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  • Locations: Bangkok, Thailand; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Vientiane, Laos
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: Augsburg applicants only
  • Dates / Deadlines
Program Description:

Thailand Laos Banner 2017


This program explores diversity and social inequality as a prerequisite to professional social work practice in a global context – specifically, in the context of Southeast Asia and Hmong culture. A critical dimension of professional practice is competence in work with diverse populations. Learning in this course is meant to complement learning in other social work supporting and foundation courses.

A large part of student learning in this course occurs through self-exploration, since knowledge of self is critical to professional social work practice. In pre-travel meetings, students use readings, experiential exercises, dialogue, and assignments to deepen awareness of themselves as members of social groups. Students also learn about others’ social identities through course assignments, exercises and dialogue – completed both prior to and following travel to Thailand and Laos. Finally, the course provides an opportunity to improve communication with others through regular dialogue practice.

Students are expected to understand theory as it relates to international social work practice. The course also introduces students to key theories and constructs undergirding cultural competence, including social construction theory, social contact theory, aversive racism, implicit bias, and micro-aggressions. Additionally, course introduces key social work practice models and frameworks as they pertain to cultural competence, including systems theory, ecological framework, strengths perspective and person-in- environment. These practice models will be covered in depth during later upper division social work courses.

Fast Facts

Program Dates:   April 30-May 13, 2018
Credits:  4 credits (SWK 280)
Faculty and Staff:  Professor Bibiana Koh and on-site staff of The Asia Institute
Apply by: January 31, 2018

Academic Calendar: Summer
Language of Instruction: English
Local Currency:  Thai baht (Thailand); Lao Kip (Laos)
Population of Thailand: 67 million
Population of Laos: 6.77 million


SWK 280 - Diversity and Inequality in Global Professional Practice (fulfills requirement for Social Work majors, or elective credit for non-majors)

Program Activities

  • Learn about Hmong culture
  • Learn about Buddhism and Shamanism in the region
  • Visit temples and markets in Thailand and Laos
  • Enjoy lunch in a village in Chang Mai, Thailand
  • Visit social service agencies in Thailand and Laos 
  • Get a glimpse of student life at universities in Thailand and Laos

Housing & Meals

Students will stay in hotels, guesthouses, and dorms. Some meals are included in the program fee.


Students participating in this program must have a GPA of 2.0 and have completed at least one year of college/university. This program is open to ALL majors, however, in the event that the course fills, social work majors may be give priority.

Program Cost

Program Fee:        $4990
Tuition (4 credits)    $1680
Sub-total:                $6670
Global Scholarship: -$1176
Total Cost:            $5494   

The Program Fee includes breakfasts and a few other meals meals; lodging, international travel and in-country travel and entrance fees, and is billed to your student account during Summer Term. Students should plan to bring approximately $300 to cover meals that are not included. The tuition has been reduced because of the Global Scholarship awarded to you by the Center for Global Education and Experience at Augsburg University and is reflected in the Total Cost.

Additional Expenses

Meals                              $300  Students will be responsible for their own lunch and dinner most days of the program. Breakfast is provided daily.
Passport (new or renewal)              $135 (new) or $110 (renewal)  Students should renew if their current passport expires before December 2018.
Meals during international transit    $10-$30  Meals are provided on international flights.  If you want a snack/meal in the airport, it is up to you.
Personal spending money                 varies    Consider your own want/need to buy snacks, souvenirs, etc.

Passport information available here:
For Information about meal, entertainment, and other costs abroad, check the following resources:
   General information:


Because of the social justice emphasis of this program, participants of this program are eligible to apply for the following CGEE scholarships: Click on each of the scholarships for eligibility details, application instructions, and application deadlines. 
NOTE: Scholarship applications submitted by January 3, 2018 will receive a decision on/by January 10. However, applications for summer program scholarships can be submitted as late as March 15, 2018
For general information about Study Abroad/Away scholarships, please read the CGEE Scholarships Page.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 01/15/2018 ** Rolling Admission 04/30/2018 05/13/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.