student elective

Cross Border Health


Feb 5- Feb 16, 2024


Mae Fah Luang University

Application Open

Application process opens 3/6/23 Submission deadline 4/7/23 Award notification 5/1/2023

Program Overview

– The Cross Border Health Course is an exciting new educational offering hosted at Mae Fah Luang University (MFU) in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Cross border areas present a unique set of public health challenges, as they often represent the intersection of dynamic geopolitical, economic, sociocultural, and demographic issues. They are important entry points for communicable diseases, and affected populations may experience variable access to health care, health promotion, preventive health and emergency services. Communities in these areas also face many social, legal, environmental and occupational health risks with women, children and the elderly particularly at risk.

 – Thailand has a universal health care coverage policy that allows Thai people to access health care services with equity and quality.  Thailand also has good health infrastructure and Thai health personnel have excellent quality training. As a result, the Thai government has long collaborated with the Myanmar, Lao PDR and Cambodia governments to control and prevent communicable diseases and provide health care services for migrant workers and for people living on the borders. There is also a long history of cross-border work to prevent human trafficking.

– Mae Fah Luang University faculty and health personnel have rich experiences providing health care and other public health services for people who live or have migrated to work in these border areas, in part because of the university’s unique geographic location in the “Golden Triangle” region. This training program is born out of that unique expertise, and has the goal of enhancing learning and care capacity for cross border health issues, promoting the health of people living at cross border areas, and enhancing their quality of life.  

Learning Objectives

  1. Explain basic concepts of cross border public health in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Region

  2. Explain social determinants, trafficking in humans, violence against women, cross cultural care, and emerging and re-emerging infectious disease burden

  3. Critically reflect on the complexity of cross border health issues and how they are manifested in daily life

  4. Acquire skills in basic outbreak investigation and other applicable epidemiological methods

  5. Discuss cross border public health in Thailand and the Greater Mekong Region

  6. Explain culturally appropriate care and different human health behaviors

  7. Write a concept paper to reflect upon cross border issues and their impact on community health

Course Details
This program varies from year to year. Here are the details as it relates to our upcoming semester

Travel to Thailand

Three weeks

Click for free travel services

Call 494-8665, option 1 for options

Pre travel checklist

For students and residents


Instruction Language


Course Fee

Scholarships available


Some expenses in Thailand

Program Leads

These people will help you prepare and get the most out of this experience

Brian Garvey

Learn more →

Justin Denny

Learn more →

Leah Cronn

Learn more →

Nikki Prasarttongosoth

Learn more →

Where you will be staying

We house all students in shared housing (two to a room) at the Phufa Waree Resort next to the Mae Fah Luang University

Learn more →

Thai Culture

During the elective, students will observe how Thai locals provide health care service and the implement cross border policies across this dynamic region. Students will also get the opportunity to observe how they provide care in cross cultural settings and learn about the threat of human trafficking in cross border areas which inhibits their rights to work and access health care services.

Interested in this student elective?

Please contact us and share your interest. We’ll get in touch with you to discuss the process.

Do you have a passport?

4 + 1 =