Rationale

Generation Study Abroad (GSA) is an initiative launched in 2014 by the Institute of International Education (IIE) to mobilize resources and commitments with the goal of doubling the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade.
In 2018, the Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC), Thailand as a country partner of GSA Program together with seven Thai universities, namely Chiang Mai University, Prince of Songkla University, Suranaree University of Technology, King Mongkut’s University of Technology North Bangkok, Rajamangala University of Technology Isan, Kasem Bundit University, and Siam University, started the Thailand Short Course entitled “Thai Community in Globalized Context” as a pilot program to broaden international education experiences of U.S. students.
The 30-day course offers students not only a chance to learn what Thailand is good at but also to perceive cultural diversity or “Thainess” in Thai society. Students can learn about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Sufficiency Economy Philosophy (SEP) and the Royal Projects of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Besides, the visit to natural and tourist attractions and experiencing local wisdom and Thai way of life such as Thai food and traditional handicrafts, are also included in the program activities.
The pilot program in 2018 was a good start and accomplished the goal of the program. Thailand, therefore, will continue the 2nd year of the program to welcome more participants from both U.S. and Thai partners to enhance our students’ perspective and knowledge as described in the program, and eventually their understanding in the cultural diversity and globalization. Moreover, we hope to strengthen collaboration between U.S. and Thai higher education institutions through the program and our students’ network.

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