of the most memorable and formative experiences in my undergraduate studies. The program taught me how to look at the world and examine its issues not just critically, but through multiple lenses as well. By immersion into a new language and culture, I learned how local people approached their issues in a way different from my own home culture. This kind of experience prepared me not only for a wonderful and powerful experience in Peace Corps in another part of the world but also helped me to become a better global citizen in general. I would highly recommend this program to anyone looking to push their comfort zone and explore the world in a deeper way.

Program: People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program

Overall Rating

9 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    7

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    9

You must do this program

This was an amazing experience that I will never forget and encourage everyone considering to apply for. The language and culture immersion was amazing, the host families and field instructors were awesome, and the locations and courses were better than I could have hoped for. Overall this was an amazing program and I am really happy I didn't choose any other program. I think every college student should have an immersive learning experience like the one that ISDSI offers. Initially I was concerned that my Thai language skills would feel useless. But that is what allowed me to learn the most from local instructors and from my host families, and even though I don't use it now I think it's what contributed most to my education with ISDSI. Be aware that a lot of the villages and home stays will be with Christian Thais, not Buddhist or animist ones like you may expect. Many of the organizations ISDSI works with and the majority of the staff are Christian as well. This is not mentioned on the website but it's good to know before you go. The internship experience was not great but the program was excellent.

Program: People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    8

ISDSI Thailand

ISDSI's strong focus on language competency and cross-cultural understanding provided a foundation for effective learning and rewarding, memorable experiences. The relationships with local people I made as a student 4 years ago continue to remain central to my most memorable moments on study abroad.

Program: People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

    8

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

something for everyone

ISDSI has an amazing program for students interested in development, social issues, environmental issues, biology, anthropology/sociology, outdoor ed/recreation, sustainable agriculture, and more! Each course looks at a different environmental and social issue in Thailand, giving you hands on experience. This is not a study abroad program where you just take classes at another university. You take "classes" from nationals in a remote village, or from a government official in a National Park or district office, or from a NGO worker at their project. Regardless of your background/major, ISDSI prepares you to excel not only in field courses, but also in Thai culture. While unconventional teaching methods can be difficult to adjust to, what you learn is much more valuable and is (in my opinion) much more than if you were to just take classes at a university.

Program: People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program

Overall Rating

10 / 10

  • Academics

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  • Living Situation

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  • Cultural Immersion

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  • Program Administration

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Studying with ISDSI was the highlight of...

Studying with ISDSI was the highlight of my college academics. The broad scope of the program allowed me to further my understanding of environmental science, making it more concrete, and it also stretched me as I had to match my science background with cultural studies. ISDSI covers a lot of aspects of sustainable development, but the instructors are intentional about allowing the students to explore concepts individually and work as a foundational framework and guide for this exploration. All of this, combined with travel, remote homestays, language instruction, and outdoor adventure made for an unforgettable experience.

Program: People, Ecology and Development Immersion Program