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Sustainable Food Systems & Ecology in Thailand

Photo submitted by Allyssa Garza.
  • City: Chiang Mai
  • Term: Spring
  • Instruction in: English
  • Students interested in: Environment, Sustainability

This 3-week, 3-credit Maize Away program examines sustainable agriculture in Thailand and Southeast Asia, within the larger framework of sustainable development and ecology. The course focuses on the role of smallholder agriculture in sustainable food systems. The course is a mix of seminars and field-based experiential learning, studying the theories and challenges of global food systems, as well as the specific ecological and cultural context of food systems in Thailand. Field studies include extended time experiencing rural areas and working alongside farmers in agricultural communities, learning about the day to day challenges of sustainable agriculture and how it links into larger global food systems. Students will spend extended time in lowland rice farming communities and upland tribal villages practicing rotational farming, as well as doing field studies of coffee production, agroforestry, and other projects. The farming experience can be labor intensive at times, but is very rewarding. In Chiang Mai students stay in a guest house with two people per room. During village visits students stay with local Thai families in basic accommodations without modern amenities, but that provide an authentic rural Thai experience.