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Thailand was an amazing, eye-opening experience that has changed my life permanently. I learned so much about myself and cultures around the world. I loved the experience. A big thanks to KEI for my study abroad. The international relations office is exemplary, they are so friendly and helpful. I will recommend to all my friends to study through KEI.

Read more reviews... Richard Horn
Harvey Mudd College
Trimester & year    Summer

Academics: summer

KEI offers a unique 3-week, 6 credit Bioethics Cross-cultural Education Program (BioCEP) during the summer. BioCEP is a cooperative effort by Columbia University's Center for Bioethics, Mahidol University and Knowledge Exchange Institute. The program's primary objective is to help students understand how culture and religion influence controversial issues related to Bioethics and medical ethics including: emerging infections (Swine flu, HIV, SARS, and malaria), the integration of Western and Eastern medicines, medical tourism, stem cell research, organ transplantation, informed consent, malnutrition, abortion, public health, genetic testing, and reproductive medicine.

Students enroll in a Cross-Cultural Bioethics course (6 credits). The course is divided into a 1-week online component and a 2-week in-country component. The curriculum combines lectures, seminars, professional visits and clinical mini-internship. Lectures and seminars are led by professors and guest speakers from Columbia University, Mahidol University, Thai Ministry of Health and/or various organizations in Thailand.

BioCEP is an ideal opportunity for students and faculty to experience bioethics and public health in another country and to view, on-site, the impact of diverse cultural and religious attitudes on global public health education and delivery. Issues in medicine and bioethics are becoming cross-cultural as more countries debate genetic engineering, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, sex selection, abortion, designer babies, euthanasia, end of life and scientific research funding. Ethics education develops the knowledge and strategic thinking skills needed to address common dilemmas that exist today and in the future, as new biotechnologies emerge.

BioCEP participants come from diverse educational backgrounds including undergraduate students interested in law, business, health sciences and health-related fields as well as graduate students in public health, bioethics, biotechnology, dentistry and medicine. Equally important, these students represent different cultural and religious backgrounds. Since BioCEP's inception in 2007 over 100 students and 20 professors have participated in the program. BioCEP participants included students from the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, the United Arab Emirates, Myanmar and Thailand.

BioCEP Executive Committee
  • Ruth L. Fischbach, Director of the Center for Bioethics, Columbia University
  • John D. Loike, Director of Special Projects, Center for Bioethics, Columbia University
  • Brian Phillips, Assistant Dean, International Relations, Mahidol University International College
  • Eduard Mandell, Managing Director, Knowledge Exchange Institute

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Credit & transcripts Credit and transcripts for course issued by Lincoln University of Pennsylvania (accredited in USA).

University Mahidol University (MU) is the oldest institution of higher learning in Thailand. Founded in 1889 as a medical school, MU has since developed into the most prestigious university in Thailand, internationally recognized for its high-caliber curriculum, research, international collaboration and professional services. MU faculty and alumni have been recipients of numerous and international awards.

Columbia University, founded in 1754, is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the USA and one of the most prestigious in the world. The Center for Bioethics was established in 2002 to address the ethical implications of rapid and extraordinary advances in health care, social policy, and biotechnology that have generated unprecedented ethical dilemmas. The Center has become a highly productive and valued addition to Columbia University.