Our Programs

New experiences to expand your sense of the world and yourself

Learning Across Borders (LAB) programs are centered on the self-education that comes from confronting new places, new people and new ideas. For 25 years, LAB has introduced hundreds of participants to thought-provoking experiences in Southeast Asia.

  • Meet New People

    Meet new people

    LAB participants meet people they otherwise could not meet on their own: students, professors, NGO and United Nations staff, villagers and many others we meet along the way.

  • Meet New People

    Explore new ideas

    The ideas we explore range from how a country develops economically to how people of different religions and ethnic backgrounds manage to live together harmoniously. These ideas often come out of conversations with local people. For example, one frequently-asked question is: why do people from communities of modest means often seem to be so happy (sometimes happier than many people in more economically-developed nations)?

  • Meet New People

    Reflect with new friends

    Through our group reflection sessions, we explore together the most interesting and challenging questions and experiences found by each individual member. Some of the most valuable conversations—and long-lasting friendships—can come from within our own group

I especially liked the reflection sessions because I was able to listen to everyone’s ideas, link them to my ideas, and come up with possible solutions.

Program Characteristics

  • Meet New People

    Small size

    Typically, twenty or fewer participants. Learning from each other is an important part of the experience. Roommates are switched each time the group changes location.

  • Meet New People


    LAB strives for diversity within each group. In addition to Japanese participants, programs often include several members from Taiwan and/or Thailand. Typically, several alumni from previous years join the programs as well and share their earlier experience (and, in the case of those now working, their career paths).

  • Meet New People

    Experienced leadership

    LAB programs are led by experienced leaders who have participated in past programs and who have close ties with local organizations and agencies. The typical program is either directly led by, or advised by, Dwight Clark, LAB’s President, who has been introducing program participants to Southeast Asia since 1991.

  • Meet New People

    Local connections

    LAB’s long experience in Southeast Asia has allowed it to develop close connections with universities, non-profit organizations and other institutions and individuals which can provide depth and support to LAB programs.

  • Meet New People

    Reasonable cost

    LAB leaders serve without cost, so program fees include only direct expenses. LAB, as a non-profit organization, receives contributions from interested friends and alumni. These funds can, in some cases, allow fees to be less than a program’s actual cost.

I met so many highly-motivated people.. Now I’m much more motivated to take charge of my education and learn so much more.