I loved it. Chiang Mai - Study Abroad + Service Learning in Thailand Past Review

By (St. Lawrence University) - abroad from 06/12/2017 to 06/20/2017 with

IPSL: Reviews from former Locations

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
It was so worth it, it changed me as a person

Review Photos

IPSL: Reviews from former Locations Photo IPSL: Reviews from former Locations 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.

Some of the classes were poorly structured having only once a week lecture (where I had a professor who didn't show up or had someone else substituting them 4 times), also there was little or no coursework throughout the semester but was extreme overload during the midterm and final constituting a big part of our grade. Lastly, I had to write over 4 research papers and I had 0 resources given! I had to log in through St Lawrence's vpn and try to use my school's database. It was insane because it didn't always work. Other classes, such as Dr Larson's class an Thai 1 were amazing, interesting and well structured.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I'm really sorry but the on-site administration was terrible! They would say one thing, but do another, take ages to do anything (we got our ID cards in April). I know some people had to cancel their spring break plan because the administration messed up their visa process and not to mention told them the wrong location where they and to go (I'm sure these students gave their own reflections)... they would never communicate with us if something changed with our service.... it was just poorly managed

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

It was great, I loved where I lived, there was a pool, gym, big nice rooms.... great roommate!! the only thing I was was that it wasn't gender separated and so strict for little things such as visiting each other and having the study rooms open until later. It felt like we were babaysitted

* Food:

The best thing ever! we lived right on the street that flourishes with street food and it was marvelous

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt as integrated as a study abroad student can be. I had a Thai roommate, our service organization was Thai/burmese, I tried to interact with as many locals as possible and the village trip was an amazing experience

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I didn't have to use my insurance but the pharmacies helped me with every little thing I needed

* Safety:

Probably one of the safest places I have been to! I could walk from the central part to our apartment at 3am and feel safe. The security in the dorms were sometimes too much in terms of being very strict when we were outside after 12am

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

Actually I'm not sure. IPSL is great, there is a good communication between the students and the staff, but bot ISEAA which is the program that IPSL relied on while in Thailand. They had poor administration and were not helpful at all


* 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)

we got a ridiculous amount of money to spend on food. They said they only give us money for food for 2 times a day 5 times a week with it only being under $1.5/per meal. I spent saved up money for my food because the money given barely lasted for a week and a half. I felt like I was cheated thinking that I am going to study abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? I think about $700
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? don't expect the program will pay for your meal even if they say everything is covered.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

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

they always encouraged us to speak Thai

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? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I'm not sure how to answer this question; I speak fluently 3 languages and one intermediate
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? talk to the taxi/bus divers, when sopping of ordering food talk to the person selling it

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

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

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The great connections I made
  • The location and its culture
  • the food
* What could be improved?
  • change the local partnering program and all the problems will be fixed
  • employ better professors
  • provide money to back and forth to the service! I don't think it was fair for us only to pay one way, especially that we weren't warned at all
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I forgot to say that I was very disappointed that out trip to Bangkok, as promised by the program, didn't happen and came with no explanations

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.