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Office of International Programs

Thailand: The Golden Kingdom!

June 20 – July 1, 2014

MSU assistant professor of art and humanities, Dr. Andrea Donovan, is organizing a short term MSU study abroad program to Thailand from
June 20 – July 1, 2014. Along the way, participants will have the opportunity to discover the country’s glittering cities and colorful pagodas, while becoming acquainted with the warm and welcoming Thai people. Students, as well as community members, are invited to join this MSU study abroad program to experience the numerous opportunities available only in The Golden Kingdom!

The emphasis of this 3-credit humanities course is to delve into the art, architecture, literature and cultural heritage of Southeast Asia. The itinerary will take participants to ancient ruined capitals, hill tribe villages and mountaintop temples to investigate all sides of this vibrant country of contrasts. Free time is built into the itinerary so that the program may be customized to the educational focus of each participant, while also allowing ample time to sample the foods and wares of the various destinations.

Application Deadline: December 1st, 2013
Download an application.
If you do not already have a passport, now is the time to apply for one.

Golden Buddah

Depending upon available space late applications might be accepted after December 1st. Applicants who submit an application after this date are not guaranteed a spot on the program and might be required to pay a slightly higher program fee due to rate fluctuation in transportation costs. Rate increases are typically not significant.

Academic Course Work
Participants in this program will be enrolled in HUMANITIES 496: Thailand- The Goldent Kindgom (3 credits.) The class will be guided by Dr. Andrea Donovan, Assistant Professor of Art History and Humanities, who specializes in European art and architectural history.

Program Highlights

Floating Market

Bangkok: Students will explore historical temples, study the largest pagoda in Southeast Asia, and visit the World War II Cemetery, resting place of over 9,000 Allied soldiers. The group will also enjoy a Bangkok canal cruise and have the opportunity to shop at the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Transfer to Phitsanuloke: On the way to Phitsanuloke the program includes stops at Ayutthaya, Thailand’s ancient capital, and the beautiful Wat Chantaram Temple at Uthai Thani.

Chiang Rai: On the road from Phitsanuloke to Chiang Rai, students will explore the Sukhothai Historical Park, known for its classical Buddha statues and temple ruins. The second day will include a venture along the Mae Kok River to a Karen Hill Tribe Village. Here students will learn about the traditional life and culture of the Karen people. In the afternoon the group will visit the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Thailand, and Laos meet, as well as visit Mae Salong, an ethnic Chinese town set in the hills.

Transfer to Chiang Mai:. The journey to Chiang Mai includes a visit to Wat Suan Dok where students will have a unique opportunity to learn about Buddhism firsthand from a resident monk. Later, the class will survey one of the country’s most deeply loved symbols, Doi Suthep, a regal mountain overlooking the city.

Transfer to Chiang Mai:. The journey to Chiang Mai includes a visit to Wat Suan Dok where students will have a unique opportunity to learn about Buddhism firsthand from a resident monk. Later, the class will survey one of the country’s most deeply loved symbols, Doi Suthep, a regal mountain overlooking the city.

Chiang Mai: MSU students will spend the morning at the Chiang Dao Elephant Camp and on a bamboo raft trip down the Ping River. The afternoon will be spent at an Orchid Farm.

The logistical aspects of this program are being facilitated by Go Ahead Tours. A complete itinerary can be found on the Go Ahead Website. Please note that prices advertised on the Go Ahead website are the base prices and do not reflect departure from Minot, along with other considerations.

Note: One of the benefits of this particular tour is that tour participants have large blocks of time at each destination to explore parts of the cities either on their own or in our group. In addition, an optional extension to Cambodia would allow individual participants to extend their stay. This option can be discussed in greater length with the faculty leader.

Elephant Camp

Program Fees

Itinerary map

The program includes round-trip international airfare and transportation within Thailand, breakfast and dinners on most days, accommodations, entrance fees, guided sightseeing and walking tours, and a 24-hour multi-lingual tour director. Accommodations are double occupancy; single occupancy may be requested for an additional fee of approximately $650.

Items not included in the program fee are: lunches and some dinners, optional excursions, transportation for free-time activities, departure fees (i.e. airline luggage fees) and customary gratuities.

A typical day will involve an active itinerary of sightseeing and local excursions starting early in the morning and lasting all day. The tour will be fast paced at times so that you get the most of your time abroad.

Program Cost
Base Program Fee* $3,729
Tuition - 3 Credits** $ 775**
TOTAL $4,504

* Applicants between ages of 50-64 years of age at time of travel, add $100 for the added cost of international insurance. Applicants between ages of 65-74 years of age at time of travel, add $250 for the added cost of international insurance.

**Program participants may choose to audit coursework at 50% tuition rate. Financial Aid is not available for audited courses, and grades will not appear on transcripts. 

Payment Deadlines:
$400 due with the Application
March 31: $3,329 due
June 2: Tuition and fees due

Late Payments:

  • If a payment is received 7 business days or more after the payment due date, your application will be considered withdrawn and you will be responsible for any cancellation penalties.
  • If for any reason your payment cannot be processed, a fee of $50 will be incurred, plus a late payment penalty to Go Ahead Tours, if applicable.
Thai dancer

Payment Policies:

  • Under no circumstances will a student be allowed to depart on the program unless the program fees are paid in full.
  • MSU is not responsible for delays caused by late passport applications, late visa applications or visa denials. Any additional costs incurred for such reasons will be the responsibility of the participant.
  • Transportation Deviation Fees: Transportation will be arranged from Minot. Any deviations or special requests (such as early departure or late returns) will incur a $75 booking fee, in addition to any fees charged by the airlines.

Cancellation & Refunds
Withdrawal from the program is effective on the date that written notification is received by MSU’s Office of International Programs.
If you withdraw:The cancellation fee will be:
After Application is submitted $400
After March 31st $550
After April 25th $1100
After June 2nd     Refund of tuition fees only per MSU business office policies
After departure No refund

Please Note:
■ MSU will not alter its payment and/or cancellation policies for any reason.
■ GoAhead Tours offers three different levels of trip cancellation/interruption coverage for an additional fee, which can be added at any time prior to departure. These insurance options can protect you in the event you need to cancel your trip or leave your tour unexpectedly due to an emergency. Depending upon the level chosen, coverage includes: trip cancellation & interruption protection; medical & accident protection; and baggage & property protection. For more information, visit the Go Ahead Tours website.

Financial Aid
Financial Aid can be applied to cover study tour fees, so students might want to consider the possibility of obtaining Financial Aid (generally including loans) to assist in funding their program. For more information about this option, please visit the Financial Aid Office, call (701) 858-3375 or visit their website: 

In order to be eligible for summer term financial aid, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 summer credits. At least 3 of these credits must be from the HUM 496 course listed above. Students who wish to enroll in additional summer coursework in association with the tour may make arrangements with the faculty leader.

Program Rules
View MSU Study Abroad Program Rules
View Go Ahead Tours Terms and Conditions

Contact us for more information!
Dr. Andrea Donovan
Phone: (701) 858-3819

MSU Office of International Programs
1st Floor Student Center
500 University Ave West Minot, ND 58701
Phone: (701) 858-4155

Learn more about Horizons Unlimited faculty-led study tours