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The UW-Madison Thailand Field Course introduces an interdisciplinary group of students to Thai culture and offers them the opportunity to learn from experts about infectious disease and public health in Thailand. This two credit program is offered in the summer from late May to early June and provides a unique community-based field experience. The program is especially designed to allow you to gain an appreciation of Thai culture and how it affects health and health care. You will study public health and tropical disease with Thai experts, as well as learn how to design and implement village health assessments by participating in a community-based project.
You will arrive in Bangkok and spend about a week participating in lectures and site visits in and around the city. The program will continue in the Korat Providence where you will hear lectures on Rural Health Training and Research from the faculty of Mahidol University. You will visit local communities, participate in home stays, and implement village health assessments. You will also be exposed to eco-health research and visit a research site. The program will end in Bangkok with final meetings, lectures, and discussions.
Bangkok is the twenty-second most populous city in the world and has a recorded population of about six million, however the actual number is thought to be much higher. Bangkok is a magnet for foreigners for business or vacation. Bangkok has long been the gateway to Asia for foreign interests seeking new markets. The city is a major economic and financial center of Southeast Asia. Bangkok has one of the fastest rates in the world for construction of high rise buildings. The city's wealth of cultural sites makes it one of the world's most popular tourist destinations. The Bangkok Province borders six other provinces: Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon and Nakhon Pathom.
Getting to Your Program
You will make your own travel arrangements but are given guidelines for arrival dates and times.
A visa is not required for U.S. citizens for this program. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program.
U.S. citizens staying beyond the program dates or Non-U.S. citizens should consult the Thai Embassy: http://dc.thaiembdc.org/consular/visa/Tourist.aspx?Visa.
Program participants are introduced Thai language and culture during the Spring semester PHS course. Students will also participate in an IAP orientation program. Additionally, there is an orientation period when students arrive in Thailand.
Housing is included for the duration of the program. You will spend the first portion of the program staying at a hotel in Bangkok. The program will continue in a rural province where you will spend part of the time at the rural training site dormitory and also participate in homestays. Some meals are provided.
Excursions and Activities
You will visit clinics, research centers, and health care centers where you will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and staff. Field trips may include cultural events and visits to scenic natural areas. Past site visits have included Ayutthaya, the Grand Palace in Bangkok, AFRIMS (a tropical medicine research center), a veterinary clinic, and various health care centers.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
A faculty member from UW-Madison will serve as Resident Director in Thailand.
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.Thailand GH & Nursing handbook
(Summer - 2012-13)Thailand GH & Nursing handbook
(Summer - 2012-13)
Returned Student Network
to contact a returned student.
"The public health system in Thailand is truly impressive and they are very proud of their system. They want to discuss their perspectives and hear yours. Everyone at Mahidol is so excited about what they do and want to teach you AND learn from you. The lessons you learn will be applicable no matter what your field of work."
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
Summer Program Forms
Global Health Study Abroad Essay
Unofficial Transcript (Student Record)
Unofficial Undergrad Transcript (Student Record)
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.
During the prior spring semester participants are required to take PHS 640: Foundations in Global Health Practice (one credit). You will earn an additional two credits (PHS 645) after successful completion of the summer field program. The course addresses Thai culture, public health, and infectious disease. You will explore such topics as: the health care system in Thailand, public health management in Thailand, rural health training and research, rural health development, and health system management issues.
Dr. James Conway from the Global Health Institute at UW-Madison will serve as Resident Director in Thailand. Students will also hear lectures from other UW-Madison faculty and from Thai experts.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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