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Thailand: Community Public Health Program (CIEE)
Khon Kaen, Thailand (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Restrictions: AU- applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Housing: Homestay, Shared Apt. Language Pre-requisite: none
Language of Instruction: English Language Courses Offered: Yes
Non-AU Students Accepted by AU:
No Internship: No
Advisor: Ethan Merritt Minimum GPA: 2.75
Class Level Required for Admission: Second-semester Sophomore standing
Program Type:
Partial Direct Enrollment
Advising Required:
Program Description:

Is this program right for you?

The Community Public Health program in Thailand provides an attractive option for students interested in studying community health issues and public health policy in an Asian context--in English--coupled with learning Thai as a second language. Thailand, a country known for its innovative public health system, provides a near perfect environment for students interested in an intensive and integrated immersion experience to examine issues of public health and social services on both a regional and national level through academic lectures from public health faculty coupled with site visits to communities, NGOs, and Ministry of Public Health projects.


The goal of the Community Public Health program is to help students understand the complexities and challenges faced by the public health community in Northeast Thailand. This program provides a broad overview of public health management and community public health issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Students will be able to apply theoretical frameworks covered in the classroom, competently carry out community health assessments, develop and implement a public health project, and assess its impact.  More details on courses offered can be found at the CIEE website. 

Course Equivalency: Click here to find out which courses on this program have already been equated to AU courses. Please note that you are NOT limited to just these courses. Students will need to request equivalency for courses which have not been previously reviewed.

Program Snapshot

  • Focus on trends in public health management in Thailand and southeast Asia
  • Engage with local communities about healthcare issues, and developing and implementing public health projects
  • Visit another Southeast Asian country to study its public health system
  • Interact with villagers, NGOs, and others working for social change through site visits and hands-on field work
  • Immerse yourself in the culture through visits to various levels of public health facilities and through community stays in Northeast Thailand

Subject Areas

  • Community Health
  • Public Health
  • Thai Language

Eligibility Requirements

  • College-level coursework in public health or sociology recommended
  • Nursing and pre-med students encouraged to apply

Academic Program

The CIEE Study Center has been based at Khon Kaen University since 1991 and its initial focus on development was established three years later in 1994. The Community Public Health program began in spring 2010. This program combines traditional classroom instruction with extensive field study involving government, private and public health agencies, as well as visits to local communities.

Academic Culture

The Faculty of Public Health at Khon Kaen University prepares students in the classroom, while government officials and practitioners from local NGOs provide guidance during students' visits to various public health projects. Students gain skills facilitating participation and group dynamics, generating proposals, and organizing special projects.

The program's language instruction utilizes a proficiency-based approach designed to enable students to function effectively in everyday situations. Courses at all levels combine intensive classroom learning with the use of peer tutors and interactive exercises. Language classes are offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

Where You'll Study:

Khon Kaen University - Community Public Health

Khon Kaen University (KKU), founded in 1964, has 17 faculties that offer Bachelor's, Master's, and professional degrees. Approximately 24,000 undergraduate students and 9,700 postgraduates study at KKU. The Faculty of Public Health at KKU, the faculty in which CIEE students study, was established in 1978 as part of the Royal Thai Government's policy to extend higher education to the rural areas of the country, and to leverage the resources of KKU to help address the development needs of people in the Northeast Region.

Program Requirements

Students are required to take Public Health Management of Thailand, Community Public Health, Public Health Field Practicum, and one Thai language course at the appropriate level.


Student Life

Housing & Meals

Housing is included in the program fee. While not on community visits and staying with host families, students live with a Thai roommate in off-campus rental units near the Faculty of Public Health. Meals are not included in the program fee and are the responsibility of the student. Students can take meals at the University cafeteria or local restaurants.


Internet access is provided in the off-campus rental units and is also available at nearby inexpensive internet cafés.

Cultural Activities

Students in the Public Health program visit local cultural and natural sites of interest, and participate in frequent field trips to public health-related programs. These may include HIV/AIDS hospice or hospital wards, the Ministry of Public Health in Bangkok, the leper treatment and living facility in Khon Kaen, alternative health centers, and herbal medication production facilities. The program may also take participants to visit various public health projects in Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam. A study visit to one of these countries typically involves an examination of health facilities in the capital or other major urban area, and at a more rural site. Details are provided in the on-site program guide as new projects are discovered.


Peer Language Tutors
Program participants are paired with Khon Kaen University students for weekly one-on-one Thai language tutorials.

Community Stays
Program participants may expect to spend a fair amount of time staying with families in rural communities, especially during the field practicum.




Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2016 09/23/2015
Varies by program 01/19/2016 05/20/2016
NOTE: Please refer to the CIEE website for final program date information as dates can be subject to change.
Fall 2016 03/02/2016 ** Varies by program TBA TBA

** The time it takes to receive an admissions decision varies greatly by program; it can take as little as two weeks or as long as several months. Contact AU Abroad for further details on your program's admissions timeline.

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