Area Studies and Culture

Summer ~ Semester ~ Academic Year

Based in the city of Yangon, the Lexia program introduces students to the language, history, politics, economics, arts, and culture of Myanmar. Coursework, language training, excursions, and independent projects help students to understand the local culture and confront issues facing this country. The program strongly supports interaction and dialogue between Lexia participants and Burmese faculty. To this end, local faculty are involved with the program from the very beginning, giving the participants immediate and direct access to the culture. Intensive language training at the beginning is provided, thereby helping students develop the skills and confidence to live and study in Myanmar. Prior knowledge of the Burmese language is not expected. Social and academic encounters with Burmese in addition to organized field trips contribute to a greater understanding of the country.

Instructors & Institutions

Hosted at the University of Yangoon, located in the city center, the Lexia program offers students opportunities to explore this historical region, while confronting the daily challenges of a changing society.

One of the recognized strengths of Lexia programs is the strong supporting faculty and staff. The Lexia Resident Director provides students with necessary information about living and learning in Myanmar. The faculty of the Lexia program consists primarily of professors from the University and the Resident Director.


Students on the Lexia program in Myanmar live in off-campus dorms for visiting students and professionals located near the university. Whether in single, double or triple rooms, students share modest but clean, safe and well-maintained accommodations.


Integrated into the academic program are several one or multi-day excursions outside of Burma. Excursions will change semester to semester and will be tailored to current group interests. Some common and popular short trips include: Green Hill Valley elephant camps; Inle Lake kayaking trip; temples of Bagan; Bogyoke Aung San Market; Shwedagon, Kothaung, and Shittaung Paya.

A longer excursion outside of Burma will take place during the program. Examples of possible locations include Nepal, Thailand, and Laos. All excursions are covered by the program fee and are subject to change, dependent on weather, accommodation and local conditions.

Dates & Deadlines

Spring Semester: February 2 - May 11, 2016

Summer: June 23 - August 4, 2017

Fall Semester: September 9 - December 16, 2017



The typical course load is four courses per semester. Students who successfully complete Lexia’s program requirements are able to earn the equivalent of one full semester or academic year of college/university level credit, pending approval from their home institution.

It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the credit transfer policies at his/her home institution and department, including advising appointments, paperwork and pre-departure or re-entry activities. We strongly suggest that students contact their study abroad or other appropriate office early in the planning stage to ensure that they complete all requirements.


Burmese Language Course

Beginner Burmese Level I (2 semester credits)

Beginner Burmese Level II (2 semester credits)

Intermediate Burmese I&II (optional)

Since participation in the local culture is one of the main objectives of the Lexia program, acquiring language skills is an essential goal. Language training also provides the mobility to accomplish personal and academic objectives. The language training is supplemented by an abundance of opportunities for informal use of the language outside of the classroom.

Formal classroom instruction takes place for 2-4 hours daily, supplemented by discussions, films, cultural excursions and field exercises. Classes are small and are offered at the beginner and intermediate levels. The course offers 30 or 60 hours of Burmese language instruction.

Topics covered vary according to the level of instruction.

Seminar I: Area Studies of Burmese History and Culture

(4 semester credits)

This course offers an overview of Burmese history and culture through the use of art, film, literature, lectures, and excursions. Beginning with the earliest documented civilizations of the Mon and Pyu people, working through various kingdoms and dynasties, understanding the period of colonial rule and the civil war that followed, will finally lead the class to the central discussion of Burma’s confused national identity.

Classes include required readings, written and oral exams, and a final paper. A detailed syllabus of the coursework will be provided during orientation and tailored to the specific interests of


Seminar II: Elective Tutorial Courses

(4 semester credits each)

The second section of the Lexia in Myanmar program is organized by small group seminars on a specific subject area. Students will choose one of 3-5 tracks based on their interests and desired research topic. This section of the semester will be run by experts in their field who will later become the students’ mentors and advisors for the field research portion of the program. The format will vary depending on the topics chosen, instructor availability, and number of students.

However, small-group lectures and discussions, excursions, readings, and fieldwork are all to be expected. Below are some examples of specific popular tracks from past programs:

 Religious Conflict and Peace Studies (History of Theravada Buddhism; Muslim persecution and refugees)

 Gender Studies (The traditional society vs. military ruled society; Aung San Suu Kyi and female leadership in global politics)


Seminar III: Independent Research Project

Research Methods Course (2 semester credits)

Independent research Project (2 semester credits)

The final major component of a Lexia Semester abroad is the independent research project. Throughout the second seminar students will be thinking about what they would like to turn their individual attention to for the most hands-on few weeks of the program. With the help of the instructor in the second seminar, they will come up with a research question and devote their time working to complete a final project. Students will meet regularly in small groups to share progress and offer each other feedback on the direction of their work. Instructors will put students in contact with local experts in the field of their interest. Additional mini-courses will be provided on research methods and any other skills needed for the final project--dependent on the subject. The final project can take the form of a research paper, photo journal, short film, or anything else approved by the instructor. All students from all tracks will convene in the final days for final presentations and peer-evaluations.


Semester: $15,950
Tuition: $12,600
Housing: $3,350

Academic Year: $28,950
Tuition: $22,250
Housing: $6,700

Summer: $5,950
Tuition: $4,750
Housing: $1,200

Program Fees Include:

  • On-Site Orientation (2-4 days)
  • All Tuition and Fees
  • All Scheduled Program Excursions
  • Housing Costs
  • Services of Lexia Resident Director and Program Staff
  • Comprehensive Medical Insurance Policy
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC)
  • Official Transcript


Not included in the Program Fee are the following estimated expenses based on past students' experiences during the semester-long program:

  • Airfare Ranges from $1,100–$1,500
  • Meals not Covered $1,750
  • Books & Supplies $230
  • Personal Expenses $1,380

Estimated Total Additional Expenses: $4,210 – $4,560

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