Location and Culture
Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand is a primarily Buddhist country characterized by a mix of large urban and rural communities. It is an intensely beautiful country, with gilded temples, outdoor markets, and golden beaches, but also has a range of social and environmental problems, and a high percentage of residents living in poverty. Students at the Bangkok, Thailand Project Center have a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the people of Thailand and address some of the challenges common to developing nations by working on a variety of social and environmental projects. Thai people are among the friendliest and most hospitable in the world and have a great talent for enjoying life.
WPI students work in multicultural teams with students from Chulalongkorn University on projects proposed by local nonprofit organizations, universities, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. Projects take place in the city of Bangkok and surrounding rural areas, with many focusing on underserved communities.
Past students at the Thailand project center have:
- Addressed solutions for water contamination and waste management in an urban slum community
- Evaluated improvements for rice-farming technology with the Ministry of Agriculture
- Created a school district’s traffic educational program to improve road safety with the Can Do Team.
- Developed methods for sharing health information with under-served and vulnerable communities.
- Designed “learning centers” for tourists and others to learn about local culture and livelihoods.