A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Go ED Mekong

Off Campus Program (15 credits)

Campus Contact: Ronald J. Oakerson

Go ED is a semester abroad program sponsored by a non-profit community development group focused on transforming the next generation to own and end poverty. Taught from a Christian perspective, students learn about the complexities of their discipline in a real world context from experts who are academically, professionally and spiritually qualified. Learning format includes lectures, field trips, and field work. Experience in applying theory to real problems is emphasized. Houghton College is an accrediting institution for this program which is offered both fall and spring semesters at Go ED sites in Africa and the Mekong region of South East Asia. All courses receive Houghton credit. Visit the program’s web site at www.go-ed.org.

Go ED Mekong takes place primarily in Thailand. Placements may also be in Cambodia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, or other South East Asian countries.


Course Descriptions

INCL 314 Exclusion and Exploitation: Marginal people of the Mekong

3-F&S

This course examines the exclusion and exploitation of people in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Topics to be covered include: Identifying the various groups of people who are marginalized in the GMS and the basis of their exclusion (including race, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, gender, religion, economic status, and other factors); Describing the types of injustice faced (including poverty, human rights violations, discrimination, prejudice, genocide, persecution, labor exploitation, trafficking, prostitution, forced migration of IDPs, refugees and economic refugees); Examining the history, context and causes of exclusion and exploitation; and analyzing indigenous, governmental, NGO, and faith-based responses. Liberal Arts.

ANTH 256 History, Religion, & Society of the Mekong Region

3-F&S

This course provides an introduction of the historical and social context of the Mekong subregion of South East Asia and explores the dynamics between religious, political, and other social foundations and contemporary forces of change. The course begins with a survey of the major religions of the region (chiefly Buddhism and tribal Animism) and their enduring influence of worldview and culture. The course proceeds with a survey of regional history from ancient times (including the La Na kingdom, of particular significance to Chiang Mai’s heritage) through nation building and international relations to the emergence of globalization. Students will be guided to explore the influence of intangible factors on tangible institutions and historical events. The course includes several excursions to nearby sites and guest lectures to ground the knowledge of the Mekong region with an experiential sense of place and perspective. Liberal Arts.

INCL 256 History, Religion, & Society of the Mekong Region

3-F&S

This course provides an introduction of the historical and social context of the Mekong subregion of South East Asia and explores the dynamics between religious, political, and other social foundations and contemporary forces of change. The course begins with a survey of the major religions of the region (chiefly Buddhism and tribal Animism) and their enduring influence of worldview and culture. The course proceeds with a survey of regional history from ancient times (including the La Na kingdom, of particular significance to Chiang Mai’s heritage) through nation building and international relations to the emergence of globalization. Students will be guided to explore the influence of intangible factors on tangible institutions and historical events. The course includes several excursions to nearby sites and guest lectures to ground the knowledge of the Mekong region with an experiential sense of place and perspective. Liberal Arts.

INCL 319 Intercultural Practicum

3-F&S

This course in the Go ED program is described as providing "hands on" cross-cultural experience with community development work in the field. Students will be exposed to international development programs and have the opportunity to work in cross-cultural work environments and contribute meaningfully to their assigned program. Students will begin to assess their own ability to live and work in cross-cultural settings as well as be introduced to the challenges faced in the Millennial Development Goals. Potential sites include Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and other South East Asian countries. Can substitute for INCL 311 for INCL majors/minors and ICE with INCL concentration. Liberal Arts.

INCL 381 Social Context for Community Development

3-F&S

This course is an introduction to development and development theory. Students will acquire knowledge of and the ability to apply a variety of development strategies and methods. During the field component of the course students will be exposed to programming and sites where they will be able to apply the content material for assessing and recommending program alterations within the context of specific communities. Students will become acquainted with the Millennial Development Goals and their relevance to area situations. Students will be exposed to a variety of strategies designed to involve members of the community in the process of development. Strategies for funding community development projects locally and internationally are explored. Liberal Arts.

INCL 255 Thai Cultural Arts

3-F&S

This course explores the Thai arts as both cultural expression and cultural epistemology (a way of engaging and knowing the world that differs from Western empiricism and consumerism). It provides hands on experience of the ways in which the arts can serve as an agent of preservation as well as an agent of transformation in culture. It seeks to guide students in the exploration of the spiritual, philosophical, social, and psychological drivers of the cultural arts in order to gain a deeper appreciation of diversity and human creativity. Students will be introduced to a broad array of artistic expression and media in Thailand under the guidance of local experts and artists (including visual arts, music, hand crafts, culinary arts, dance, Likay, and other performing arts). Students will come to appreciate the unique role and effectiveness of the arts in culture (e.g. prophetic confrontation of injustice with the status quo, or communicating in ways that overcome linguistic barriers, etc.) and gain a new sense of value of the arts for their life and work. The course has a high emphasis on participation and reflection. Culture: Art. Liberal Arts.

Return To Department