Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Human Health and the Metropolis: Tensions and Transformations in Southeast Asia

Bangkok, Thailand

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2023
May 18, 2023
Jun 03, 2023
Mar 01, 2023
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Rising Sophomore
Rising Junior
Good Academic Standing
Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Learn about public healthcare systems in Thailand through volunteer opportunities focusing on health, well-being, and social inclusion.

Volunteer for two weeks in improving the quality of life for economically disadvantaged families, rural people and the elderly.  Discover the beauty and excitement of Thailand through immersive guided excursions in both urban and rural settings.


Alternative pic of Thailand

Program Location

Cityscape Bangkok



Bangkok, a sprawling metropolis with a population of over 6 million people, is a city you experience with all senses. A rich cultural center, the city exhibits deep cultural influences of neighboring India, China, and Cambodia. While awash with opulent palaces, temples, and shrines, Bangkok is also a modern city with a vibrant spirit. 



To view the program's 2020 syllabus, please click here.  A preliminary syllabus for TBD will be available before the start of the spring semester.

This three-credit global learning experience will introduce students to the challenges and implications of public health practices in Bangkok, one of Southeast Asia's largest growing metropolises, and to Thai cultural practices and how they affect public health and wellness.  The course will consist of three main components:

  1. Class meetings with a Rutgers faculty member.
  2. Service placements in community health, NGOs, and working with vulnerable populations.
  3. Cultural activities and excursions to acquaint students with many aspects of Thai culture and society.

Course hours will be divided evenly between the first two components, with additional cultural activities and excursions taking place on Friday afternoons and weekends.

For information about Study Abroad credit transfer, registration, and transcripts please visit the Academics section of our website.

A major objective of this program is to introduce students in an authentic and meaningful way to Thai culture – its beauty as well as its realities. To this end, the program will feature several mandatory excursions. Past excursions have included:

  • Temple of Dawn and the Siam Museum
  • Walking Tour of Old Bangkok
  • A visit and guest lecture at Chulalongkorn University, the oldest and most prestigious university in Thailand
  • A visit to a rural community north of Bangkok to observe how pesticide use affects public health in rural Thai settings

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Important dates:

*All dates are subject to change.  Do not book your flight until you have been accepted by the university and the academic dates have been confirmed.

Students will be notified of any program cancellation due to COVID-19 by February 15th, 2021. If host country does not allow US tourists or has not lifted mandatory quarantine restrictions by February 15th, the program will be cancelled.



Late June

Housing and Meals

We use a local modern hotel with pool and gym for student housing. The hotel is convenient to public transportation for non-program times. Students are housed two people per room. 

Breakfast is served each morning in the hotel. Most meals are included in the program or a food allowance is provided for a particular activity. 

Financial Information

Program Costs

This is the billed amount that will appear on your Rutgers term bill during the term you study abroad.
NJ Resident non-NJ Resident
Undergraduate $3,810 $4,120
Graduate $4,010 $4,300
Program Cost includes:

•    Tuition 
•    Housing
•    Meals
•    Excursions
•    Administrative Fees
•    On Call International Insurance

Out-of-Pocket Costs

These are estimated expenses that are not part of your term bill. Students will need to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
Airfare $1,500
Meals $100
Books and Classroom Materials $25
Personal Expenses $125
Total $1,750.00
Out-of-Pocket Cost includes:

The above costs are estimations and represent the known out-of-pocket costs students encounter during their time abroad. 
Some of these expenses will be paid for prior to going abroad, such as an airline ticket and visa costs, while some of these expenses, such as meals and local transportation, will be paid in-country as part of your daily expenses. As you plan, you will need to budget these costs and spend wisely throughout your time abroad.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.


 Available to SEBS students only.  For more information please visit the SEBS Scholarships web page.


Picture of Mark Robson

Dr. Mark Robson is Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. His research interests include exposure science and pesticide use, primarily in developing countries, as well as the policies that impact pesticide use on a global scale. These interests have brought him to Thailand, and several other Southeast Asian countries, for many years of research.  He teaches courses in global health, human ecology, agriculture, and environmental health.


Jhoselyn Marin (Summer 2019 Participant)

"Maybe [in] my excitement, [I had] just completely dismissed from my mind that I was in a whole new world. I was surprised by how different the culture was and how amazingly generous the Thai people were with foreigners. My peers and I were treated so well by everyone we met. They really made us feel like we weren’t far from home. I appreciate Chancellor Dr. Christopher Molloy, Rutgers Global, Dr. Mark Robson and my family for always supporting me and letting me go on this trip. I learned a great deal thanks to you guys and I most definitely will be back in Thailand at some point in the future!" 

 Shrea Mitra (Summer 2019 Participant)

"I had always dreamed of studying abroad even before my college career had begun. I had imagined myself exploring untouched areas of the world that no one would dare to explore. Luckily, my dream came true when I decided to study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand! Studying abroad made my typical college experience so much more amazing and opened my eyes to opportunities and viewpoints I would have not found by staying in New Brunswick." 

Michelle is with elephants.

"Coming to Thailand has been one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences for me. From working with patients in the clinics, teaching English to elementary students, playing with elephants, hiking the tallest mountain, and even cliff jumping, these incredible moments are ones that I will treasure for a lifetime. Although one of the biggest challenges being the obvious language barrier, with that came one of my favorite memories of this trip. When teaching English, I had the privilege of working with a third grade class. While we could not fully communicate with each other due to the language barrier, they still showed a willingness to not only learn what I was teaching but in trying to make me feel welcome and loved."