Berkeley Global Internships

Thailand - Engineering

  • Summary

    Gain first-hand knowledge, connections, and international work experience through an engineering-focused academic internship in Thailand. On this program, you will:

    • Undertake a professional internship in the field of engineering
    • Earn academic credit for the internship via a ten-week online course
    • Learn about Thai culture and history through an on-site course taught by Thammasat University faculty
    • Live with other program participants in program provided housing


    • Thailand: May 31 – August 6, 2017
    • Online Course: June 5 – August 11, 2017
      Dates are subject to change.

    Units: 6 units

    Language of Instruction: English

    Two Required Courses:

    • Required: IAS 196: Thailand in Historical, Social, and Cultural Perspective (3 units)
      AND your choice of:
    • UGIS W157: Experiential Learning: Organizational Context, Self-Reflection, and Professional Development (3 units)
    • UGIS W158: Global Citizenship (3 units)


    • Currently enrolled in a degree program or have graduated within the last 12 months
    • At least one year of college coursework completed by the start of the program
    • 2.0 GPA or higher
    • At least 18 years old at the time of application
    • At least two years of relevant coursework and/or equivalent experience


    • Application opens February 1, 2017
    • Space is limited and the application process is competitive.
    • Deadline to apply is February 26, 2017
  • Courses

    In addition to your internship, you will take an on-site local culture course and an online internship course for a total of 6 UC Berkeley units. The on-site local culture course will be set, but you will have the option of choosing one of two online courses.


    On-site Course

    Course: International Areas Studies 196
    Title: Thailand in Historical, Social, and Cultural Perspective
    Dates: May 31 – August 6, 2017
    Instructor: Wankwan Polachan, Ph.D.
    Units: 3 units
    Prerequisites: None

    This course will give students the opportunity to study Thai society from the aspects of history, culture and knowledge since the period of Siam until the nation state era of Thailand. The focus will be on the making of Thai national identity and the social and cultural development direction in the global context.

    The course will cover the formation and social evolution of the kingdom of Thailand from the Tai origin to the Empire of Ayutthaya into Siam Era and the civil society of Bangkok. This will give the basic understanding of Thai civilization, which will enable students to address and examine the national identity, the characteristics and the way Thailand struggles to find its own place in the global stage better. The latter part of the course will cover the concepts and characteristics of Buddhism and materialism, art and literature, standard of values and nation-building which will portray the clear picture of the future direction of Thai society.

    This course satisfies the L&S International Studies breadth requirement. Please note that academic requirements may change. Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements this course may fulfill.


    AND your choice of one of these two online courses:


    Online Courses

    Option 1
    Course: Undergraduate & Interdisciplinary Studies W157
    Title: Experiential Learning: Organizational Context, Self-Reflection, and Professional Development
    Dates: June 5 – August 11, 2017
    Instructor: J oel Clark, Ph.D.
    Units: 3 units
    Prerequisites: None

    This is an online course that facilitates students' learning and self-reflection about various types of organizational contexts, structures, and cultures as well as the development of practical strategies to promote successful internship experiences. A series of audio-visual lectures, practical exercises, writing assignments, projects, and online group discussions will guide students through all stages of their internship experience. The course will also present a range of theories, methods, and real-world example for examining management and organizational theory and practice.

    Option 2:
    Course: Undergraduate & Interdisciplinary Studies W158
    Title: Global Citizenship
    Dates: June 5 – August 11, 2017
    Instructor: Jeroen Dewulf, Ph.D.
    Units: 3 units
    Prerequisites: None

    With this course, you will be able to add a new dimension to your internship experience: a reflection on global citizenship. You will be challenged to use your internship experience as an opportunity to critically explore cultural differences, modes of conduct and values. A series of audio-visual lectures, practical exercises, writing assignments, projects, and online group discussions will stimulate you to leave the comfort zone of what you are familiar with and to explore alternative views on right and wrong, good and bad and the beautiful and the ugly. The course will also encourage you to interact with locals and to engage with the city/region/country where you live during your internship. It is our hope that this course will help to increase your consciousness about the challenges of being a global citizen.

    Consult with your college/major advisor to see which degree requirements these courses may fulfill.



    Global Internships staff will enroll you in courses after your acceptance to the program. Please make sure there are no active blocks on your student account that may impact your course enrollment.

  • Internship

    The Global Internships team works one-on-one with you to place you in an internship based on your academic background and experience level. Internships will be primarily at PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong province on the eastern coast of Thailand or at the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) near the Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology (SIIT) at Thammasat University campus in Rangsit. Internships are limited to the following areas:

    • Chemical Engineering – plant development, process analysis, research on product development, etc.
    • Material Sciences research in product development, energy technology, etc.
    • Chemistry – research in product development, energy technology, etc.

    Examples of past projects:

    • Reviewed the general processes for the major units of the utilities section of the olefin plant and calculated the energy savings for reducing the air inlet of an auxiliary boiler.
    • Worked on a team to complete a HAZOP report on one of the process units in the plant.
    • Used ANSYS to simulate the fluid dynamics in a catalyst synthesis reactor.
    • Presented the process used in the olefin plant to convert ethane and liquefied petroleum gas to ethylene.
    • Simulated and optimized a distillation column using Aspen and PI Process Book.

    To hear more about what students had to say about their experiences, please watch this short video or check out the SIIT-Berkeley Internship Facebook Page.

    Please note that there are a limited number of internships and placement is not guaranteed. The admissions process is competitive. Students will know about their acceptance into the internship program by early April. If you are not selected, you will be given alternative options within Global Internships or Summer Abroad programs, based on availability, or a refund of your $400 deposit.

  • Costs

    Tuition and Program Fee

    The fees to participate in this program are broken down into 1) tuition and 2) program fees, which are applied to your student billing account as follows:

    2017 Fees UC Students Visiting Students
    Tuition (6 units) $2,460 $3,120
    Program Fee $1,242 $1,242
    Total Cost $3,702 $4,462


    Fees are subject to change. All non-UC Berkeley students must pay an additional Document Management Fee of $55.



    Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses

    In addition to the fees outlined above, Berkeley Study Abroad has estimated amounts for out-of-pocket expenses. These amounts are used to calculate financial aid packages for eligible students. Actual expenses will vary depending on your lifestyle and spending habits.

    Estimated Expenses Amount
    International Airfare and Transportation $1,000
    Additional Meals $952
    Books $312
    Personal Expenses (i.e. phone, passport, visas, etc.) $1,155
    Total Estimated Out-of-Pocket Expenses $3,419
    It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary travel documentation for your program destination (i.e. passport, visa, etc). This may require you to pay fees of up to a few hundred dollars depending on the type of paperwork required.


    Financial Aid

    Financial aid is available for UC Berkeley students who are enrolled in at least 6 units during the summer. All other students should contact the financial aid office at their home institution for more information.


    Explanation of Fees

    Tuition is based on a per unit cost:

    • The UC undergraduate student rate is $410 per unit
    • The visiting student rate for all non-UC participants is $520 per unit

    The program fee includes the following items:

    • Student housing in doubles near students’ internship site in the Rayong Province during the weekdays and near the Thammasat University campus on the weekends
    • On-site orientation activities
    • Travel insurance, including accident/sickness medical coverage, emergency medical evacuation, security extraction, and other travel assistance services
    • Other program-related costs, including fees for placement services
    • The initial non-refundable deposit of $400, which is due at the time of application, is applied to the program fee

    Please note that the list of items included in the program fee is not all-inclusive and is subject to change.

    The following items are excluded from the program fee:

    • International airfare
    • Personal expenses (souvenirs, routine medical expenses, toiletries, etc.)
    • Meals (access to kitchen facilities will be provided)
    • Course materials (textbooks and readers)
    • Other travel expenses (passport, visa, etc.)
    • Additional meals
    • Commuting costs for the daily travel to and from your courses
  • Timeline
    Application opens February 1, 2017
    Application closes February 26, 2017
    Interview with Thammasat Mentor for internship March 2017
    Applicants notified of selection April  2017
    Deadline to confirm participation or cancel for a refund of all program-related fees, minus deposit April 3, 2017
    Attend professional development workshops and pre-departure orientation* April-May 2017
    Arrive in Thailand May 31, 2017
    Online course begins June 5, 2017
    Attend onsite orientation activities First week of program
    Last day of program August 6, 2017
    Online course ends August 11, 2017
  • Instructors

    Wankan Polachan, Ph.D.
    Thailand in Historical, Social, and Cultural Perspective

    Dr. Wankwan Polachan is currently a program coordinator of Media and Communication, a full-time lecturer at the Fine and Applied Arts Division, Mahidol University International College, and a freelance actor and acting coach. Prior to this position, she was a Chairperson and a Lecturer at the Department of Performing Arts, Faculty of Communication Arts, Bangkok University, Thailand. She received her BA in Dramatic Arts from Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand; MA in Theatre Practice (Acting) from Goldsmiths College and PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from School of Oriental and African Studies, both from University of London, UK. She is a scholar in Southeast Asian performing arts with specialization in comic performance and the theatrical aesthetics of the region. As an artist Dr. Wankwan has performed in various renowned theatres both internationally such as The Young Vic Theatre, London; The Esplanade, Singapore; and Theatre Na Zabradli, Czech Republic, and nationally at Aksra Theatre and Thailand Cultural Centre, Bangkok.


    Joel Clark, Ph.D.
    UGIS W157: Experiential Learning: Organizational Context, Self-Reflection, and Professional Development

    Dr. Joel Clark is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara where he earned his Ph.D. in Political Science. He has authored two books involving careers and professional development: Intern to Success (Houghton Mifflin, 2002) and Careers in Political Science (Longman, 2003). His grant work includes the development of web-based learning resources for Arlington (VA) County Schools, and the production of a 12-part video series, Democracy in America. Prior to his current appointment with UC Berkeley, Dr. Clark helped create and direct the University of North Carolina in Washington Program from 2004-2008. Before that, he directed the Michigan State University Washington Program from 2001 to 2004. He has taught at American University and George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Dr. Clark is currently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Career/Internship Instructor for the Social Sciences.


    Jeroen Dewulf, Ph.D.
    UGIS W158: Global Citizenship

    Dr. Jeroen Dewulf is Associate Professor in the Department of German at UC Berkeley where he teaches courses in German Studies and Dutch Studies. He is also Queen Beatrix chair as well as Director of Institute of European Studies and Director of Dutch Studies.

    Born in Ostend, Belgium, Dr. Dewulf graduated in Dutch and German Philology at the University of Ghent. He holds a Master's degree from the University of Porto and a Ph.D. from the University of Bern. His areas of specialization are European Studies, particularly related to (multi)cultural identity in Belgium and the Netherlands, and Post-Colonial Studies, in particular Dutch colonial history and literature.