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Chemistry and Cultural Exchange in Thailand

Application of science toward worldwide challenges in health and sustainability requires international and intercultural collaboration among scientists. A general background in chemistry and common goals with scientists worldwide opens the door for cultural exchange and provides the basis for this program in Thailand.

Thailand is known for the beauty of its landscapes, delicious and bountiful cuisine, quality of its silk, and the warmth and gracious hospitality of its population. Long a hub of trade and commerce in South East Asia, Thailand’s unique culture has many influences from its neighbors in the region as well as aspects introduced from Europe and the USA by means of trade and cultural exchange rather than colonization.

This program is for students who wish to develop scientific, international, and intercultural skills to apply chemistry toward problems of both local and global relevance. You will reinforce basic chemical knowledge and skills while working alongside Thai and American students and faculty on chemistry activities with a connection to health, sustainability, and Thai culture.

  • Experience the frenetic vitality of Bangkok and ornate splendor of its Grand Palace and Buddhist Temples.
  • Apply and reinforce your skills as a chemist while collaborating with Thai and American students and faculty in Maha Sarakham, the center of Isaan, Thailand’s heartland.
  • Learn about and experience other aspects of Thai culture, including its cuisine, traditional silk making, traditional medicine.

Tentative Program Dates:
15 June 2017 through 13 July 2017

Breakdown of participation costs

Students will register for CHEM 1553 - Chemistry, Empirical Inquiry, and Cultural Confluence in Thailand.  This 4 credit course fulfills the general education requirement of International Perspectives. Apply now

Faculty Profiles:

Joe Alia is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He teaches Physical Chemistry I, II, & Lab as well as Theoretical Chemistry, Molecular Spectroscopy, and General Chemistry Lab. Joe’s aspirations toward designing this program have been shaped and inspired by study of physical science, extensive travels, and in particular the experience of teaching thermodynamics in Thailand while learning about Thai cuisine, traditional medicine, and Buddhism.

Tim Soderberg is Associate Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He has taught Organic Chemistry, General Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry Biochemistry, and Introduction to Research. He lived in Tokyo, Japan for five years in the 1990’s and speaks Japanese. He has traveled widely in Japan and in Thailand.

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