Want to hang out with elephants?
Want to find out why sanuk (to enjoy; have fun; strive to achieve pleasure from whatever one does) is such an important concept in Thailand?
Thailand is an amazing country and Chiang Mai is an especially fantastic city with sooooo much to offer its lucky visitors.
“Thailand is my favorite country on Earth for a number of reasons. The stunning beauty of the place, amazing food, low cost of living and friendly locals all make for a dream destination.” — Ryan Biddulph
Soci 180: Hands on Thailand (HoT) during June 2-23, 2018 will be a phenomenal adventure that will broaden your horizons in the best ways!
“Hands on Thailand has been an opportunity full of grand adventures and long lasting memories!” — Serena
Here are the basics to get you started with this unique opportunity at San Jose State University:
There are no prerequisites for this course; anyone is eligible* (any major, any level; SJSU alumni welcome). Soci 180 is 4 units and will be graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. HoT may count for your service learning, study abroad, cross-cultural, or elective requirement; check with your department.
“This [course] broadened my perspective on the way I view the world and myself in general. It was definitely a life changing experience.” — anonymous
Without tests, quizzes, research papers, essays, or presentations, we will immerse ourselves in the beautiful 720-year-old northern city of Chiang Mai, work with local organizations, make a difference in the community, tour local craft factories, visit Buddhist temples and Hill Tribe villages, shop at local indoor and outdoor markets, eat scrumptious Thai food in its homeland, visit an elephant sanctuary with a big veg buffet lunch, learn about Thai culture and ourselves, and who knows what else, then reflect on our experiences together while there, and return transformed from an amazing adventure with great stories and photos, intriguing insights, new friends, a stronger resume, more confidence, and a sense of meaning and accomplishment.
There will be a minimum of twelve and a maximum of sixteen students. We will have a pre-departure group meeting at SJSU for enrolled students during the Spring semester, so we can all meet each other and discuss our upcoming exciting adventure.HoT will be totally EPIC (Exciting Possibilities In Chiangmai)!
“Travel truly is worth any expense and being in Thailand has taught me more about its way of life than any book ever could.” — Ryan E.
HoT is organized to provide unique structured opportunities for students to immerse, participate, and learn, while being organized to be unstructured enough to allow for personal exploration, growth, and development in Chiang Mai.
Hands on Thailand is one of the most fascinating, most meaningful, yet least expensive study abroad opportunities at SJSU.
HoT will cost only $1855 (I was able to get the cost down from $2150 last year!), which includes: 4 units of SJSU credit ($1000); SJSU mandatory administrative program fee ($200); SJSU mandatory health fee ($60); 21 nights in a nice hotel (double occupancy rooms with mini fridge and with breakfast buffet included, free wi-fi, air con, pool, and an open-air lobby with koi pond, computer, newspapers, couches, etc.) in a cool neighborhood; 3 fun, location-specific field trips to: several craft factories with lunch, an elephant sanctuary with big buffet veg lunch, and a day of hiking in the countrside and to a waterfall with bamboo rafting and lunch in a village; delicious group veg meals; an optional presentation from the US Consulate; required course materials; a contingency fund (just in case); and possibly some surprises! All details subject to availability and change.
Additionally, airfare may cost about $800-$1500, depending on purchase date, dates of travel, departure city, airline, itinerary, and oil prices. Students should arrange their own flights from any city to Chiang Mai (CNX), though some of us may wind up on the same plane in and out of SFO and CNX, making sure to be in Chiang Mai on the first day of the program through the last day of the program. Students should NOT purchase air tickets until the Spring, after they are officially accepted into HoT and we get the official administrative OK. HoT alumni have spent between $400-$1000 on personal expenses while in Thailand.
Please submit your online application and supplemental questionnaire as soon as you’re able to (you don’t need a passport to apply), so we can demonstrate support for this program and have a better sense of the enrollment numbers. HoT will likely fill up in the Fall, probably before Thanksgiving Break.
Your application will not be complete and will not be considered until both parts are fully filled out and properly submitted. After the class is full, accepted applicants will be placed in a wait pool. For more information, check Student Application & Resources.
Non-refundable $500 deposits will be due Nov. 20 – Dec. 1 (Jan. 22 – Feb. 1 for those in Round 2, if applicable), course registration is Feb. 15 – 22, with the balance of $1355 due by March 22.
Feel free to contact me with any questions, thoughts, or concerns and I’ll be happy to address them.Go Global while earning SJSU credit, exploring a beautiful city, meeting cool people, making new friends, eating scrumptious food, having ridiculous amounts of fun, seeing wondrous sights, experiencing Thai massage, interacting with elephants, making new discoveries, smiling and laughing a lot, putting your hands on Thailand through experiential service learning and doing good, overcoming challenges, finding new opportunities, getting invaluable experience, boosting your resume, making connections, gaining spiritual insight, and e x p a n d i n g your consciousness!
“I went to Chiang Mai, Thailand this summer and fell in love with Thailand. … I believe international travel is one of the most important aspects of becoming a well-rounded person.” — Cristina M.
“Volunteering is the most authentic way to experience a place and meet locals.” — Anmol Arora
“While volunteering, I thought I would be the one giving back, however what I was given was more than I could’ve ever imagined.” — Kalli
“My heart is forever altered, elevated, and purified by volunteering. My mind is strengthened and enhanced with wisdom, ultimately improving my mental health and leading to improved physical health. There are many benefits derived by giving. To give is a form of receiving.” — Cassidy
“[Professor Brook is a] great motivational speaker. Puts things into perspective, not his perspective but our own. He frames questions and ideas regarding the smallest/insignificant things in a way that makes them relevant, personal, and mind-blowing. He makes me think in new ways provoking new ways of thinking to form in my mind. Perfect professor to travel to Thailand with, or any other country!” — anonymous
Get lost in Chiang Mai,
so that you can find yourself anywhere.
You’ll experience (and enjoy!) more in 3 weeks
than many people do in 3 years.
Invest in yourself, make your summer count, make a difference,
make good friends, and make it memorable.
And, of course, you can always contact me.
Check out the SJSU Study Abroad HoT page here.
Course, syllabus, website, text, & photos © DB
2017 Common Era (2560 Buddhist Era).