Gain insight into Tibetan, Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism, as well as the influence of Animist traditions, Islam and Christianity in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
Focus Of Inquiry
Examine international water resources as relates to mega-dam projects, ecology and biodiversity, cultural ecology, economics, sustainable development, and regional politics.
Live with homestay families in southern China, a Catholic village on a tiny island in the Mekong in Laos, and a Khmer community just south of Phnom Penh.
Independent Study Project (ISP)
Learn traditional crafts such as bamboo weaving, embroidery, martial arts (Muay Lao), and traditional silk dying from master teachers in Laos' art and cultural hub, Luang Prabang. Explore your academic passions through mentored comparative studies on a topic such as: water rights, public health, education, gender etc. throughout program.
Build proficiency (survival basics) in Mandarin, Lao, and Khmer languages, while exploring the linguistic traditions of ethnic minorities and the migration of three major language families.
Examine issues pertaining to international aid and development, the effects of damming on fisheries, wildlife conservation, minority status and forced relocation issues, effects of modernization on traditional livelihoods, and the impacts of tourism, including orphanage tourism.
Acquire a more profound and nuanced understanding of complex social and development issues through community-based workshops and activities with organizations in Laos and Cambodia, and through the rhythms of daily life while in homestays.
Hop on buses, trains, tuk-tuks, boats, minivans, trucks and your own two feet to explore the region overland - from the high mountain passes of the Himalaya and the jungles of Laos to the temples of Cambodia.
Multi-day and day treks in the foothills of the Himalayas in China and in the rainforests of Laos among waterfalls, elephant habitats and jungle paths sleeping in simples guest houses (village to village) or in supplied tents.