Khon Kaen, Thailand
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Khon Kaen Courses - 2019-20 Yearlong

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.


You will enroll in 12 to 18 credits each semester comprised of electives in health, human development, and Thai culture. Thai language is not required but strongly encouraged to help you better assimilate into your new life and culture. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Fall Semester

Spring Semester


USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development and are counted as part of your credit load. Students will be working in an authentic local environment, with high exposure to Thai language and culture. Thai language ability is not necessary to complete an internship, but helpful. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Khon Kaen program, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $200 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

Culture Enrichment Workshops

Enhance your studies through non-credit workshops designed to provide opportunities for deeper engagement with unique aspects of Thai life and culture.

  • Thai Cuisine Workshop (non-credit opportunity) This workshop has an additional fee for materials.

Workshop Descriptions

Thai Cuisine

Fall (Workshop)
Spring (Workshop)

Description not available at this time.

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Course Descriptions

Aging Well: The Sociocultural Context of Healthcare Systems

Spring (Community Health Sciences, Human Development and Family Studies, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course will explore the sociocultural challenges of an aging population in both a global and Thai context. Topics include: the 2nd National Plan on the Elderly (2002-2021), the roles of social capital and quality of life; health problems and needs of Thailand's elderly; and the harmonizing roles of family, community and health service systems in providing eldercare and addressing long-term care needs.

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Buddhism in Thai Society and Culture

Fall (Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Philosophy, Religious Studies, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

The aims of the course are to explain the origin of Buddhism in Thailand and the influence of Buddhism on Thai Society and Culture. A Survey and an Analysis of the Buddha-Dharma will be focused as the evidence of the relationship among Buddhism, Thai society, tradition and culture, as well as the application of Buddha-Dharma in daily life and problem-solving in Thai society.

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Comparative Studies in Global Healthcare

Fall (Community Health Sciences, Sociology; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course examines both global health issues and health systems from a comparative view. Students will explore health care systems and structures in light of their relative success in addressing health care delivery, disease prevention, and health promotion. There will be a focus on health and wellness in Asian and western countries. Students will explore topics on healing across cultures, Asian and western approaches to health promotion, disease prevention, and rehabilitation.

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Environmental Health

Fall (Community Health Sciences; 300-level; 3 credits)

Environmental health is the study of the influence that the environment has on disease as well as the design of methods used to reduce harm to human health from environmental health risks. This field requires skills from several sub-disciplines including exposure assessment, environmental epidemiology, toxicology, risk assessment, pollutant fate and transport, among others. This course will focus on the application of environmental health to several key fields: water quality, food safety, solid and liquid wastes, air quality, and environmental health emergencies. Within the context of Thailand, key health outcomes will be discussed, pollutant or pathogens of concern will be identified, and control methods will be presented.

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Gender and Sexuality in Healthcare

Spring (Community Health Sciences, Nursing, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to look at gender and sexuality as a social construct; and at how different societies use/experience these constructs. Emphasis is placed upon how gender and sexuality influence and exert an impact on health care systems. Health issues related to intersectionality specific groups, such as LBGT, transgender and gender non-conforming patients are a focus. Case studies which demonstrate how health systems and services can be adapted to be gender friendly for accessibility, equity, equality and quality of service are illustrated. Gender and sexuality in the Thai context and health settings are examined. Gender sensitization for health providers is included.

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Global Health Issues

Spring (Community Health Sciences, Sociology; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course explores global public health issues through a biopsychosocial perspective focusing on health as a fundamental human right for all people. The relationships between social and behavioral factors in human health and disease frame the course. Topics will include; infectious illnesses, chronic illnesses, nutrition, mental health, health issues of women and children, and ethical issues in health. Global perspectives on environmental factors in health such as climate, culture, economics, and political systems will be explored. The course will focus on the challenges of international cooperation in dealing with health disparities, natural disasters, conflicts, global health interventions, and setting world health policies. Thailand’s position in global health will be a special focus area of the class, as will the global health policies and priorities of Southeast Asia.

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History of the Greater Mekong Subregion and Northeastern Thailand

Spring (Geography, History, Political Science; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course explores the origin and current phenomena of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and South China) and the North-Eastern part of Thailand (E-saan). Topics include: the background of the GMS countries and E-saan region of Thailand; the process of the GMS’ regional cooperation – regionalism and sub-regionalism; GMS politics – member states, institutions, strategic partnership and competences; GMS and Northeastern Thailand’s geography and geopolitics; GMS and Northeastern-Thai demographics – populations, languages, religions, education, political views, arts and cultures; GMS and Northeastern-Thai economics – FTA and GMS Economic Corridors; GMS structural policy; the challenges of the GMS’ regional integration; ongoing GMS cross-broader projects; and global perspectives towards the GMS countries and Northeastern Thailand.

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Intercultural Communication

Spring (Speech Communications; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course explores human communication across cultures focusing on variables which influence interaction when members of different cultures come together. Through experiential activities, students practice identifying cultural barriers to effective communication and apply strategies to overcoming such barriers in order to communicate in an increasingly global society.

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Isan Music and Dance

Fall (Dance, Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Dance, Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)

This course will cover the basics of traditional Thai dance. Traditional music and dance in Thailand will be approached with seminars in which the instructors will initiate students into a total of five beginner-level songs that each have their own distinct dance moves and acts, of which will be taught to the students. In the very first week of lessons, the instructors will run through the course syllabus, a pre-dance or warm-up session, and a brief introduction of Thai dance terminology. Lectures will be given by the two course instructors and will mostly consist of PowerPoint slides, audio materials, and videos aimed to provide thorough background knowledge and understanding about the facts, history, terms, and song lyrics in Thai music and dance.

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Muay Thai

Fall (Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Recreation / Physical Education; 100-level; 1 credit)

This course will provide students with an introduction to Muay Thai, (the sport of traditional Thai boxing), and its applications to self-defense. Students will learn the following movement fundamentals: punch; offensive stretch; falling; yang sam khum; form of homage; the art of the punch, foot, knee and elbow; and boxing parent timber.

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Reading and Writing Thai Language I

Spring (Thai; 100-level; 3 credits)

This is a course for students who are interested in learning Thai orthography, how Thai words are formed and rules for intonations. The purpose of the course is to provide the students (even though they have not taken any Thai language courses before) with basic Thai writing system resources to help them read as well as communicate in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

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Thai Language for Daily Communication I

Fall (Thai; 100-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Thai; 100-level; 3 credits)

This is a course for students who have not taken any Thai language courses before. Its purpose is to provide the students with basic lexical, grammatical and functional resources to manage in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

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Thai Language for Daily Communication II

Spring (Thai; 100-level; 3 credits)

This is a course for students who have taken Thai Language or Daily Communication I (or equivalent). Its purpose is to provide the students with basic lexical, grammatical and functional resources to manage in daily situations while studying in Thailand.

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Traditional Thai Medicine and Complementary Medicine

Fall (Anthropology, Community Health Sciences; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Anthropology, Community Health Sciences; 400-level; 3 credits)

This course examines the following: systems of traditional healthcare in Asia; healing modalities widely used in oriental healing; use of evidence-based criteria to evaluate the risks and benefits of traditional healthcare; cultural perspectives of herbal medicine, the botanical/chemical basis of ethnomedicines.

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