Environmental and Conservation Geography of Southeast Asia

Welcome to Southeast Asia, the land of contradictions.

Welcome to Southeast Asia, the land of contradictions. At a pace and scope not seen before, the ancient structures, diverse cultures and delicate ecosystems of this region clash with the pressures of new technology, rapid urban development, foreign investment, and climate change. Don’t miss the chance to interact with these impressive shifts directly as part of this intensive group study program travelling through Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia.

This program’s itinerary is designed to maximize exposure to local natural and urban environments; as well as the historical evolution of – and social, political, and environmental problems occurring within – the Southeast Asian region.

Participants will engage with course topics through direct observation, lectures, fieldwork, and communication with local university contacts.

Key information


Southeast Asia: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysian Borneo and Bali Indonesia




Spring 2020

Program type

Group Study

Application information

Application status


Application deadline

This program is full for 2020.

Applications are now closed. 

Additional requirements

This program is open to students from all majors. See the Eligibility section below for more details.

Info sessions

September 18, 4 – 5pm , ES 319

September 26, noon – 1pm, ES 319

October 9, 4 – 5pm, ES 319

October 22, noon – 1pm, ES 702

November 6, 4 – 5pm, ES 319

November 29, noon – 1pm, ES 319

Student Experience

Singapore at night

Have questions?

For program information, please contact Darren Sjogren at sjogren@ucalgary.ca  or Aaron Williams at awill@ucalgary.ca

For application and registration support, please contact the Group Study Team at group.study@ucalgary.ca

Other useful links:

Program details

Questions about these courses should be directed to the program instructor.

Please note: course descriptions are tentative and subject to change.

  1. Courses offered

    Students on this program are required to enroll in four courses. Students may choose any four from the following list of courses:

    EASC 301: Human-Environment Interactions (3 credits)

    GEOG 324: Society and Environmental Change (3 credits)

    GEOG 390: International Field Studies (3 credits)

    UBST 394: Overseas Field School in Sustainable Urbanism Part I (3 credits)

    GEOG 428: Sustainability and Political Ecology (3 credits)

    GEOG 596: Directed Independent Study (3 credits)

  2. Prerequisites

    EASC 301: Consent of the department

    GEOG 324: Consent of the department (Antireq: GEOG 321)

    GEOG 390: Consent of the department (Antireq: GEOG 597.23)

    UBST 394: Consent of the department

    GEOG 428: GEOG courses (300 or higher) (Antireq: GEOG 421)

    GEOG 596: Consent of the department

  1. Pre-departure

    Date TBD, Calgary: Mandatory group travel clinic

    Date TBD, Calgary: Mandatory pre-departure orientation

    May 1 - 5, Calgary: On campus international field studies academic sessions

  2. In-field

    May 6 - 10: Depart Calgary for Khao Lak

    May 11 - 13: Khao Sok

    May 14 - 17: Kho Ngai

    May 18 - 19: Krabi AoNang

    May 20 - 23: Singapore

    May 24 - 26: Kota Kinabalu

    May 27 - 28: Mount Kinabalu

    May 29 - 30: KOPEL

    May 31: Sandakan

    June 1 - 6: Bali

    June 7: Depart Bali for Calgary or Independent Travel

    Click here for detailed itinerary

  3. Post-field

    Assignment deadlines to be confirmed

  1. Costs

    The estimated cost of the Environmental and Conservation Geography of Southeast Asia Group Study Program is $9,991. This includes tuition, airfare, field trips, local transportation, accommodations and meals. 

     For the full cost breakdown and payment deadlines, please see the program Student Cost Summary.

    Important information regarding deposit payments: Deposits are non-refundable. Deposits secure your space in the program and allows payment for logistical arrangements to be made in advance.


    2020/21 Tuition Fees:

    The following proposed rate increases are being shared in advance of their approval to help students plan their finances for the upcoming school year.

    The Government of Alberta recently lifted the tuition freeze that has been in place since 2014-15. As a result, tuition rates for Canadian (domestic) students will be permitted to increase by 7% annually in each the next three years . Tuition rates for international students will no longer be regulated. In response to this change, the University of Calgary’s Board of Governors will be reviewing proposals to increase tuition rates in January 2020. If approved, the following rate increases will apply for the 2020-21 academic year:

    • New domestic students: 7% increase to all tuition fees, except for undergraduate programs in engineering course-based graduate programs in engineering (MEng), public policy (MPP) and business administration (MBA) for which a 10% increase is being proposed.
    • New International students: 10% increase to tuition fees with the exception of course based graduate programs in engineering (MEng), public policy (MPP) and business administration (MBA) for which a 15% increase is being proposed.
    • Graduate thesis students: A new tuition structure that will even out program costs over the length of the program versus having higher costs in years one (Masters) or pre-candidacy (PhD)
    • All continuing students:  5% increase to tuition fees

    If approved, these rate increases will be in effect for the Spring 2020 term.


  2. Funding

    International Study Travel Grant: Students studying abroad may be eligible for the University of Calgary's International Study Travel Grant. For more information on eligibility, application details and deadlines please click here.

    New! Faculty of Arts Group Study Program (GSP) Scholarships (for GSP participants) and Faculty of Arts Student Study Abroad Scholarships (for other international programs) - up to 10 awards of $1000 each! Deadline to apply is March 31st.  Any queries about these scholarships should be directed to Faculty of Arts Associate Dean Gavin Cameron: gcameron@ucalgary.ca 

    IDEAS Funding: Students in the Faculty of Science are encouraged to apply for IDEAS funding. For more information, please click here.

    2020 Hong Kong-Canada Business Association Scholarship: Do you have an interest in business, entrepreneurship, technology, development, sustainability, language/culture or education in Hong Kong, China, and/or other Asian countries? Each year the Hong Kong Canada Business Association (HKCBA) in Calgary awards two scholarships for students from the University of Calgary to help turn their ideas into reality. For more information, please click here.

    Student loans: If you qualify for student loans, your program should qualify. We are able to provide you with a letter confirming your participation in the program for funding purposes. Please email group.study@ucalgary.ca to request a letter.

    Please note that eligibility for student loans is determined by your loans provider. 

All students will stay at student appropriate, safe and clean accommodations.

Please note that there may be a home stay opportunity in Malaysian Borneo. Details to follow.

This program is open to undergraduate students in good academic standing from all faculties.

Applications will be considered after your application, unofficial transcript, questionnaire and program agreement have been received by Study Abroad.

  1. Statement of Purpose

    Please tell us why you want to study abroad, why you have selected this particular program (academic reasons, personal interest, career prospects, etc.), how this program will meet your academic objectives and/or complement your degree, how you plan to finance your program and why you should be selected.

    The Statement of Purpose is submitted within your online application (max 500 words).

    Note: Because the online application will time out after one hour, we recommend that you compose your statement of purpose in advance in Word to check for spelling, grammar and word count, and then paste it into the online application.

  2. Additional documents

    Download an unofficial transcript from your Student Centre.

    Click here for a step-by-step guide to access your unofficial transcript.

    Please download both the supplementary questionnaire and program agreement for this program. 

    Complete and sign both forms, and submit your forms and transcripts by email to group.study@ucalgary.ca.

  3. Interview with the Instructor

    After your complete application has been received and reviewed by the instructors, you will be contacted by Dr. Darren Sjogren to schedule an interview. Please watch your UCalgary email account and expect to be contacted within several business days of submitting all your documents to the Group Study Team. You can prepare for your interview by reviewing the interview questions provided here.

  4. Swim Assessment for Snorkeling

    The snorkeling activities have been specifically chosen to support your academic learning in this program. We encourage all students to participate if they are able. If you are unable to participate in the snorkeling component of this program, you will be able to participate in an alternate land-based activity. 

    Students who are participating in the snorkeling component of this program will have to complete a basic swim assessment prior to the program departure. You can view the assessment components here.

    You will be provided with information on how to book your swim assessment after you have submitted your application. 

Please ensure that you have read the Group Study Program General FAQs thoroughly before applying.


Program-specific FAQs

Q: The detailed itinerary for this program includes snorkelling. Is it mandatory to participate in this activity? What safety precautions will be taken? 
A: The snorkeling activities have been specifically chosen to support your academic learning in this program. We encourage all students to participate if they are able, however, it is not mandatory: an alternate land-based activity will be offered for students who will not be snorkeling. A basic swimming test will be scheduled and successful completion of the test is required in order for students to be able to snorkel. More information about the swim test will be sent to you after your application is accepted.

The lectures and activities took us to many areas where tourism had not yet been developed providing a raw experience that would be difficult to experience without the university.

Sam Finn

2015 SE Asia GSP Participant

Getting started

Program-Specific Info Sessions

Info sessions are scheduled for every Group Study Program. Attending an info session is not required to apply, but strongly recommended as it will give you an opportunity to meet the instructor and learn more about the travel experience.

Please scroll up to the top of this page to view the info sessions for this program.

We also recommend watching Study Abroad 101 for general information.

Watch Study Abroad 101

Study Abroad Advising

If you have questions about this program, you can meet with one of our Group Study Advisors by emailing group.study@ucalgary.ca or booking an appointment through the link below.

1. Select “Book an Appointment”
2. Select “Study Abroad Appointments”
3. Select “Book by Appointment Type”
4. Select #2, "Study Abroad Advising", to view available times.

Book an appointment

Academic Advising

Before applying to study abroad, you should ask your academic advisor how a Group Study Program might align with your degree.

After you are accepted, you should ask your academic advisor more specific questions about courses/credits. It’s also recommended to follow up with your advisor again once you return to Calgary.

Find your academic advisor

Start your application

Once you have gathered everything you need, you can begin your application!

Please note: Applications will not be considered complete until all required documents are submitted in full.


International travel presents challenges that may not be found when attending classes on campus. There may be a lack of resources, emergency services, hospitals, accessibility issues and/or demands on the physical and the mental self, all of which can challenge individuals when away from their usual support systems and structures. Adequate preparation is essential.

For this reason, it is imperative that you evaluate all aspects of your own physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual condition against the rigors of the particular study abroad program you are selecting. If you are unsure of whether or not this program is a good fit for you and/or if you have any circumstances that could impede your enjoyment of the program, please contact us. Our Study Abroad Team will be happy to assist in finding the best options for you and arrange any supports or accommodations necessary to ensure your success.

Please note if you have or are seeking a certificate from Student Accessibility Services, you should provide this early to your Study Abroad Advisor to ensure that the option that you are seeking can support your needs.