Spring 2015

Study Abroad - Elephants ThailandThe program will be based at Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Sociology Professor Lora Friedrich will direct the program.

Simpson students will join other international students participating in this program operated by USAC (a consortium of US colleges and universities) in conjunction with Chiang Mai University (CMU) and its faculty to learn about Thailand, Thai language, Thai culture, and other relevant topics.   All students will take three credits of Thai language, and then have the choice of a number of elective courses to choose from taught by CMU faculty. Elective courses are generally offered in the following subject areas: Sociology/Anthropology, Religion, History/Political Science, and Economics.  Professor Friedrich will offer the elective course, “Sex for Sale” as one of the options students on the program can choose from.  Professor Friedrich will also lead a 2-credit reflection course (required of all Simpson students in the program), which will allow students to debrief and help each other better understand the cross-cultural experiences they are having.

Study Abroad Thailand Kelly Hein Cooking

Kelly Hein is cooking while on an excursion to a Northern Thai hill tribe community.

This program offers field trips, excursions, and cultural activities throughout the semester which provide students the opportunity to learn even more about Thailand and Thai culture.

Cost of the program

To participate in the program, students pay Simpson tuition, room and board plus a program fee of $2,000.  In addition, students are also responsible for covering their air transportation costs to and from Chiang Mai (approximately $1,600 from Des Moines).


Students must take a one-credit hour orientation course during the fall semester preceding the semester in Thailand. Students must also have a grade point average of at least 2.5 both at the time of application for the program, and at the time of departure in order to be able to study abroad.

To apply for admission into the program, students should complete the online application, and upload all of the required documents by Monday, September 22, 2014.  An application includes:

  • Creating an account on the new online application system, and then completing the online application process on that site.
  • Writing a one to two page personal statement explaining why you’re interested in this semester program and how it fits into your educational goals.
  • Providing the names and contact information for two people who could serve as references (neither of whom are related to you and at least one should be a Simpson professor) on your skills, abilities, and character.

Then, upload the following to your Simpson Storm Front account:

  • a copy of your Simpson College degree audit.  Once you’ve obtained your degree audit on your StormFront account, right click within the web browser and “Select All”. Then right click again and select “Copy”. Open a new document in Microsoft Word and change the orientation to Landscape. Then Right click in the document to “Paste” the Degree Audit into the new Word document. Save this document as a .pdf file by selecting “PDF” from the “Save file type” drop down menu which is located below the file name.  Then upload the file
  • a copy of the data page from your passport, if you already have it, but if you don’t already have a passport, then upload a copy of your completed passport application (with your SSN blacked out). Please note: you are not required to submit that completed passport application, the supporting documentation or the associated processing fee to the Warren County Recorder’s Office or any other passport application processing site until you’ve received notification that you have been accepted into a travel course.
  • Proof that you’ve made a $200 non-refundable deposit to the Simpson College Business Office.  This deposit is applied to the program cost, upon acceptance to the program, and will be credited back to the student’s account should they not be accepted into the program.
  • When you submit your completed application materials, you will be asked to sign up for a 15-minute interview with the Program Director and the Director of International Education.

Students will be notified of their status in the Thailand program within a week of submitting their complete application materials.  A second deposit payment of $300 will be due by Oct. 15, 2014.

Final program payment is due to be paid with Spring Semester tuition, room, and board by January 2, 2015.

For more information, contact:

Lora Friedrich
Professor of Sociology
(515) 961-1646,


Jay Wilkinson 
Director of International Education
Simpson College
701 North C Street
Indianola, IA 50125
(515) 961-1288
toll free (800) 362-2454, ext. 1288