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  • Locations: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • **
Fact Sheet:
Class Standing: 1-Freshman, 2-Sophomore, 3-Junior, 4-Senior, 5-Graduate, 6-Non-Degree Seeking Language of Instruction: English
Minimum GPA: 2.00 Field of Study: Health Science, Social Work
Housing Options: Hostel or Hotel Credit Type: Resident Credit
Program Type: CES Faculty-Led Program SDSU Office: 2-Extended Studies
Program Description:

Health and Social Services in Thailand

I went to Thailand because it was a requirement and I saw it as an obligation but I gained so much out of the experience, I can't wait to return and volunteer my time at the Father Ray Foundation. I'm also grateful for the friends I made along the way.
- Ashley S., Summer 2015

Summer 2019: Add your name to the Inquiry List below
Dates Abroad: TBA
Course Dates: TBA
Price: TBA


Summer 2018: Application CLOSED
Dates Abroad: May 25-June 5, 2018
Course Dates: April 28-June 29, 2018 (coursework assigned before and after time in Thailand)
Price: $2,813
NOTE: Information listed below is subject to change for 2019. Updates coming soon.


Students will have an exciting opportunity to view health and social services issues in an international context. Faculty from Thammasat University, one of the most prestigious Universities in Thailand, will deliver workshops on Thai culture, social problems, health and human services issues. The core of the study will occur in field visitations to a variety of health and social service agencies, tours of cultural and historic sites, and the opportunity to stay overnight with a Thai family in a rural village. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with Thai health and human service professionals and learn about their work.

The class includes three days of study and preparation at SDSU for the Thailand stay followed by field research in Thailand. Content will be presented on the major global issues that are changing the face of health and human services around the world, such as human trafficking, international child welfare issues, HIV/AIDS, poverty, global health, substance abuse, mental health, refugees, migrants, global gender issues, and community development.  Students will visit at least one hospital, an orphanage, health clinics, a day care center, schools for the disabled and blind, and agencies working with trafficked individuals.


The program will begin with three days of study and cultural immersion in Bangkok, the capital and cultural center of Thailand. Participants also study for eight days at the Thammasat University Learning Center in the seaside resort town of Pattaya and spend 1 day/night in a rural village living in the adjacent Rayong province.

University Profile: Thammasat University is the second oldest institution of higher learning in the country. The university is oriented around the social sciences and professional education. Thammasat is known as the peoples' University. Its students, faculty, and graduates have been leaders in advocating democratic change and the creation of a civil society in Thailand. The campus is attractively located on the Cha Phra River in the heart of the old city near many of Bangkok's cultural and historical attractions.


All participants are required to register in ONE of the following SDSU College of Extended Studies (CES) “Special Sessions” courses.  After you apply and are officially enrolled in the program, you will receive instructions on how to register for the course from the College of Extended Studies. 
  • SWORK 496*: Health and Social Services in Thailand (3 units SDSU resident credit)
- OR -
  • GEN S 450*: Life, Culture, and Society in Thailand (3 units of SDSU resident credit)
*The course meets the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) international study requirement.

HINT for SDSU students: Log in to your WebPortal account and check your Degree Evaluation to see if the course fulfills your graduation requirements. Otherwise, meet with an academic advisor to discuss your options; click HERE for more information.  


Students will stay in double-occupancy rooms at a local hotel designated by Thammasat University. (If students wish to stay in a single occupancy room, they will pay the additional fee to Thammasat University or to the hotel directly.) Three meals per day are provided, two per day are provided by Thammasat University and the hotels provide breakfast. One day/night is spent in a rural village in the adjacent Rayong province. 


Below are some examples of the cultural, social, and recreational opportunities that are part of the study-tour:
  • Bangkok: Wat Phra Keow (The center of Thai Buddhism), the Grand Palace, Wats Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha) and Arun (Temple of Dawn), the ancient city of Ayutthaya, Jatujak Market (the world's largest outdoor market), China Town. Klong La Mayom Floating Market. Khao San Road. 
  • Pattaya: Nong Prue Elephant Park, National Parks, and miles of beaches to explore.
  • Visit Banjumrung village and experience Thai rural life. Experience traditional Thai dancing, music, and cooking. 
Program fees cover transportation to all study sites, socio-cultural excursions and activities; and Thai/ English speaking guides and instructors.


Dr. David Engstrom, Professor, School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, SDSU

David W. Engstrom, Ph.D., M.A., is a Professor of Social Work at San Diego State University. His research focuses on immigration policy and services to immigrants and refugees. Dr. Engstrom has written extensively on the plight of vulnerable immigrant populations, such as torture survivors and trafficked persons and has explored the role of bilingual social workers in service delivery. More recently, Dr. Engstrom co-developed the concept of vicarious resilience which recognizes the positive effect of trauma work on therapists and has co-authored 6 articles refining its conceptual development. Dr. Engstrom founded the MSW Thailand Summer Internship Program in 2002 and has supervised nearly 110 students in internships ranging from child welfare to human trafficking to mental health. He has been a visiting professor at the Faculty of Social Administration at Thammasat University and at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand.  Dr. Engstrom has received several awards for his international work: CSWE’s Partners in Advancing Education for International Social Work (PIE) in 2017 and SDSU’s Outstanding International Scholar in 2016.


Payment Schedule:
   $900   Deposit due with application, paid to the College of Extended Studies (CES), to reserve your space 
   $818   Program payment due, paid to CES, by April 2
$1,095   Tuition due with course registration, paid to CES, between April 15-25
$2,813   Total Program Fee 2018
Included in Program Fee:
  • 3 units of SDSU credit
  • Accommodations in double-occupancy room
  • Three meals per day
  • Overnight stay in rural village
  • Travel medical and repatriation insurance
  • 1-day van/bus tour of cultural sites
  • 1-day on-site orientation and support
  • Airport transfers
  • Van/bus transport to Pattaya and return
  • Excursions and field trips to social and health agencies
  • Thai/English speaking guides
  • Use of campus facilities
Not Included in Program Fee:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Fees for single-occupancy room
  • Travel interruption/cancellation insurance
  • Passport and visa fees (visit Students Abroad for more information)
  • Vaccinations, if necessary (visit CDC website for more information)
  • Personal Expenses

Refund Policy:
Program Costs Refund:
Withdrawals are effective on the date that the CES Faculty-Led Program staff receives written notification from you, the student. Email notification is acceptable.  For this program: 
  • Withdrawals before the application deadline of March 15, 2018 will receive 100% refund minus processing fees. 
  • Refunds of all recoverable expenses will be issued for withdrawals between March 16, 2018 and April 2, 2018. 
  • No refund will be issued for withdrawals after April 2, 2018.
Course Tuition Refund: 

Funding and Scholarship Information:
  • Visit the CES Study Abroad website for more information about financial aid, scholarships, military and veterans benefits, and other funding sources. 
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA of 2.0
  • Open to SDSU students, students at other colleges and universities, and the general public
  • Open to all majors
  • SDSU students cannot be on academic probation (less than 2.0 GPA) or disciplinary probation (expulsion, judicial, or suspension) at the time of application and/or at the time of course registration. The standard CES refund policy for study abroad applies if you are found to be on probation after applying to the program. 
  • Minimum age to participate is 18
  • After applying and being accepted into the program, all participants must complete BOTH a mandatory pre-departure orientation sponsored by the College of Extended Studies (CES) as well as a program-specific orientation(s) with their faculty leader(s) prior to departure. Details about both will be sent after acceptance into the program.
Summer 2018: Application CLOSED

If you are interested in attending this program in Summer 2019, add your name to the Inquiry List below and you'll receive email updates when available.

  • Click HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions about College of Extended Studies (CES) study abroad programs.
  • For course content, requirements, and specific information about the program contact the faculty leader, Dr. Loring Jones in the School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Services, at
  • If you would like more information about the application and registration process or have general questions, please contact Phil Hoog, Study Abroad Advisor, in the College of Extended Studies, Faculty-Led Study Abroad office:, (619) 594-0638.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.