SEASSI was established in 1983 at Ohio University to provide high quality intensive language instruction in at least eight of the major Southeast Asian languages at one location during the summer. It was and remains a unique program of area language training that combines institutional, federal, and foundation funding to bring faculty and students together in a single location every summer.
SEASSI is an integral part of a nationwide network of language teaching faculty from the institutions that are members of the SEASSI Network: Arizona State University, Cornell University, Michigan State University, Northern Illinois University, Ohio University, University of California-Berkeley, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Hawaii-Manoa, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Washington, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Representatives from these institutions meet annually to discuss SEASSI and explore ways to improve the program.
SEASSI has been hosted by institutions known for their strong Southeast Asian Studies programs. The first full-scale institute was held at the University of Michigan in the summer of 1984. From 1984 through 1999, SEASSI moved every two years to a different campus. Since 2000, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has been the host of SEASSI. Host institutions, years, and enrollment statistics are summarized below:
University of Michigan – 1984 ( 84); 1985 (110)
Northern Illinois University – 1986 (117); 1987 (113)
University of Hawaii – 1988 (165); 1989 (158)
Cornell University – 1990 (136); 1991 (169)
University of Washington – 1992 (193); 1993 (172)
University of Wisconsin-Madison – 1994 (185); 1995 (206); 2000-present (average 125 students per summer)
Arizona State University – 1996 (120); 1997 (120)
University of Oregon – 1998 (137); 1999