Term Abroad: Thailand

Winter 2024

Earn 2.5 Brock credits while studying and travelling with a Brock professor through beautiful Thailand, with a new optional one-week mid-term study tour to Singapore.

The Department of Geography and Tourism Studies is pleased to announce the Winter 2024 Thailand Term Abroad Program, a full academic term abroad that will take place between January – May 2024*.

Virtual Information Session

Did you miss our Virtual Information Session on May 30th? Please email Dr. David Brown (dbrown@brocku.ca) for a link to the event recording.

Applications were due by October 5, 2023.

  • Open to all Brock students, and to any students studying at another Canadian university through a Letter of Permission
  • Classroom instruction will take place at Burapha University International College in Chonburi
  • Courses are taught in English by Dr. David Brown and by instructors from Burapha University International College
  • Program includes 20 – 25 days in the field exploring various regions of Thailand with Dr. David Brown
  • Learn alongside students from Brock, Thailand, and all over the world
  • Earn 2.5 Brock credits which count towards your major, minor or elective program requirements
  • This program is eligible for OSAP and Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) funding. You can also apply for a $500 Brock International Mobility Award
  • Designed for Year 3 students, but compatible with Year 1 through Year 4 depending upon other program commitments

The Thailand Term Abroad Program is scheduled to run from early January – early May 2024. Dates listed below are subject to change; all dates are approximate.

Program Duration: 123 days (~17 weeks)

  • January 5, 2023: Depart Canada (Toronto-Vancouver-Bangkok)
  • January 7, 2023: Arrive in Thailand (residence: Burapha University until 2024-05-09)
  • March 3-9, 2023: Optional 7 day / 5 night study tour to Singapore
  • May 9, 2023: Return flight Bangkok for Toronto (anticipated transit via Japan, so optional stopover in Japan is possible)

(subject to change; all dates approximate)

Estimated DatesDestination(s)Details
Week of January 8, 2024BURAPHA UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE (BUUIC)CLASSES BEGIN AT BUUIC Tour of University and Bangsaen town. Banking, uniform purchase, personal shopping. Chonburi orientation Song taew transit to Nong Mun Market; Sri Racha; Chonburi; Cell phone purchase and setup (IT Centre Chonburi).
Week of January 15, 2024BANGKOK / PATTAYABANGKOK Song taew to Nong Mun Market; Bus to Ekamai BTS; BTS to Sukhumvit / SWU / MBK / Siam Paragon / Siam Square. PATTAYA. Overview of expat and domestic residential communities, family-oriented entertainment attractions, ’schlock tourism’ attractions. Alcazar Show. Walking Street; night life and associated economic activities, sex tourism establishments.
Week of January 22, 2024KOH SAMET NATIONAL PARKDAY TRIP TO KOH SAMET NATIONAL PARK Transit by motor coach to Ban Phe. Ferry to Koh Samet National Park. Visit and tour of park facilities; overview of management practices and permitted uses. Afternoon at beach.
Week of January 30, 2024BANGKOK / GRAND PALACE / WAT PHRA KAEW / BANGKOK CANALSGRAND PALACE – WAT PRA KAEW by RIVERBOAT. BTS Skytrain to Saphan Taksin BTS Station - Central pier. Chao Phraya River Express boat ride to Grand Palace / Wat Pra Kaew. Walking tour of old Bangkok, Yaorarat (Chinatown), and associated districts to view settlement patterns and tourism activities. Walk to Khao San Road. Walk to Pra Ahtit Pier and take Chao Phraya River Express boat to Sathorn Pier. BTS from Saphan Taksin to minivan meeting point.
Week of February 9, 2024CHIANG RAI / WAT RONG KHUN / GOLDEN TRIANGLE / CHIANG MAI/ DOI SUTHEP / DOI TUNG / PING RIVERCHIANG RAI: Mae Fah Luang University visit with students and staff. Kan Toke Dinner at Sabannga Kan Tok Restaurant with northern cuisine and cultural show. Observations of local informal economic practices, souvenir production, and food service operations in the Chiang Rai night market after supper. GOLDEN TRIANGLE / OPIUM MUSEUM: Where Thailand meets Laos and Myanmar. Observation of former opium production regions. Afternoon: visit to Hall of Opium Museum. Free evening. DOI TUNG: Visit Doi Tung Royal Villa and gardens; Doi Tung Hill Tribe Development Project. Visit hill tribe villages. Doi Tung Development Project craft centers and factories (clothing, ceramics, macademia nuts, coffee plantation as economic alternatives to opium production for local residents. CHIANG RAI TO CHIANG MAI: (300km). Stop at WAT RONG KHUN and hot springs enroute. WAT PRATHAT DOI SUTHEP (3500 feet above sea level), the most sacred temple in the North. Exploration of walled city and Walking Street. Supper in renowned CHIANG RAI night market. PING RIVER Chiang Mai Elephant Reserve / Ping River Rafting. 6:00 p.m.: Transit to Chiang Mai airport. Flight to Bangkok
March 3 - 9, 2024 (7 days / 5 nights)SINGAPORE STUDY TOUR(optional but highly recommended)Seven days / five nights to explore Orchard Road, Sentosa Island / Merlion Park, Marina Bay, Gardens by the Bay, Raffles Hotel, National Museum of Singapore, National Gallery of Singapore, National University of Singapore, UNESCO World Heritage nominated Botanical Gardens, Tekka (Little India), Chinatown, Clarke Quay, Jewel Changi Airport, and others.
Week of March 29, 2024 (6 days / 4 nights)PHUKET / KHAO LAK / KRABI / SIMILAN ISLANDPHUKET by air. Transit to hotel. Explorations of Phuket, dubbed the ’Pearl of the South’ by the tourist industry, Thailand’s largest island, in the Andaman Sea off Thailand’s south-western coast. Known for its powdery white beaches and lushly forested mountains; a popular destination for western tourists. Observation of development along mass-tourism destination of Patong Beach. PHUKET TO KHAO LAK Post-tsunami tour. Explorations of Had Kata, Had Kamala, and other areas devastated by the December 2004 tsunami. Travel to Khao Lak, a resort beach about 100km north of Phuket and one of the hardest hit areas of the 2004 tsunami disaster. DAY TRIP TO SIMILAN ISLANDS - Full day of marine and island (eco)tourism: field observations of offshore snorkelling. RETURN to Bangkok by air.
April 6, 2024KANCHANABURIKanchanaburi / Bridge on the River Kwai– Trip to Allied War Cemetery and Museum, Bridge on the River Kwai. By minivan.
April 13 – 16, 2024SONGKRANSONGKRAN FESTIVAL – Renowned Thai New Year celebrations and water festival.
April 19 – 25, 2024ISAN / THE NORTHEAST / LAOS BORDER / KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK / AYUTHAYAISAN REGION / THE NORTHEAST Burapha -> Dan Sai (551 km - 7 hr 7 min). Drive to Loei Province. Light supper in Dan Sai village. Overnight at Rungyen CPKI Dan Sai Resort. Field course: Drive to NA HAEO FIELD STATION / LAOS BORDER / LOEI (61.3 km, 1hr 20 min). Visit Na Haeo Field Station. Tour of grounds and of forest plots in Na Haeo field station. Afternoon visit to Thai-Laos Friendship Bridge over the River Hueng and a Song Taew (local truck) tour of Ban Bung Village and the Laos border region, Mae Nam Huang River valley, and adjacent villages to view land use and settlement patterns, agricultural and forestry impacts, and cross-border differences in ecological integrity. Visit to traditional agricultural areas, local villages. Morning: Transit from Dan Sai to CHOKCHAI FARM (363 km; 5 hr 19 min) Lunch at Chokchai Steak House. AFTERNOON: Tour of Chokchai Farm, a working industrial dairy operation which has spun off a popular and lucrative agritourism attraction, ice cream parlour chain, and steak house chain widely patronized by Thai residents. KHAO YAI NAT’L. PARK. View point; Visitor center. Dry evergreen forest hike. Haew Suwat waterfall; natural pool. Drive to lookoff on second highest mountain. View wild elephants at salt licks. ANCIENT CITY OF AYUTHAYA. Early departure for Ayuthaya, famous for it canals, grand palaces and temples. Visit the ruins of the ancient city and Wat Mongkolborpitr; brief stop at Chao Sampraya National Museum before returning to Burapha.
May 9, 2024RETURN TO CANADA JAPAN STOPOVER (optional)RETURN TO CANADA NOTE: Transit via Japan is likely – optional layover and explorations will be planned.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All costs outlined below are best estimates in CAD dollars ($), but may change due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g., fluctuating exchange rates, volatility in airline ticket prices, etc.).

The 2024 Term Abroad in Thailand program is anticipated to cost approximately $8,500 including optional Singapore Study Tour (or $7,200 without Singapore Study Tour). This amount will be subsidized generously (see “Financial Aid and Awards” section below).

Program fees (approximately $7,200) include:

  • Return airfare
  • All ground transportation in Thailand
  • Burapha University International College course credits and visa fees
  • Residence room at Burapha University International College
  • Library and internet access
  • Field course travel expenses, accommodation, admissions, ferry and launch fees

Additional fees include:

  1. Tuition
  2. Food (approximately $600/month)
  3. Personal expenses
    • Admission and fees for discretionary individual activities are the responsibility of the student.
  4. Optional Singapore Study Tour (approximately $1,300)


Though $7,200 is a non-trivial sum of money, you must remember to do a full ‘life cycle analysis’ of all the costs, comparing the (largely inclusive) costs of the Term Abroad with your baseline costs at home and at Brock (i.e., rent, transportation, food at North American prices [as opposed to very inexpensive Thai prices], car insurance, entertainment, etc. Remember too that you will be abroad for four full months. We’ll help you do a cost analysis in the orientation session, with some real-world numbers. Also, remember that the cost of the Term Abroad already includes the cost of 1.0 credit of your normal 2.5 credit Brock winter term course load. Term Abroad fees have always been OSAP-eligible, and in addition the Brock International Services offers a travel bursary to OSAP-eligible full-time students doing an international placement of this sort. You may also be eligible for a GSO Travel Bursary of up to $3,000.

Also, unlike other international programs, there is the saved opportunity cost of being available to come back and take on your usual summer job instead of having to go away on a single-credit field course during the summer, which is the usual model for other international field programs. All these incremental savings add up to make the trip more affordable than it might initially appear.

While in Thailand, students will take the following courses:

  1. GEOG 4P95 / TOUR 3Q90: Heritage Interpretation in the Digital Age (0.5 credit, Directed Readings Course with Dr. David Brown)
  2. GEOG / TOUR 3F97: Field Course – Ecoregions and Tourism Destinations in Thailand and Singapore (1.0 credit)
  3. Two second-term BUUIC courses from the BUUIC course calendar (2 x 0.5 Brock credits = 1.0 credits total), transferrable by Letter of Permission to Brock or another participating Canadian university
  • Twin-share accommodations in Burapha University International College Student Residence
  • Twin-share (occasionally triple) hotel accommodations on field programs in Singapore and Thailand (full details forthcoming)
Brock International

Students accepted to this program will be eligible to apply for additional funding from Brock International to offset program expenses. Eligible students can receive between $500 – $4,500 through a combination of the International Mobility Award and Global Skills Opportunity** (GSO) Funding. Students should complete the One App to ensure eligibility can be assessed.

** NOTE: Students who received funding Global Skills Opportunity (GSO) for a previous international experience will not be eligible for this portion of the funding.

Student Awards and Financial Aid

This is an OSAP-eligible program. Students accepted to this program may be eligible for additional awards and funding through Student Awards and Financial Aid.

OneApp will open for the 2023-24 school year on August 1st, 2023 and can be accessed at https://brocku.ca/safa/awards-and-bursaries/oneapp.

Please contact Brock Central if you have any questions about tuition, OSAP, or financial aid.

I’ve fallen in love with the wonderful, vibrant culture, the amazing geographic features of the country, the fantastic food, the lovely Thai people and their laid-back lifestyles. All of these experiences … have contributed to providing a unique learning experience…
– Laura B.-W.

This entire experience from pre-departure until present day has taught me more than I ever thought possible and I am extremely grateful to have had this opportunity. I learned plenty about Thailand, its culture, its area, its lifestyles, its environments, and its people.
– Carley D.

This was my first experience studying anywhere further than 100 kilometres from my hometown. It was a huge, life-changing experience. Meeting so many people from so many places has to be one of the best experiences… One of the things Dave said to us before embarking on our trip was that one thing would be guaranteed: it would change our lives. I can say for certain, at this point, that it is true. It may not be true for all of us, but I notice a huge difference in my outlook. I have been to the other side of the world. Most people are unable to travel very far outside their home country, and I was one of them until [this trip]. I am truly thankful for the experiences shared here. I know I will be carrying these memories with me as long as I live.
– Jennifer H.

Every detail of every place we have visited is permanently etched into my mind, and I love that…I was able to accomplish great things. I surprised myself in so many ways, each and every day… These past 4 months have been exactly what I needed. People often say the best way to get over your fears, is to face them head on; that’s exactly what I did here in Thailand.
– Nicole P.

The trip has changed my life in a number of ways….now I can say I have a lot of friends across the world. That’s just something that’s enriched my life tenfold. To be able to say I understand Thai culture even the little that I do is astounding to me. I think for me as many of the people who came will say; this may be one of the greatest experiences of my life so far and can only show as much gratitude as I can to you Dave. Thank you.
– Jesse T.

Before this trip I would have never imagined myself travelling to Thailand or Asia in general, it never appealed to me. Especially, the fact that I am not even a tourism student and am not supposed to be here. …To my surprise I am here and I am so happy for this opportunity. I am very thankful …and have changed as a person because of it… This trip has opened my mind to Thailand and Asian cultures in a positive way. Thank you Dave for allowing all of us this opportunity, I will never forget it!
– Kristen W.

Let me start off by saying, I didn’t want to go home! I really, truly didn’t! There is a small part of me that missed my family, friends and the Western way of life but I could do without that for a while longer. This trip has been an unbelievable experience! Of course I knew going into this that it would be, but I did not expect that I would have changed so much as a person and experience as much as I have and in the way that I did.
– Kazundra B.

My international experience has been completely amazing and unforgettable.  We have seen so many interesting things and had so many great opportunities that I cannot even begin to explain to my friends back in Canada and have them know how truly wonderful it has been… This trip has taught me a lot about myself and different cultures and it has been the most amazing and eye opening experience of my entire life.  I will remember this trip till the day I die.  It has always been my dream to travel and see the world and I am so happy I have finally been able to do that.  It has motivated me to go home, work, save more money and jet off on another adventure as soon as I can with a new lifelong friend that I have made while here.  I want travel to be part of my life always and I know I have a bright future doing just that!  This trip has truly been the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
– Samantha S.

What a way to finish off my undergraduate degree!  The last four months have brought me some of my highest highs; stunning new landscapes, amazing new friends, a look at a number of cultures far different then my own, a chance to travel all over, and gain new experiences and memories that will leave a lasting impression. …All of these are memories I hope will never fade away and that I hope to keep with me forever. This trip has opened up my eyes to so many things and made me grow as a person. I will forever be grateful that I got to have this amazing opportunity…
– Sharon T.

I signed up to participate in this term abroad to Thailand because I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to explore a very different part of the world that I have never been to, as well as experience very different cultures firsthand. And, suffice to say, this term abroad in Thailand truly has been an experience like no other.
– Kirsty W.

Our trip to Thailand… was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced in my life… I have arrived back in Canada with more knowledge and experience than I could have ever imagined.  Beyond our itinerary, I feel that I have gained a greater personal understanding of myself and my role within the world’s economy, societies and environment.
– Ashley C.

There is truly no way to comprehend this notion of a ‘Land of 1000 Smiles’ until you witness first hand the reaction of a Thai person to a simple “saw-wa-dee-krap.” A bright white and inviting smile is a more than typical response, followed by a “saw-wa-dee krap/kaa” in return. This simple exchange of greetings spoke volumes to me about the country and the people themselves.
– Chris A.

I can truly say that this experience has changed me. Within hours of being home my parents said that they noticed a difference. I have become more independent and looking back, can say that it was worth all of the pre departure angst and worrying. I would recommend this trip to anyone…
– Megan O.

It is hard to put down in words how all my expectations were met and exceeded when travailing to Thailand. Thailand has this mystical aspect about it. No words can describe the way that it made me feel and there is no possible way to describe its natural beauty…. I will look back on this experience as a happy one, one that has let me grow as a person, help me to understand more about myself and one that I will never forget and that will live on forever.
– Melissa W.

Thailand truly enlightened me and made me fall in love with the people, the culture and customs, and the cuisine and way of life.  Thailand is a remarkable country and I feel absolutely privileged to travel within and experience authentic Thai culture. [T]o go and be engulfed in culture… makes you feel like a brand new person, and it’s only the beginning of what you may be able to feel in terms of international culture.
– Sandra R.

Thank you for your interest in our 2024 Thailand Term Abroad Program.

Applications for the 2024 Winter Term Abroad in Thailand Program were due by October 5, 2023 at 11:59 pm EST.

Photos of the Thailand Term Abroad Program taken by Dr. David Brown.

Please contact Dr. David Brown at dbrown@brocku.ca with any questions related to the Thailand Term Abroad Program.

Brock University continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. The University follows the advice of Public Health authorities. As of July 4, 2022 Brock University has paused its COVID-19 vaccination requirement.

Due to the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19, details of this field course are subject to change.


* Program will be offered dependent on final enrollment.
** Final dates are conditional on final course enrollment.
*** Limited spots available. Priority will be given to Geography and Tourism majors in their third and fourth year of studies. However, students from all Brock programs and any year of study are welcome to apply.