Winter 2013: Vietnam, Laos and Thailand

Art on the Edge of Politics: Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand

Art on the Edge of Politics is a once in a life time educational opportunity for students to become acquainted with the people, culture, history, literature, art and geography of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, places few Westerners venture. Southeast Asian countries are experiencing rapid change as they struggle to connect to the burgeoning global economy. Surrounded by successful “Asian economic tigers,” Vietnam, Laos and Thailand offer emerging markets, natural resources and cheap labor. These countries also offer a wide range of ethnic diversity, geographic diversity and bio-diversity; mountains, beaches, jungle, rugged coastline and the large Mekong Delta area in southern Vietnam, an area that is home to many endangered species such as fresh water porpoise, red headed cranes, white storks and Java rhinos.


Dec. 30, 2012–Jan. 19, 2013

Academic Credit

Participants may earn up to six credit hours selected from the following courses:

  • HIST 3000-08 Topics in Art as History
  • HIST 3800-02 Art on the Edge of Politics
  • LITR 3616-02 Topics in Global Comparison
  • SOCI 3800-02 Art on the Edge of Politics

With faculty approval and permission, participants may also apply for Directed Study credit pursuant to a successfully completed Directed Study proposal signed by all appropriate parties, following the guidelines and requirements of a Directed Study. Please see the registrar's office for Directed Study forms and guidelines.


The travel program will be led by two experts on foreign relations and military history, Dr. Hal Wert, Ph.D., professor of liberal arts at KCAI, and Dr. Jim Willbanks from Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

Program cost

  • 6 credit hours:  $8,080
  • 3 credit hours:  $7,200
  • 0 credit hours (participants affiliated with KCAI):  $5,925
  • 0 credit hours (participants not affiliated with KCAI):  $6,325

Program expenses includes tuition, airfare, ground transportation, accommodations, all excursions and museum entries and most meals.


Friday, Sept. 14: Completed application, including all required accompanying documentation, and a $250 non-refundable program deposit are due. Program deposits must be paid in the business office on the second floor of Vanderslice Hall and completed applications must be submitted to the international studies coordinator in the Academic Resource Center on the second floor of Jannes Library.

Accepted participants will receive email confirmation early the following week at which time they will be asked to sign and return their acceptance form to the international studies coordinator in the ARC.

Friday, Sept. 28: Payment for half of the total program cost is due in the business office.

Friday, Oct. 19: Payment for the final half of the total program cost is due in the business office.


Brief Itinerary

Dec. 30, 2012:  Depart Kansas City

Dec. 31:  In transit (crossing the International Date Line)

Jan. 1:  Arrive Hanoi, transfer to the hotel. After lunch, visit Temple of Literature

Jan. 2:  Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Museum of Ethnology, evening Water Puppet performance

Jan. 3:  Ho Chi Minh Trail Museum, (if time permits) Museum of Vietnamese Revolution, Hoa Lo Prison (the Hanoi Hilton), military museum or art museum; free time

Jan. 4:  Hanoi Laocal, overnight train to Sapa

Jan. 5:  Arrive Sapa. Visit Hmong and Dao village of Sin Chai, experience textiles, music, food and dance. Home stay

Jan. 6:  Transfer to Bacha for Sunday market. By bus to Laichau

Jan. 7:  Laichau to Dienbierphu, visit Dien Bien Phu battlefield and museum

Jan. 8:  Giap Headquarters, evening banquet and party with Black Thai

Jan. 9:  Fly to Dienbien Hanoi. Lemat snake village

Jan. 10:  By road to Caobang

Jan. 11:  Cao Bang (French/Vietnamese Minh Battle), Ho Chi Minh hideout, Uncle Ho Museum and (if time permits) Ban Gioc Falls

Jan. 12:  Caobang Hanoi by bus

Jan. 13:  Fly to Luang Prabang, Laos. Meet tour guide and transfer to hotel. After short rest, climb up Phousli Mountain to watch the sunset

Jan. 14: 5 a.m. attend an Arm-Giving – hundreds of monks walking along side road to collect rice and food from laymen. After breakfast, visit National Museum before participating in morning cooking class at Tamarind Cooking School. Late afternoon, visit Wat Visit Sun.

Jan. 15:  Visit Wat Sene and Wat Xjengthong. Short flight to Veintuane. Meet guide and tour city, visit Pha That Luang, photos at Patuxay monument.

Jan. 16:  Visit National Museum, Horprakao, and Wat Slsaketh

Jan. 17:  Vientiane to Bangkok. Damnoen Saduak floating market

Jan. 18:  Grand Palace, Wat Pra Keaw, National Museum, National Art Gallery

Jan. 19, 2013:  Depart Bangkok for US

Download the information packet

Download the application

Continuing Education

Interested in continuing education classes at KCAI? Visit the School for Continuing and Professional Studies.

Virtual Advisor

Have questions about KCAI? Find the answers here.