Contemplative Practice: Summer Study in Thailand

Registration  for Summer 2016 now open!
Course is limited to 20 participants maximum
June 30 – July 29 2016

The Contemplative Practice Summer Study Abroad Program in Thailand is a five week program with a service learning component and the option of academic credit offered through the University of Mary Washington. The program is offered in cooperation with Ubon Ratchathani University

  • learn meditation and t’ai chi chuan
  • participate in a four day meditation retreat
  • teach English to students at Rajabhat Ubon Ratchathani University
  • enjoy joint activities with Thai university students
  • visit historical sites and participate in cultural activities, including:
  • take part in the annual Candle Festival in Ubonrathcathani
  • experience Thai massage at the Temple of the Reclining Buddha
  • see prehistoric art on the cliffs at Pha Taem along the Mae Kong river
  • explore 10th century Khmer ruins
  • visit national parks
  • visit temples, including Thai, Chinese, and Hindu
  • see the “million bottle temple” constructed entirely of recycled beer bottles
  • become familiar with Asian culture in both rural and urban settings

The course is an intensive, experiential introduction to mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices. The entire field course will take place in Thailand, where, in addition to daily practice and instruction in a variety of settings, students will learn firsthand the concepts and principles of contemplative thought and practices, their development in the Buddhist traditions of Southeast Asia, and their manifestation in contemporary Thai culture. Students will witness both urban and village lifestyles during their five week tour. We will visit important historical sites and landmarks, temples, nature preserves, experience the Ubon Ratchathani candle festival marking the beginning of Buddhist lent, spend 16 days in residence at Ubon Ratchathanee University, and will participate in a 4 day meditation retreat.

The program is open to all students. There are no prerequisites, and students in any major or year of study are eligible to apply. The program is limited to a maximum of 20 students. Take a look at some of Nicole Bethune’s reflections on the summer 2014 program in her blog post.

Some partial scholarships for UMW students are available through the Center for International Education and through the Leidecker Center for Asian Studies. 

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