- Minimum GPA: 2.5
- Judicial Check
Currently Accepting Applications for:
- Spring 2024 Program Dates: Early January – Late April
- SMCM Application Deadline: October 15th
- USAC Application Deadline: October 15th
- One of the top 10 friendliest cities in the world
- Participate in an internship or field studies program
- Live in a city with over 700 temples and the famous “night market”
Study Abroad Budget
View Estimated Semester Budget (Organized Geographically)
Financing Studying Abroad
Office of International Education Scholarships (Need-Based, Merit-Based, Region Specific, Language Study)
USAC Scholarships (Regional, DEI, First-Generation, STEM, Pell Grant Recipient)
Speak with the Office of Student Financial Assistance for Options
About the Program
Students participating in the SMCM-USAC in Chiang Mai, Thailand, study at Chiang Mai University (CMU). This university is recognized throughout Southeast Asia for its high academic standards. Founded under a Royal Charter in 1964 by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, CMU was the first institution of higher education in Northern Thailand. The SMCM-USAC program is hosted on the SuanSak campus, located approximately 5 kilometers west of the city center. CMU continues to rise in national and international rankings for research universities, and has incorporated a focus on internationalization into its long-term goals.
USAC endeavors to assist students in acclimating to the host country by providing opportunities to experience the sights and sounds of Thailand. Your orientation will include a city tour of Chiang Mai and a welcome cultural dinner featuring typical Thai dances and authentic Thai food.
This program offers a variety of courses including Thai language, cuisine, ASEAN Trade and Management, and Buddhism in Thailand. Many of the courses have field trips built into the program’s intellectual and cultural experience. Excursion locations may include local temples and markets, elephant camps, the Queen Sirikit botanical garden, ziplining, Buak Hat Park, as well as nearby nature reserves, waterfalls, farms, and wildlife preserves.
Dates and exact locations are at the discretion of the Resident Director and they vary from session and session and semester to semester.
Consistently ranked as one of the top ten friendliest cities in the world, Chiang Mai dates back over 700 years and is known as the “rose of the north.” Historically and culturally important for trade, it is the second largest province in Thailand. Located on the Ping River in Northern Thailand, it is surrounded by high mountain ranges and is in one of the most scenic areas in the country.
The city of Chiang Mai is home to over 700 temples, lush jungles, and national parks. Unlike most of Thailand, the climate in the north can be cooler with rain and mist, but still has tropical heat and humidity.
All courses at Chiang Mai University are taught in English and SMCM students take five courses, worth three credits each for a total of 15 semester credits. All students are required to take a Thai language course and then have the option of choosing from a variety of other courses. In general, classes are more lecture-based and less interactive than they are here at SMCM and require considerable independent research, reading, and study. Grades may be based on only one or two major assignments or exams. Excellent time management is crucial for a successful semester at CMU.
In addition to the more traditional lecture courses, students also have access to Field Studies Courses and Internships. Students also have the option of volunteering within the community if their schedule cannot accommodate a field studies course or an internship. Many of the courses have field trips built into the curriculum as part of the intellectual and cultural experience. Excursion locations may include local temples and markets, elephant camps, the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens, ziplining, Buak Hat Park, as well as nearby nature reserves, waterfalls, farms, and wildlife preserves.
Field Studies Courses
USAC helps you explore the historical, cultural, and natural features of the region with carefully planned excursions and field trips. These experiences combined with academic components (readings, research, lectures, written assignments, etc.) deepen your understanding of the subject matter.
USAC Internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development particularly in your study abroad setting. USAC internships are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. Example placements include: teaching English in the community, working at the local Provincial office, or working with faculty from various departments at CMU.
Housing and Meals
Students are housed in apartments within walking distance to campus. Typically, rooms are double occupancy, fully furnished, equipped with air-conditioning, and a small refrigerator. Internet access can be rented daily or monthly.
Although meals are not included, many affordable and convenient restaurants and cafes are nearby. Most are located in the heart of Chiang Mai’s central business district, Nimman Haemin, with easy access to the best shopping and entertainment areas. During orientation students are shown the best places to shop and eat.
Upon arrival in Thailand, the USAC staff will meet students at the airport and provide the on-site orientation. Staff members will help students get settled into their housing and navigate the local area while providing additional support and resources throughout the program. Your orientation will include a city tour of Chiang Mai and welcome dinner featuring typical Thai dances and authentic Thai food. Free electric campus shuttles are available for student use and the neighborhood hosts numerous coffee shops, cafes, stores, banks, and post offices conveniently near campus. The famous “night bazaar” offers all sorts of trinkets, local handicrafts, food shops and shows and the Chiang Mai Zoo is located very close to the university.
Near the city, there are also national parks and nature preserves, including the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon, Obkhan, and Doi Pui Suthep National Park. Located just outside of town, Wat Doi Suthep Buddhist temple overlooks the city from the top of Doi Pui Suthep. CMU students traditionally hike to the top as part of an annual tradition.
- SMCM-USAC in Chiang Mai Website
- SMCM-USAC in Chiang Mai Courses
- Photo Gallery
- Chiang Mai University
- Lonely Planet – Chiang Mai
Transfer Credit Policy
How credits taken abroad will transfer back to SMCM.
Academic and Judicial Policies
The academic and judicial requirements for any student considering studying abroad.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
How financial aid will apply towards your study abroad program and what scholarships are available.
Payments and Services
Payment processes for semester-long, short-term, and non-SMCM study abroad programs.