Khon Kaen, Thailand

Community Public Health

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Information for term Community Public Health

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Tentative Dates: Aug 11 – Dec 10, 2020 (17 weeks)*
  • Credit: 15 semester hours / 22.5 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


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Study abroad in Khon Kaen and gain an in-depth understanding of the role of public health in Thailand. The program combines classroom-based academics with extensive field work that offers hands-on experience, visits to private and public health agencies, and guidance from government officials and practitioners. The program begins with an intensive Thai language instruction course, geared toward helping you succeed in everyday situations. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Interact with

    doctors, nurses, public health professional, academics, and community-level public health volunteers

  • Collaborate with

    local public health leaders to determine research topics and activities that meet community needs

  • Visit

    Laos, Vietnam, or another Southeast Asian country to compare public health systems

  • residents


  • water buffaloes (province)


Location & Culture

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The northeast of Thailand, called “Isaan,” retains many of its traditional Lao and Khmer customs and features a strong silk trade, ancient temples, museums, and recreation areas. Khon Kaen city features expansive shopping malls, top-rate private medical facilities, and chain stores like McDonalds and Starbucks. But it also has close-knit traditional communities and historic Buddhist temples dotted along the banks of the city’s picturesque lakes. Khon Kaen is at the center of Isaan and serves as a regional hub for development organizations, commerce, industry, government, and education. Compared to other regions, this area is well known for its welcoming attitude toward visitors.

With the Thai language skills you develop on the program and through your site visits and community stays, you’ll feel proud to be part of the culture and not a mere tourist. 

The Culture


  • Enjoy a three-day tourist excursion to scenic Chiang Mai (starting Fall 2018)
  • Go on two- to three-day community visits using various research tools to assess community public health needs and build relationships
  • Take a five-day comparative study excursion to Laos, Vietnam, or another Southeast Asian country
  • Head to an overnight excursion where you feed, bathe, and walk your own elephant with “Elephant Lover Home” in Surin Province (starting Fall 2018)
  • Camp at a mountainous national park and watch the sunset while bats stream out of a nearby cave
  • Live with a Thai student in a dorm-style room with internet, air-conditioning, microwave, refrigerator, and heated shower - a five-minute walk to convenience stores, coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues
  • Practice Thai with a Peer tutor 


  • Collaborate in a fieldwork/research project. Past students have studied pesticide consumption, diabetes management, the behavior of motorcyclists, nutrition, trash management, and more.
  • Contribute human interest stories published in partner publication The Isaan Record.
  • Help create the newest issue of Common Ground Magazine, a publication of student writing and photography on selected issues.
  • Work with CIEE student-initiated Radical Grandma Collective, a women’s weaving group preserving a traditional art and raising money for important local issues.
  • Participate in an annual human rights festival or other similar event in the northeast.
  • Join other students, Thai resident assistants, and CIEE staff for fun and reflective evenings discussing cross-cultural issues.

Daily Life

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    When students are not in the field or staying with host families, they live in an off-campus, air-conditioned, dorm-style room in a secured facility near Khon Kaen University (KKU). Each participant shares a room with a friendly KKU student trained on intercultural skills. Internet is provided.


    Meals are not provided except when staying in communities.  Students can purchase reasonably-priced meals at university cafeterias or local restaurants. Vegetarian options are available. A microwave and small refrigerator are provided in each room.

Khon Kaen, Thailand

Where You'll Study

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    Khon Kaen

What People are Saying

  • "I came to Khon Kaen to learn about and assist with environmental and human rights in whatever way I could. I couldn’t have predicted that this would find me at the source talking to and interviewing protesters, NGOs, and villagers.  Involvement with journalism through CIEE Khon Kaen has introduced me to some of the most courageous people I’ve ever met, and given me the resources and support to tell their story."


    Alana Brandt, The University of Texas at Austin

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Program Details

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What you need to know

The program details

This program enables students to understand the complexities and challenges of the public health community in Northeast Thailand. Given a broad overview of public health management and community public health issues in Thailand and Southeast Asia, students apply theoretical frameworks covered in the classroom, competently carry out community health assessments, develop and implement a public health project, and assess its impact.

Content courses are taught by a variety of professors from Northeastern universities and as well as outside university lecturers, members of the NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (NGO-CORD), government officials, representatives of NGO and governmental organizations, and CIEE center staff. The Thai Language courses taught by CIEE language faculty and resident staff.

CIEE Khon Kaen is conveniently located on the campus of Khon Kaen University.
Khon Kaen University was founded in 1914, and has 19 faculties offering bachelor, master, doctorate, and professional degrees and hosts 44,000 students. CIEE students’ study at the Facility of Public Health, which was established in 1978 as part of a government mission to extend higher education to rural areas.


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    Content courses are open to both CIEE and international students. Language courses are open only to CIEE students.


    Language courses: Students are graded based on daily homework, quizzes, and exams. CIEE courses: Students are graded based on a series of short papers, exams, active participation, a three-week project, and a final paper. Students collaborate extensively with public health faculty members and CIEE staff members, who conduct periodic evaluations throughout the semester. CIEE language courses: Students are graded based on weekly homework assignments, quizzes, and exams. Letter grades are assigned.


    This program is academically demanding. With lectures, discussion sessions, site and community visits, students should expect full days.



    Students need to have a GPA of at least 2.5.


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


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Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15 U.S. semester/22.5 quarter credits

Course Credit
CIEE courses: 3-4 U.S. semester/4.5-6 quarter credits; 45-60 contact hours

Language of Instruction
English and Thai

Students are required to take all three CIEE content area courses, plus a Thai language course.

Course Notes
Thai language level will be determined by an on-site Thai language exam.

Fall 2020 CIEE Courses

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Health Professions and Related Programs

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


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Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Wollitzer Merit Scholarships in Area or Comparative Studies
  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • McDermott Health Sciences, Nursing, and Public Health Merit Scholarships
  • Stohl International Undergraduate Research Scholarships
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

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Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Visa
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Orientation – an introduction to Thai culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Three-day excursion to Chiang Mai (transportation, lodging, and trip to Doi Suthep) (starting Fall 2018)
  • Overnight excursion at the Elephant Lover Home in Surin (starting Fall 2018)
  • Five-day study excursion to Laos or another Southeast Asian country
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Food and lodging while on community visits
  • Research costs
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 17 weeks May 1, 2020 Aug 11, 2020* Dec 10, 2020*
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Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $15,081 **

Housing = $2,150

Insurance = $167

Visa Fees = $152

Total Fees = $17,850

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $750

International Airfare = $1,500

Local Transportation = $200

Books & Supplies = $15

Personal expenses = $700

Total Estimated Costs = $3,165

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

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This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

*Dates for this program are provided as tentative dates. Please consult with your study abroad advisor to confirm dates before purchasing your flights.

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

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Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

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  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

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    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.