Course Details


Program dates


Travel dates


Course credits

Total credits: 15



Alex Martin

Director of Travel Programs, Institute for Village Studies

Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability is a two-month field program in village communities in rural Thailand. It combines academic studies in Southeast Asian culture, history, religion, and politics, with opportunities for service learning and participation in grassroots community development. The program seeks to enhance empathy across cultures, heightening awareness of the power of culture and education, and celebrating diversity.
A primary focus will be learning about indigenous knowledge and its relation to social and environmental well-being. The program is run in partnership with the Institute for Village Studies. We are looking for students that are passionate about social and environmental justice, can cope with adversity, and work well in a team. If this is you, join us next winter in Thailand!


More information:


Program Highlights

  • Explore issues of sustainability and social justice in rural Thailand, with a focus on indigenous knowledge and practice
  • Work with grassroots organizations on community development projects
  • Learn about sustainable fishing and conservation with the Moklen, one of the few remaining sea nomadic communities
  • Trek in the jungles of Kui Buri National Park, home to over 300 wild elephants



Expectations of Participants

Students should be prepared for a variety of activities outside of a traditional classroom setting. It is common to walk 4-10 miles a day in the mountains at altitude, and students will often be asked to sit on the floor. Students should be able to survive without western comforts for the duration of the trip, especially during homestays in rural villages. Students must be able to use squat toilets, be okay with limited access to the internet and be able to live without the comforts of home (i.e., hot showers and western food). Due to the unpredictability of electricity in rural areas, it is impossible for us to guarantee access to refrigeration throughout the entire trip.