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Chiang Mai, Thailand

Offered Fall, Spring, or Summer Terms

Susan Alt and Zoe Muelheip Thailand 2015

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 conversation.  The rest of the students’ schedules will be filled with a range of elective courses to choose from taught in English by CMU faculty. Elective courses are generally offered in the following subject areas: Sociology/Anthropology, Religion, Global Health, History/Political Science, and Economics.

This program offers optional field trips, excursions, and cultural activities throughout the semester which provide students the opportunity to learn even more about Thailand and Thai culture, some of which have an added cost.

Cost of the program

To participate in the program, students pay Simpson tuition plus a program fee of between $3,900 – $4,400.  In addition, students are responsible for covering their accommodations in a shared off-campus apartment and their meal expenses (combined, these are estimated to be approximately $1,600 for the semester).  Students are also responsible for their air transportation costs to and from Chiang Mai (approximately $1,400 – $1,600 from Des Moines).


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 Nov. 6, 2020 for a Fall 2021 program or by Apr. 2, 2021 for a Spring 2022 program.  An application includes:

Thai Cooking Class

  • Creating an account on the 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 SC Connect portal:

  • a copy of your Simpson College degree audit.  Once you’ve obtained your degree audit on your SC Connect portal, 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 Director of International Education.
Thailand Waterfall

Students will be notified of their status in the Thailand program within two weeks of the
application deadline.  A second deposit payment of $300 will be due by Mar. 15 or Oct. 15 of the semester prior to the student's semester in Thailand.

Final program fee payment is due to be paid with semester tuition prior to departing the U.S. for the student's semester abroad.

For more information, contact:

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