Go Abroad praises Khon Kaen internship program

USAC Thailand health internship awarded the 2024 Innovative Intern Award Program

University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC) was honored with the Go Abroad Innovative Intern Abroad Program award for the Khon Kaen Internship Program. USAC CEO and President Alyssa Nota and many members of the nonprofit organization’s Institutional Relations team accepted the award during Go Abroad’s reception at the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference on Friday, May 31.

Go Abroad, the leading international education and experiential travel resource, recognized the summer health internship for providing a creative opportunity for learning and cultural engagement. USAC offers students the chance to earn between 7 – 10 credits in a community health internship — including shadowing-based placements and public health clinic or agency-based placements — or lab-based research assistantship. In 2023, USAC sent interns to Thailand to provide fresh, helpful ideas for the staff at the Pediatric Cancer Unit at Khon Kaen University’s Baan Cheevasilp Art Therapy Center. Overall, their goal was to help the adolescent patient’s mental and physical wellbeing while receiving life-saving cancer treatment.

University of Nevada, Reno student Bobby Boaz and University of Mount Union student Allie Darragh made their way through the cancer unit with their creative solution: a guitar and a handful of music lyrics. Bobby strummed the guitar, and Allie motivated the children to sing along and move to the music. While music therapy is not the cure for cancer, it can lift the mood of patients who are coping with the turbulent experience.

Congratulations to all USAC staff involved in developing the Khon Kaen internship program from the initial curriculum design to program management including USAC Resident Director Chaidarun “Jum” Tippawan and Director of Academic Affairs Kara Bingham. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Medicine and Assistant to the President for International Relations/Assistant Professor Dr. Acharawan Topark-ngarm. Without their support and that of the Ban Cheevasilp Art Therapy Center and HealthNet Foundation, these hands-on experiences would not be possible.

HealthNet is a private non-profit organization that raises awareness of public health issues and provides support to address other health and social issues in the northeastern region of Thailand. The organization coordinates financial, technical information and technological resources from government, non-government, private sector international organizations to support AIDS and sexual health related works.