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Thailand: From Now to Then to Now

Summer Semester 2014
4-weeks on-site in Thailand (mid-May to mid-June) with scheduled pre- and post trip class meetings at MIAD

  • 3 Studio Credits + 3 Liberal Studies Credits (6 credits total)
  • FA396: Fine Arts Studio Travel Elective OR DS396: Design Studio Travel Elective
  • PLUS  HS396 Humanities Travel Elective
  • Pre-requisites: Completed Freshman year by time of travel and instructor approval


Thailand is a diverse country poised on the cutting-edge of design, with a fascinating history, a rich array of cultures, and growing economic development. Traditional Thai culture persists and exists alongside, and is folded into, contemporary life… a juxtaposition uniquely Thai. Like other developing countries affected by globalization, there are great tensions generated by the changes being experienced.

This course embraces and examines various Thai cultural practices from antiquity to contemporary by immersing the students in research and exploration into design, art, architecture, and cultural studies. Guided research trips to important places in Bangkok, Chiang Mai as well as Angkor Wat in Cambodia, along with exposure to the country’s and southeast Asia’s history, will help to contextualize students’ close and intimate experiences with the Thai art and design world.

Students will visit galleries, museums and artist studios and participate in dialogues with artists, designers and other creative individuals who must constantly navigate a rapidly evolving Thailand.  As a result of this experience, students will be better able to contextualize and navigate their own studio practices in relation to contemporary social, cultural or intellectual currents.

Student research will be an important foundation, not only for the required paper, but also for the studio project to be completed upon return to MIAD. An exhibition of studio work will be mounted in August 2014.

Jason S. Yi, MIAD Professor of Foundations, has led multiple MIAD study abroad programs and has been an artist-in-residence in Beijing, Austria and Japan. He has traveled extensively in Asia, including China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan and Thailand. He has a deep interest in studying different cultures and the effects of globalization on society, which filters into his studio practice as well as the classroom. Jason has exhibited his work throughout the United States, as well as internationally. Jason is represented by Dean Jensen Gallery in Milwaukee.

Kim Miller, is currently a MIAD Adjunct Instructor, who has taught at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and was an artist-in-residence at Compeung, Doi Saket, Thailand. She has traveled extensively throughout Thailand and is knowledgeable about Thai culture, customs and beliefs. In Thailand she has collaborated with such groups as Buddhist monks and young school children, as well as maintained connections to many others in the country’s art and design culture. Kim has worked as an art director, graphic designer, educator and artist – working for non-profits and multi-national corporations, as well as freelance.

Estimated Travel/ Course Fee: $4398
Includes 6 credits MIAD summer tuition, housing, field trips, museum and temple admissions, ground transportation on location, travel health/ safety insurance during program dates, Cambodian VISA, and several group meals.

Students are responsible for necessary passports or other visas if required. Airfare is NOT included. (Roundtrip airfare may cost between $1400-1800.)

Application Deadline:   December 2, 2013. 
Interested students must apply for the program and complete an application packet (download from MIAD Thailand program website or available outside of office 450B). Space is limited. Completed application forms must include a deposit of $600 payable to MIAD Thailand Program, a statement of interest, 2 letters of reference and financial aid form indicating if requesting aid or not. Application materials must be submitted to Jenny Krantz (450B) by deadline.
After student is accepted into the program, the deposit is non-refundable.

Students must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Minimum enrollment must be met for program to run. Deposits will be returned if program is canceled because of insufficient enrollment or if student is not accepted. (Because MIAD may be incurring costs upon students’ behalf, a portion of fees beyond the deposit may be non-refundable after a certain date.)

Financial Aid:  
Financial aid is available for qualified students. Interested students should inquire at the MIAD Financial Aid office as soon as possible to determine individual eligibility. Students should be aware that financial aid cannot be distributed any earlier than 5-7 days before the official start of the program/course, so students should plan other means to cover earlier required payments.

Payment Schedule:     
Payments on balance of course fee and tuition* will be due in the MIAD Business Office. Sample payment schedule based on estimated tuition/course fee noted:

December 2, 2013 – $600 Deposit must accompany application
(non-refundable after program acceptance)
January 31, 2014 – $600  
March 21, 2014 – $600
May 1, 2014 – $2598  FINAL PAYMENT**                  

Full payment is REQUIRED before program begins.
Payments beyond initial deposit may also be non-refundable if expenses have already been paid on participant’s behalf.
** Students who are expecting financial aid for the summer semester can elect to have this applied to their final payment.

Jenny Krantz, Director, Creative Learning Opportunities & Research – 
Office – 450B