Asia World Issues:One Course Summer Study Abroad Program

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2015 MEI Web Splash Asia Tinted


MEI International Academy, study abroad, high school English, high school World Issues, Beijing, China
MEI International Academy, study abroad, high school English, high school World Issues, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Why Study World Issues in Asia?

Imagine standing in footsteps of the unknown protester who held ground in front of the tanks in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, or learning about Cambodia’s rebuild after it endured the savagery of the Khmer Rouge from the streets of Phnom Penh. MEI’s Asia World Issues Program is designed for adventurous students who are interested in tackling the challenges of creating a sustainable global future, focusing on a range of topics including culture, economics, geopolitics, and regional disparities in the ability to meet basic human needs. Working closely with educators and their peers, students are encouraged to build confidence and invigorate their critical minds through oral presentations, creative collaboration, and essay writing.

Course Offered

World Issues – Grade 12

This program provides students with a foundation in the sociopolitical structure of the region and a more holistic understanding of a rapidly changing Asia within the larger global context. By studying literature from a wide variety of sources, students refine their analytical, critical and communication skills while gaining a broader perspective of the impact of globalization, conflict and developmental sustainability in our world.

Program Itinerary

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Travel Overview

Prep Session 1: Early May, 2016
Prep Session 2: Late June, 2016
Travel Dates: July 13 – August 9, 2016

Flight and hotel details are available on individual program sites, available to registered students and their parents.

Preparation and Course Work

In order to ease into the program, students have access to the course website, where reading lists will be posted. Course preparation is spread out over four weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on novel studies; the second two-week session begins in late June, focusing on completing small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates and help complete short tasks to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all pre-departure work prior to departure to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.

Departure From Toronto (Day 1)

Our North American departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to our departure, a short meeting will be held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before March 31.

Beijing (Day 2–7)

In Beijing, students venture into the heart of the People’s Republic of China, tracing the steps of emperors through the Forbidden City and discussing the teachings of Chairman Mao as they cross Tiananmen Square. Beijing is the perfect location to study the challenges of population growth including pollution, migrant labour, and urbanization. Students walk amongst the contradictions of communism and capitalism as they visit the city’s Silk Market, hutongs and a hike along the legendary Great Wall of China.

Hong Kong (Day 8–12)

In Hong Kong, students witness how British and Chinese traditions have amalgamated to create an international financial epicentre. This capital of capitalism overwhelms the senses with the sound of taxis honking, the feel of a perfectly tailored suit, the smell of delicious fried dumplings, and the glowing neon lights beside billboards for luxury brand watches. It is a land of status and swag where students barter for electronics in the grey market while corporations compete to stand out in the skyline. A visit to the World War II Cemetery reveals the long and meaningful relationship that Canada has fostered with Hong Kong.

Mui Ne (Day 13–18)

In Mui Ne, students enjoy a welcome respite from their urban explorations. The warm waters of the South China Sea allow the class to re-energize and enjoy a morning routine of yoga on the sand and surfing in the sun. Here, under the palm trees, students can appreciate the marvels of Earth’s biodiversity and the importance of environmental stewardship. A walk down the main street reveals the influence of foreign investment on local business and a visit to the rare White Sand Dunes is a chance to learn about local ecotourism.

Ho Chi Minh City (Day 19–22)

In Ho Chi Minh City, the students will feel the relentless energy of the rising capital of Vietnam. The liveliness of HCM has to be seen to be believed. Street vendors sell chopped mangoes to schoolchildren who are scooped up by loving parents on motorbikes, fueled by Vietnamese coffee, while gangs of grandparents stay active by playing featherball in parks. Students will have an opportunity to crawl through the Cu Chi tunnels where resistance fighters lived and fought during the Vietnam War. This real experience brings an important perspective to our discussion of international conflict and healing.

Phnom Penh (Day23–27)

In Phnom Penh, students explore the layers of Cambodia’s capital. Here students witness the contrast of Buddhist temples amidst the colourful architecture of the French Colonial past and the echoes of the Khmer Rouge and the country’s tragic past. The visit to the sacred site of Choeung Ek is an unforgettable educational experience that is well beyond the walls of a classroom. Students leave the site grappling with the big questions of international aid, violence, and justice. This journey is difficult, profound, and essential for a Global Citizen.

Siem Reap (Day 28–35)

In Siem Reap, students visit the lost city of Angkor where the roots of giant jungle trees wrap around the stones of Ta Prohm temple, and take in the breathtaking sunrise at Angkor Wat. The students witness, firsthand, the challenges of development and sustainability and interview locals to determine if Siem Reap’s rapid growth is a gift or a curse. In this ideal final setting, students complete an ISU interview with their teacher, write exams, and come together to reflect on their summer odyssey.

Departure from Siem Reap (Day 35)


Travel dates subject to change.




$6,995 USD

Tuition Includes

Trip Related
  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
Course Components
  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook
  • Fall reunion


  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions
  • Transfers to all accommodations
Tuition Does Not Include
  • Lunches
  • Travel Visas
  • Insurances
  • All airline taxes, charges and fees*
  • Local transportation
  • Gratuities
  • Registration fee
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection**

*For approximate cost, please contact our office
**All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

Breakdown of Tuition Costs

In order to comply with TICO regulations, your invoice total will be divided into two payments; one for program costs
(MEI International Academy) and one for travel cost (Carlson Wagonlit Victor Travel). The exact breakdown amounts will be indicated on your invoice and payments begin in January.



Program Costs Payable to: MEI Academy International


Travel Costs Payable to: Carlson Wagonlit Victor Travel




Total does not include cancellation insurance, travel and health insurance, and airline taxes and surcharges.

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