Passport Travel Study Program
Printer-friendly version

Highland Peoples of Southeast Asia
June 9–July 4, 2020

Faculty: Dr. William Nitzky, Dr. Chunyan Echo Song & Dr. Tony Waters [ Bios ]

Academic Credit: Earn 6 units of academic credit. [ Courses ]

About the Program

Join us as we embark on a journey to northern Thailand, one of the most ethnically-diverse regions of the world. From our base at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we will explore the lives, histories, interactions, and movement of highlands peoples of Southeast Asia.

This highly-engaging program will provide a unique opportunity to become actively involved in earning about tourism development, ethnic diversity, and field research. From tourist villages and theme parks, community markets and workshops, to religious sites, this faculty-led program will take you deep into this complex landscape to navigate the impacts of political, economic, and cultural change on highland communites.

Trips & Excursions Include

Chiang Mai Night Bazaars • Chiang Rai • Doi Suthep Temple • Ban Huay Hom, Phrae Province (Hmong and Other Hill Tribes) • The Golden Triangle


Total Program Fees: $3,700

• Travel Course Fee: $1,900. Includes homestay lodging, some meals, program excursions, and Foreign Travel Insurance.
• Academic Course Fees: $1,800
*If the program cancels due to low enrollment you will receive a full refund

Additional Expenses:

• Estimated airfare: $1,200
• Estimated personal expenses/incidentals: $400 (extra meals, laundry, entertainment or shopping)
* Unexpected and urgent expenses may arise while abroad.

Up to $450 subsidies are available to the first ten students who submit an approved application and deposit!

Academic Credit

This program offers six units of academic credit, allowing you to make progress toward your degree. Once your final fee payment has been made, Regional & Continuing Education will enroll you in the following classes:

• ANTH 338: Culture and Tourism: This course examines the cultural diversity of tourism as a global phenomenon, focusing on non-Western cultures and the impact of culture change in the 21st century. The development of tourism as a global industry is discussed as well as an analysis of types of tourists and motivation for travel to various destinations, such as cultural heritage tourism and ecotourism. Case studies illustrate the positive and negative impacts of tourism.

• SOCI 354: Global Perspectives on Ethnicity and Nationalism: This course studies relationships between ethnic groups outside of the US Consideration is given to ethnic identities, interactions, competition, conflict over resources, cultural preservation, the development of nationalism, and state policies. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course.

Program Faculty

Professor William NitzkyDr. William Nitzky, Professor (Socio-cultural Anthropology, CSU Chico) conducts research on the wave of Chinese international tourists. The research explores the mobility of Chinese outbound tourists, their motivations and behavior, and the increasingly prevalent sociocultural impacts of the largest spenders in the world. Past fieldwork was conducted in Japan, a hotbed for Chinese tourists, and how this new tourist market has begun to transform Japan’s tourism industry. Contact: Read full bio.

Professor Chunyan SongDr. Chunyan Echo Song, Professor (Sociology, CSU, Chico), was born and raised in Shandong, China. Her research interests and publications are on educational performance among immigrant youth, sociology of family, and demography. Since 2009, she has been working on a collaborative research project to compare child feeding practices in three cultures: China, Japan, and the United States. Contact:

Dr. Tony Waters, Professor (Sociology, CSU, Chico), teaches classes in Social Theory, Dr. Tony WatersPopulation, Global Issues, and International Engagement. While at Chico State, he has also been a guest professor in Tanzania, Germany, and Thailand. While on leave in Thailand at Payap University, he conducted research projects dealing with the 2015 ceasefire in Myanmar, and Thai-English literary translation. Contact: