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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Chiang Mai, Thailand; Sydney, Australia
  • Program Terms: Testing period
  • Restrictions: Sydney applicants only
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Program Details:
Program Details:
Click here for a definition of this term Level: Undergraduate Click here for a definition of this term Language/s: English
Click here for a definition of this term Available USYD Faculties: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Sydney Law School Click here for a definition of this term Subject Areas: Anatomy and Histology, Anthropology, Law, Sociology, Southeast Asian Studies
Click here for a definition of this term Short-term Duration: 4 weeks Scholarships/grants available: New Colombo Plan Mobility Program (NCP)
Program Description:
Land and Environmental Rights in Thailand

SSEAC Virtual Field School | Land and Environmental Rights in Thailand

Are you passionate about the environment and human rights? Are you interested in how issues of sustainability and social justice connect with land rights? Do you want to learn more about Southeast Asia, work across disciplines and develop your research skills in the real world? Join our virtual mobility program to learn about these issues and to design and conduct investigations in partnership with local students in Thailand.

What: A four-week intensive, interdisciplinary virtual mobility program in July 2022, studying issues relating to land and environmental rights in Thailand with local students from Chiang Mai University and Thammasat University

Where: Mostly online (Sydney & Chiang Mai) with one face-to-face field visit to Thai Town in Sydney (1 July)

When: 1-29 July 2022

Who: 20 Undergraduate students from the University of Sydney studying Sociology, Law, Anthropology/Development Studies, Geography and Asian Studies; 5 students from the Faculty of Social Sciences at Chiang Mai University; 5 students majoring in Development Studies at Thammasat University.

Why: Leave the classroom behind for a hands-on, international field school studying land and environmental rights in Thailand! Learn about Thailand through a unique lens, boost your cross-cultural and interdisciplinary research skills, and meet students from other disciplines and other Universities. You will receive academic credit for participating in this program.

About this program

Over four weeks in July 2022, students from the University of Sydney, Chiang Mai University and Thammasat University will be exposed to diverse disciplinary perspectives on land and environmental rights in a Thai context. Introductory sessions will focus on language and culture. These sessions will include a field visit (for University of Sydney students only) to Thai Town in Sydney on 1 July.

Students will then be introduced to key ideas and concepts through guest lectures, seminars and workshops with leading scholars, activist groups, community representatives and also each other. The Mekong Land Research Forum online site will serve as a key resource. This rich course content will focus on key themes within land and environmental rights as they relate to Thailand, and it will also allow Sydney students to share their own insights and knowledge from a comparative Australian perspective.

Students will also work in small interdisciplinary groups to design and deliver a small research project. Each group will have students from both Australia and Thailand, and from different disciplinary backgrounds. Students will present the results of their group research project in the concluding sessions of the virtual mobility program.

These activities will be conducted synchronously and asynchronously, combining valuable opportunities for deep discussion and connection with flexibility in accessing key course materials. We anticipate the Thai students will act as in-country mentors and guides for the Australian students, working together in their small groups to develop deeper connections and understandings that build on the program content and allow for more meaningful engagement.

Note that the language of instruction will be English, but that interpretation from Thai to English will be provided for local speakers who prefer to present in their own language.

Group research projects

The interdisciplinary research project is a unique opportunity to work across disciplines and cultures, and to delve more deeply into a specific issue relating to land and environmental rights. Each group will have 6 students (4 from Sydney, 1 from Chiang Mai and 1 from Thammasat) from different disciplinary backgrounds. Students will work together to develop and design their own research project based on one of the program sub-themes (see below); collect and analyse data; and present the results of their findings in the final week of the field school.

Each of the five groups will pursue one of the following sub-themes :

Policy, law, land rights recognition and formalisation
Land distribution, civil society and access to justice
Dispossession, land grabbing and foreign direct investment
Environment and conservation
Marginalised people and gender

Program schedule (indicative)

The program is designed so that you will spend no more than 15-20 hours online per week (and no more than four hours per day, in sessions no longer than two hours). Breakout rooms and discussion groups will be a key part of the course design. Sessions will be scheduled from Monday to Friday with formal sessions or informal check-ins each day. Whether it is a formal learning module, a social catch-up or a cultural event, each session will be different. 

Pre-program: Submission of a 1000-word annotated bibliography based on a guided reading assignment.

Week One: 1 x 5 hour in-person field visit to “Thai Town” (SYDNEY ONLY), 2 x 2 hour language seminars; 2 x 2 hour cultural seminars; 4 x 1 hour asynchronous modules; 3 x 1 hour check ins (total = 20 hours)

Week Two: 5 x 2 hour seminars (guest speakers, lectures); 5 x 1 hour asynchronous modules; 5 x 1 hour check ins and reflections (total = 20 hours)

Week Three: 3 x 2 hour research workshops; 4 x 1 hour asynchronous modules; 5 x 1 hour research check-ins (total = 15 hours)

Week Four: 4 x 1 hour asynchronous modules; 5 x 1 hour research check ins; 5 x 1 hour student research presentations; 1 x 2 hour wrap-up and final reflections (total = 15 hours)

Benefits of participating in this program

This is a unique opportunity for you to develop and apply your research skills in an international and interdisciplinary setting. A distinguishing feature of this program is the opportunity to work with students from Southeast Asian universities, thus providing not only a cross-disciplinary but also an international learning experience. Outcomes may include:

Building strong networks that can be sustained post-program across both countries.
Engaging in cross-cultural collaboration, experiencing the value of working in diverse teams in new settings and exploring new perspectives and approaches to learning and research.
Enhancing cultural competence, a graduate attribute, to help facilitate growth in cultural understanding across personal and professional interactions.
Achieving program outcomes by engaging in a shared project which requires research, understanding local realities, engages with local actors and is based on deep understanding of the realities of life in each location.
Engaging in design thinking or other structured activities to use problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking to achieve a project outcome.
Gaining an interdisciplinary understanding of political, economic, legal, ethno-cultural, geographical and developmental issues in Thailand through the lens of land and environment.