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  • Locations: Bangkok, Thailand; Luang Prabang, Laos; Nakhon Sawan, Thailand
  • Program Terms: March Break
  • Restrictions: Babson applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Class Status: Undergraduate Program Type: Elective Abroad
Eligible Populations: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel, Residence Hall
Pre-requisites: CVA, HSS, LVA, See Below Program Advisor: Renee Graham
Program Description:

HIS4610 Social Responsibility in Thailand & Laos

Thailand and Laos

James Hoopes, Professor of History
Murata Professor of Ethics in Business





Quick Facts


Information Session  
Information Session Date Wednesday, September 6, 2017 
5:00 - 6:00 PM ET
Trim 201
Application Deadlines  
Application Opens Tuesday, September 5, 2017  9:00 AM ET
Initial Application Deadline Sunday, September 24, 2017  11:59 PM ET
Rolling Application Deadline Sunday, November 26, 2017  11:59 PM ET
(Applications are reviewed at the end of the month: Sept-Nov)
Course Dates  
Pre-Travel Class Session 1
Saturday, February 24, 2018
9:30 AM-1:00 PM

Class Session 2
Saturday, March 3, 2018
9:30 AM-1:00 PM
Travel Friday, March 16 - Sunday, March 25, 2018
Post-Travel TBD-post travel meeting and deliverable are expected


Thailand & Laos


Open to students who are in good academic and social standing with the college. See below for any pre-requisite details.

Financial Considerations

Program Fee: $1,300
Airfare (Group): $1,150
Tuition: Tuition is paid directly to SFS and is included in the spring semester flat rate tuition charge (up to 20 credits)
Additional Expenses: See financial considerations below.

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Program Overview


Course Description

Exploration of the social aspects of the virtue of compassion as taught by the Buddha.
The virtue of compassion is held in declining regard these days, at least in circles where social responsibility is discussed.  Philanthropy is old hat.  Simple giving to relieve suffering is considered simplistic and wasteful. 
Utilitarian measures are the new orthodoxy.  Capacity building, impact investing, return-on-investment and so forth are supposed to drive decisions in the social sector, just as they do in the business sector.
Today’s prevailing view is summed up in a pithy saying: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 
This course will consider the possibility that if one practices compassion in the spirit of the Buddha it may be possible to arrive at an alternative conclusion:  “Give a man a fish, and he may help you build a fish farm” (Wanna Prayukvong and Jim Hoopes).
The test case and the centerpiece event of the course will be a visit to Siam Hands, a highly successful garment manufacturer.  The ancestor firm of Siam Hands is “Why Japan?” which two Thai entrepreneurs founded as an act of simple compassion in order to help 7 workers unhappy with their jobs at another factory. 
Siam Hands employees responded to this compassion by recognizing their interdependence with the founders and taking a large role in managing and building the company.  The result has been an extremely innovative, agile, and productive firm, affording high wages, vast improvement in working conditions, and one of Thailand’s most widely recognized brands.
The central intellectual lesson of the course will be a paradox.  A Buddhist approach to business can yield competitive advantage but only if the Buddhist approach is NOT aimed at competitive advantage.  Compassion must be the end in itself.

Course Syllabus

The course syllabus is available for download here: coming soon!

Sample Schedule

Download a copy of the sample schedule (details are subject to change): coming soon!

Faculty Brainshark

To learn more about the course, watch the faculty's Brainshark presentation

Information Session

The slides from the 2018 course information session can be found here: Thailand Laos Info Session 2018.pdf

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Program Details


4 credits, Advanced Liberal Arts


Thailand & Laos


Open to students who are in good academic and social standing with the college. See below for any pre-requisite details.

Course Pre-Requisites

RHT (I and II), Foundation AHS 1000, at least 1 intermediate liberal art (LVA, CVA or HSS).
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Housing, Transportation, meals & accommodations due to a disability


Students will stay in 3-4 star hotels in Madrid and Barcelona, double occupancy. Students are housed based on gender and gender identity.


The program fee includes the following transportation: international group flight from Boston to Bangkok, Thailand, ground transfers and transportation. Students should also expect to pay for additional individual transportation around the city.

Arrival Airport Code: BKK


Breakfast will be provided at the hotel. A welcome dinner and program planned meals are also covered by the program fee. Students are responsible for paying for most lunches and dinners on their own.

Students with food allergies, intolerances, or other dietary restrictions are encouraged to contact their Program Manager prior to committing to the course to discuss any questions or concerns.

Accommodations Due to a Disability

Students requesting accommodations due to a disability for an Elective Abroad should complete and submit the Elective Abroad Accommodation Request Form by the course deposit deadline. The Office of Accessibility Resources will send a letter to the Elective Abroad Program Manager and faculty verifying the accommodations approved at Babson College. It is very important that accommodations are arranged ahead of time. Not all accommodations existing at Babson College can be available at Elective Abroad locations.

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Financial Considerations

Financial Summary

Program Fee $1,300
Airfare (Group) $1,150
Tuition Included in the spring semester flat rate tuition charge (up to 20 credits)
Financial Aid & Grant Information Contact SFS for more information
Billable subtotal:   $2,450 plus tuition
Estimated Additional Meals $300
Estimated Incidentals $200
Visa (if applicable) See notes below
Non-billable subtotal:   $500
Total:   $2,950 plus tuition and visa costs (if applicable)

Program Fee and Airfare

Program fee and group international airfare is paid to Glavin Office. Program fee includes accommodations, breakfast, airport transfers, group ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. Not included: visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.  

Tuition, Financial Aid and Grant Information

To discuss tuition or your financial situation or to learn about grant opportunities, visit Student Financial Services.

Additional Expenses

Incidentals and additional meals (lunches and dinners) are based on projected spending for faculty and administrators traveling on the course.  Actual expenses may vary with individual spending and individual student needs and interests.

All students are asked to research the visa requirements for their nationality to travel to Thailand AND Laos before committing to the course.  Students should also research the need for a transit visa in Dubai as the group flight has a layover in Dubai. Students are responsible for securing visas (as needed) before travel.

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Faculty Information

Jim Hoopes
James Hoopes is "Murata Professor of Ethics in Business" at Babson College. His latest book is Corporate Dreams:  Big Business in American Democracy from the Great Depression to the Great Recession. The author of half a dozen other books on American history, Hoopes has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other funding agencies. His paper, "Managing a Riot," won the Paul Hersey Award for the best paper on leadership at the 2000 meeting of the Academy of Management. He has taught in both Europe and Asia.
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Contact Information

Program Manager


Renée Graham Professor Hoopes
(781)239-4536 (781)239-4345

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This program is currently not accepting applications.