Best decision I made in college July 28, 2014

By (Biology, General., Mahidol University International College (MUIC)) - abroad from 01/01/2014 to 04/13/2014 with

KEI Abroad in Bangkok, Thailand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I learned about a great culture and great people. It was absolutely worthwhile.

Review Photos

Knowledge Exchange Institute: Bangkok - Study Abroad at Mahidol University International College Photo Knowledge Exchange Institute: Bangkok - Study Abroad at Mahidol University International College Photo Knowledge Exchange Institute: Bangkok - Study Abroad at Mahidol University International College Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 1 month - 6 months

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The international relations office staff was incredibly helpful with anything we needed (courses, visas, etc) and the classes were all conducted well.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Our on site coordinator was wonderful! She was always available, and was very helpful in helping us plan our own travels. We also found (through talking to other students) that she offered many more excursions than other study company coordinators.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The Bundit House was excellent and very clean. It was close to school, with a free shuttle to campus, pool, and gym. The staff was also extremely nice

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

We went to local restaurants, markets and parks every day.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I only went to the school nurse once for cold medicine, but she was very nice and efficient. There was also a university hospital and clinic associated with Mahidol, had we needed more extensive healthcare. I had gotten vaccines for previous travels, so I am not sure what is specifically required for Thailand, besides good mosquito repellent. Dengue fever can be an issue where we were, but we wore repellent, and had no problems.

* Safety:

I felt very safe in Salaya, and Thailand in general. There were political protests throughout my time there, and I never felt unsafe.

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

Finances

* 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)

Everything in Thailand is cheaper than in the United States, so once I was there, I had no problems budgeting for food, other necessities, and travel. Through KEI, we paid for tuition and housing before we went, which was nice because I did not have to finance that while abroad.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Unless we traveled or went shopping, I usually spent $10 or less a day (meals are about $1.20)
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? When you need cash, take out more money so that you have fewer ATM withdrawals. Foreign ATM fees add up quickly!

Language

* 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

As part of KEI, I had to take either a culture or language/culture class. I took the language class, and loved it. I used the language every day when getting around, shopping, or eating.

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 had no Thai language experience
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? Use the language with local people. You will make friends (even if you mess up, they appreciate that you're trying), and it will be the best way to practice

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Excursions
  • On-site coordinator
  • Housing
* What could be improved?
  • Visa advice
  • Packing advice
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How easy it is to travel in Southeast Asia (get a multiple-entry visa!)

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.