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Thailand – Wisconsin Sunrise Program

April 20 – May 15, 2019


What is the Wisconsin – Thailand Sunrise Program?
The Department of Public Instruction and the Thailand Ministry of Education signed a cooperative agreement in 2005. Wisconsin schools began hosting groups of students and teachers from Thailand in 2007.

Program Structure

  • The Thai Ministry of Education selects 30 - 35 students and six to seven teachers nationwide for participation in this program.
  • The DPI works with school districts to place students for home stays and school visits. Schools host five (5) students and one (1) teacher for three weeks.
  • Students and teachers spend the final two days of their visit in Madison for sightseeing and a UW-Madison campus tour.

Program History and Purpose

  • Wisconsin and Thailand have strong connections through the University of Wisconsin-Madison Alumni Association. The Thai chapter is among the largest international alumni associations. Many members of Wisconsin’s Hmong population grew up in Thai refugee camps.
  • Thailand has strong interest in introducing young people to American customs and education. All students learn English.
  • Hosting Thai students is a wonderful opportunity for Wisconsin families and schools to learn more about Thai culture. Personal and education connections with Thailand often continue for years as a result of this program.

Program Oversight

The Thailand Ministry of Education and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instructions conduct this program cooperatively. Thailand selects students and teachers. The DPI works with local schools to provide home stays and school visits.
The Thai visitors are fully insured.
Any questions or concerns throughout the visit should be discussed with DPI staff.

Expectations of Host Schools

The DPI asks schools to place the Thai students and teacher with host families and to welcome them to school for daily attendance. Thai students often shadow their host student throughout the school day, but some schedule modifications may be necessary.

Thai students and teachers speak English. They are prepared to give cultural presentations to students, teachers and the school community.

Expectations of Host Families

Host families are expected to
  • Include their Thai guest in regular family activities and to provide transportation to and from school.
  • Meet their guest at the Madison pick-up location on Saturday, April 20, unless other transportation arrangements have been made.
  • Host their guest from April 20 – May 13, 2019.
  • Provide transportation to Madison on May 13 for Madison arrival no later than 2 p.m. Alternative transportation arrangements with other families or the school district can be made.
  • Sightseeing trips during the stay are welcome but not expected.

Farewell Event

  • The DPI will schedule a farewell event for the Thai group on May 13, 5 – 7 p.m. at the UW Madison Pyle Center. All host families and interested school faculty are invited to attend. This event gives the Thai visitors an opportunity to thank their hosts officially. Typically, they will give a cultural performance in traditional Thai clothing.
  • Host families are encouraged but not expected to attend. The 2018 farewell event had a total of 160 participants.


2019 marks the thirteenth year of the Thailand - Wisconsin Sunrise Program. Many schools have hosted Thai groups several times. The experience is overwhelmingly positive. Families and hosting schools appreciate the opportunity to get to know Thai people and learn about them and their culture. Many personal friendships have been formed over the years. 

To host a delegation in your school community, contact Pam Delfosse at

For questions about this information, contact Pamela Delfosse (608) 267-9265