Thai Culture, Society, and Business

Bangkok, Khon Khaen, and Chiang Mai, Thailand

May 14 - May 31, 2019

Program Highlights

  • Focus: the influence of Thai culture and society on Thai business
  • Open to all majors
  • Primary cities: Bangkok and Chiang Mai
  • Visit businesses, universities, and cultural sites; options may include local entrepreneurial ventures, local boutiques with arts and crafts, major corporations, agricultural farms, textile factories, etc.
  • Learn about the Hmong Hilltribe communities
  • Visit Emerald Buddha statue at Wat Pho, Grand Palace, Emerald Buddha
  • Explore canals from a traditional "long tail" boat
  • Ride an elephant through Baan Chang Elephant Park to learn about Thai elephants and their caretaking; feed the elephants banana and sugar cane, learn basic commands, and even help bathe some of the resident elephants
  • Explore craft shops and stalls, learn how different products are made- from silk umbrellas to cotton weaving and lacquer ware
  • Intercultural (IC) designation

Course & Program Information

Course Name: Thai Culture, Society, and Business

Course Number: COLG 280T

Credit Number: 2

Designation: Intercultural

This course is your introduction and orientation to Thailand's culture and society and how these factors influence Thai business. You will be exposed to Thai culture in a variety of ways including readings, hands-on cultural activities, and visits to local universities and businesses to help introduce you to Thailand in a meaningful way. The course is intended for you to gain an understanding of Thai cultural norms and to explore Thai national cuisine, arts and architecture, and religion. You will learn about Thai society and the Royal Family, their history and works, including the state of Thai society in the past and in the present including social structures, way of life and Thai wisdom. The course is intended for you to develop an appreciation for the Thai daily life along with beliefs, values and characteristics of Thai people, Thai etiquette, and Buddhist lifestyles. You will gain an understanding of how all these dimensions of Thai culture may influence Thai business today. 

Program Cost & Financial Considerations

The estimated program fee will be available in mid-September.

The program fee includes:

  • 2 CSB/SJU credits at the reduced summer tuition rate (approximately $614 per credit).
  • Housing while the program is in session
  • Local transportation included in the program
  • Welcome & farewell dinners, occasional lunches, and some group meals
  • Program-related excursions & entrance fees for cultural attractions
  • CISI Medical & Evacuation Insurance

The program fee does not include:

  • Non-program travel or housing
  • Roundtrip airfare (estimated at $1,500)
  • Some Food/Meal expenses (estimated at $400)
  • Non-program travel or housing
  • Personal expenses

The Short-Term Abroad Financing Brochure includes estimates for the items not included in the program fee, along with information regarding scholarships for study abroad.  


We will be staying in area boutique hotels. Examples include Siam Heritage Boutique Suites, Radtanalya Residence, and the Hmong Hilltribe Lodge

Program Director Information

The program director and instructor for this course is Dr. Deborah Pembleton. This is the second time, Dr. Pembleton has directed this program and has considerable experience in Thailand. She  is also an expert in international business, Southeast Asia, and Thai culture. She has worked as an international consultant for the Thai Ministry of Education, and she conducted her Ph.D. dissertation research at the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. She has a solid network of Thai university professors and business owners with whom she will be collaborating for this venture. Dr. Pembleton is enthusiastic about Thai culture, its welcoming people, delectable Thai foods and the amazing Thai scenery.