I can't advocate in favor of this program - 50/50 split Past Review

By (Cottey College) - abroad from 12/27/2017 to 04/11/2018 with

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
yes it was worthwhile because it was so unique. However, I spent most of my time in the dorm arguing with my bank in the US. Even the best laid plans end in wreckage due to forces we can't control.

Review Photos

CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand Photo CISabroad (Center for International Studies): Bangkok - Semester in Thailand Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 6 months+

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

using 5 as the baseline for an ordinary class in the USA, I rate it a 3 for the following reasons: no textbooks, lecture slides are locked after "learning" material so you can't go back in to look at it again, homework/assessment is limited to group project and 1 exam. Learning is memorization based not critical thinking. Great thing is that professors are top of their career experts so teach from their impressive wealth of career experience! No boring lectures here!!! Engaging case studies but a decade behind and no academic literature research. Role playing is a plus. Yes I gained important and relevant career enrichment here, but its not academic intense as my school.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Orientations were helpful as were international student office staff. International students are just sort of there- you have to read the flyers in the food court and be very proactive in looking for resources and experiences - no one will tell you. CISabroad program manager is quick to answer phone calls but is often out of the local area.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

3.5 based on 5 as average American dorm. no tv, doable wifi except for exam time, refrigerator shuts off when you leave the room so your ice cream melts and milk goes bad. toilet is not designed for toilet paper so use the hose. no cooking in the room at all. 1 clothes dryer per dorm building - buy a drying rack or pay the laundry lady to do it. swimming pool, gym, convenience stores, cafes, atm machine and shuttle to campus on the spot. Good maintenance! Housing staff is kind and will help you with mail and stuff.

* Food:

3.5 - must love thai food because american type options are few and far between. eating out everyday at restaurants, at school and street food on occasion because no cooking in the dorm!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

3.5. I have Thai family and lived in Asia for several years so I thought it would be easy. It was not. I very much enjoyed the outings provided in my CISAbroad program but wish there were more.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I will give this an 8 because medication is almost free and over the counter. The university has at least 1 clinic on campus and they transport you to the hospital if necessary. The hospital fixed me up differently than in the US, but it was effective.

* Safety:

i never felt afraid of being robbed here! Traffic is horrendous and unsafe and you have to be aware of jellyfish in the ocean, but Thailand is a good place.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? No

College in the jungle! Komodo dragons at the bus stop, non flush toilets, burn out spicy food, sweltering heat, elephants and 23KT gold buildings - exotic journey. I learned valuable career info, but feel behind scholastically.


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I spent a LOT of money on taxis because it is too hot to wait so long for the free shuttle. I spent a lot on eating at school and at the mall. I felt nutritionally depleted and anemic so i spent a lot on steak. coffee is expensive in Thailand and you will eat a lot of ice cream because it is so hot there.

Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? AT &T does not support phone service in Thailand so don't pay ahead for an international phone plan! Open a bank account in Thailand rather than pay credit card and wire fees.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? French 1
How many hours per day did you use the language? 0
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? learn basic phrases - please, thank you, help, etc. Body language and respect is more important than trying to learn a tone based language. smile and wai with english is better than accidentally flirting or insulting someone!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
  • International Students
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 0

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Thailand is an amazing wild place, you gotta go
  • cultural immersion - loved the cooking classes, elephant sanctuary, sightseeing
  • The application process was easy for me and financial aid
* What could be improved?
  • keeping student busy with cultural immersion other than the bars
  • there was way way too much partying
  • increase academic rigor
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Banking was my #1 nightmare - I fought with my bank probably 3 days out of every week! "Fraud prevention" measures are crippling no matter what you do! Western Union refuses to transfer funds to Thailand during income tax season. Even though I was on my bank's VIP program, they still declined purchases. Academic expectations - memorization/cramming is not effective learning method for me. Classes were cancelled excessively so I spent a great many evenings and weekends in class instead. I wish that I had known that the Thailand program was full of Erasmus and other students who just go to party and travel - no one wanted to study with me because "this doesn't affect my gpa, classes are only pass/fail, credit doesn't transfer anyway so its just a cultural experience." well, i have to do well because it cost a lot of money to be here, and my credits transfer. there were circumstances that were unforeseeable so i could not plan or expect it.