Site Visit and Field Studies on Community Based Experiential Learning

Faculty Site Visit

Interested in how we designed the Sustainable Development Studies Program? Come to Chiang Mai to learn about our innovative approach to experiential learning.

Spend four days in urban and rural Thailand. This site visit and field study is appropriate for faculty working in the US and abroad, as well as administrators and staff working in study abroad. These four days will give you a thorough introduction into our community based approach to education, as well as help you better understand risk management and experiential learning.

Focused on ISDSI’s innovative “Sustainable Development Studies: Thailand” program,  we will dive deep into curriculum design, cultural learning, and how we keep academic quality high while engaging with local communities. Using the principle of “having the villager be the teacher” (ให้ชาวบ้านเป็นครู), participants will take part in experiential learning activities, including discussions with local community members and colleauges.

In addition to the field studies, there will be ample time to visit the ancient city of Chiang Mai, spend time getting to know new colleagues from other colleges and universities, and enjoy time on your own to process and reflect.


Day 1: 

  • Overview of the workshop and introductions
  • Thai culture and language orientation
  • Overview of ISDSI
  • Principles of community-based experiential learning
  • Assessing when experiential learning is appropriate
  • Principles of activity and course design
  • Field Study: Markets and temples of Chiang Mai

Day 2: 

  • Field Study: Mae Taa Sustainable Farming Community
  • Meeting with Organic Farming Community Leaders
  • Farm to Table Activity and host family visits in the village
  • Debrief

Day 3: 

  • Field Study: Hill Tribes partner community
  • Upland forest ecology and coffee production
  • Debrief
  • Free time / meetings with ISDSI staff

Day 4: 

  • Risk management and experiential learning
  • Practical steps to assessing and integrating experiential learning into courses and programs
  • Wrap-up

Interested? Email us today at [email protected]!




  • ISDSI will cover the in-country costs of eligible faculty/staff.
  • Includes all food, lodging and transportation in Thailand.
  • Does not include travel expenses to/from Chiang Mai, Thailand or expenses outside of the workshop.


Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand

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Semester Deadlines

If you are interested in Spring 2022, you can apply now.

Spring Semester 2022 application deadline: October 15

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