Programs : Brochure
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Short Program - Southeast Asian Frontiers
Bangkok, Thailand; Chiang Dao, Thailand; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Chiang Rai, Thailand; Dok Kham Tai, Thailand; Northern Thailand, Thailand; Phayao, Thailand; Samut Sakhon, Thailand; Tachileik, Myanmar (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Winter
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Program type:
Short Program
Program Description:
Southeast Asian Frontiers


Gain an understanding of one of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic borderlands and its languages through one of our longest running study tour courses. Ask our previous participants what Southeast Asian Frontiers is like and they’ll all tell you the same thing:  it’s intense, it’s challenging, and it’s transformative.

You will explore issues relating to international relations, transnational security, human rights, and border trade along the Thailand and Myanmar border. You will have an opportunity to develop practical skills relating to your specific research interests. You will investigate and explore humanitarian issues relating to ethnic minorities in both countries while engaged in community based-activities learning from social activists, migrant groups, NGO workers, anti-narcotics agents, government officials and more. 

The course is challenging on many levels, but it is also tremendously rewarding. Previous participants have gone on to careers with DFAT, Immigration and Defence, to work with NGOs in Thailand and Myanmar, and to conduct PhD research on issues affecting the region.

This 12 unit course is open to undergraduate and postgraduate students.

ANU is offering this course with 9 New Colombo Plan Mobility Program funding to eligible undergraduate students and 4 Endeavour Grant funding to eligible postgraduate students.

Study Activity

In-country activity for this course will run from 21 June 2017 - 19 July 2017.

This course (ASIA3014/ASIA6114) will engage you in an interactive approach to learning Thai and Burmese ethnic languages alongside a structured introduction to the cultures, societies and politics of mainland Southeast Asia's frontiers.

You will travel through Thailand and Myanmar undertaking structured fieldwork to develop not only cultural and linguistic skills, but a greater understanding of the complexities of these Southeast Asian borderlands from a comparative and transnational perspective.

You will start with a two day workshop in Canberra focusing on Thai language and culture preparation on 19 June, then travel to Thailand and Myanmar on the 21st June for the in-country fieldwork and research. You will spend the last days of the course attending the International Conference on Thai Studies at Chiang Mai University.

The major assessment is a research paper on a topic of your choice. You will have guidance from the course convener and course tutor to develop a research topic in-country. Some examples of topics in the past have included: immigration, human trafficking, refugees, preservation of language and culture of ethnic minority groups, water and food security, application of Buddhism in the modern era, the role of civil society in environmental protection, sustainable development, and economic sufficiency in Thailand. 

Please note: assessment for this course will overlap with Semester 2, 2017. Students who wish to participate in this course and complete 18 units of study or more in Semester 2, 2017 will need to apply to overload.

Students are advised that this program may be terminated or amended at short notice dependent upon external circumstances beyond the University’s control.

Check out this great video about the 2015 course:

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

This opportunity is open to ANU undergraduate and postgraduate students with preference given to students who have completed 48 units of study a the time of application.

Just tell us how this opportunity would benefit you personally and academically, how you will prepare yourself for cross-cultural communication in Southeast Asia and outline a proposed research topic. If you are eligible, also tell us how you think this opportunity meets the objectives of the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan program or Endeavour Mobility Grant.

Participants will be selected based on their response to the application questions. Academic results may also be taken into consideration during the selection process.
Where grants are available, preference may be given to students who meet the eligibility requirements of the grants.

This course requires a minimum number of students in order to run.

Application Details

Complete the application form by Sunday 21 May 2017.

If you are successful, you will be advised of your application outcome by Friday 26 May 2017.  You must be able to confirm your participation by Wednesday 31 May after meeting with the convener.

Funding Opportunities

New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants

CAP has secured 9 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants (5x $2000 and 4x $3000 grants) for eligible undergraduate students. To be eligible you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen
  • Be aged 18-28
  • Have not received an NCP short term mobility grant previously
  • Not hold residency rights to Thailand or Myanmar
More information on the Australian Government's New Colombo Plan and the full eligibility requirements can be found here

Endeavour Mobility Grants

Additionally, CAP has secured 4 Endeavour Mobility Grants of $3000 for eligible postgraduate students. To be eligible you must:
  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Be currently undertaking a postgraduate degree at the ANU
  • Have this course count toward your current postgraduate program
More information on the Australian Government's Endeavour Mobility Program and the full eligibility requirements can be found here

Grants will be issued based on responses to the selection questions related to the funding schemes.

EngageAsia Travel Guarantee

Successful applicants that do not meet the NCP or Endeavour eligibility requirements or do not receive a grant will receive $500 of funding support through the Engage Asia Travel Guarantee


OS-HELP is a Government loan scheme to assist eligible Australian students enrolled in a Commonwealth supported place, who wish to undertake an overseas experience as part of their degree. Find out more about OS-HELP.

Travel and Other Costs

You will be required to cover the costs of your flights, accommodation and living expenses. 

Accommodation and internal transport for the duration of the in-country program will be arranged by the ANU convener.

Other Information

In addition to your passport, additional documents will be required for a visa application to Myanmar. In previous years, students have been required to submit:
  • An updated CV
  • Passport Photos
More information regarding this process will be given to successful applicants.


CAP Student Centre
T: 6125 3207

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Applications for this program are not currently open. If this is an ANU exchange program, you can view the next exchange program application opening dates and closing deadlines here.
This program is currently not accepting applications.

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