Comparing Health Systems in an Intercultural Context: Thailand and the US




Undergraduates with clinical experience and all graduate students

Program Length

2 weeks in Thailand

Dates Offered

Spring semester

Course Number

NURS 5350-002

Course Director

Hanne Harbison, MHSPH, MSN, WHNP-BC

Course Description

This course provides an intensive historical, sociopolitical, and cultural perspective of health and health care delivery in Thailand. Classroom, clinical and field experiences are designed to provide students with a broad view of Thailand’s history and culture. From this sociopolitical, cultural and historical context, we investigate how the health of a country is measured, how health systems are constructed to address the major health concerns, and who provides health-related services.  This course combines seminar discussions about the state of health care in the United States and Thailand with a 2-week field experience in Thailand during semester break.  Although the course changes a bit each year, some of the experiences you might expect to have in Thailand include visits to the Ministry of Public Health, urban and rural health care facilities (hospitals, clinics, community agencies) in both the public and private sphere, opportunities to explore major cultural and religious sites, and time to explore nursing and nursing education with Thai nurses, nursing faculty and nursing students. We also discuss Thai Traditional Medicine, an indigenous healing system that is protected and promoted by the Thai government, and is used by many Thais in the context of their daily lives.


Related Websites: 

  • Accessible on Canvas site



Registration Details

  • Counts as 1 CU
  • Counts as experiential course for global health minor

Complete Application Form and submit to Course Director, Hanne Harbison ( by November 3.


Outlined in course syllabus

Finances/Program Costs

The SON submits budget (course fee, travel and living expenses) to Student Financial Services to be added to student’s “cost of attendance.”  may qualify for grants and/or loans


Program/Course Fee $1800 includes:

Out-of-pocket Expenses:

  • Accommodations
  • Daily transportation
  • In-country flights
  • Entrance to cultural sites
  • Most meals
  • Airfare and some meals
  • Independently-arranged activities


Complete Application Form and submit to Course Director, Hanne Harbison ( by November 3.

Application Deadline

November 3

Required Forms (provided after application is accepted)

Health information; travel consent