Office of International Programs

Travel - Thailand

Thailand: Culture, Politics, and Society


June 10-22, 2018

POL 380 | HTY 394 | SOC 380, 3 undergrad credits


This course is a hybrid of online and on-sight experience.  After a week of introductory lectures given online via SMU’s Blackboard system, students will join Dr. Steven Shirley in Bangkok, Thailand where the course will continue. 

During that time, students will experience life in Southeast Asia, including several escorted tours, lectures from local academics and experts, and a variety of cultural presentations. 

Students will visit ancient temples, modern universities, and tour several major regions of Thailand, including Issan and Chiang Mai, giving each student an in-depth look into the culture, society, and politics of Southeast Asia. 



Dr. Steven Shirley received his Ph.D.  in International Studies from Old Dominion University.   He is an Asian Specialist, with published works in the field of religion, politics, and Asian Studies.    Dr. Shirley has lived and worked throughout Asia, including China, South Korea, and Thailand, for over 12 years, and continues to return annually for research and study. 

Dr. Shirley now resides in Atlanta, GA.  In his spare time, he competes in submission grappling/Brazilian Jujitsu tournaments, and teaches Philippine Martial Arts, as well as dabbling in Atlanta’s burgeoning film industry. 



The application deadline is March 30, 2018  along with a $200 non-refundable deposit.

A complete application includes all of the following:

  • Signed, completed application form*
  • $200 non-refundable deposit (applied to the program cost)
  • Typed 200-word essay
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member or academic advisor (recommendation cannot come from the faculty member leading the program)
  • Official copy of USM academic transcript

Incomplete applications will not be accepted. You will be notified by e-mail of your application status. If your application is not accepted, the nonrefundable deposit will be returned. If the program is canceled for any reason by the USM, all deposits will be returned.

*If you are having trouble downloading the application, please contact us at (207) 780-4959 or and we will send you one. You may also want to try upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Tuition and Fees

The approximate program fee will be $2,500-2,700 and covers lodging, in-country transport, some meals, and cultural activities. International airfare and tuition are and additional cost.

Please visit the Student Financial Services website for complete information on tuition and fees.

All participants will be automatically registered for a payment plan. The $200 deposit will go toward the cost of the program and the remaining balance will be due as follows:

50% of the balance due April TBD
Remaining balance due May TBD