An Eye-Opening Trip Past Review

By (Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/03/2012 to 08/01/2012 with

Study Abroad Programs in Thailand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes. I learned how to be completely comfortable in a country that was very foreign to me. I also learned different ways of thinking about and doing things. I made many friends and am a much more experienced and open-minded traveler. I learned how to tolerate inconveniences and uncomfortable situations with lots of patience.

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.

In addition to working with organizations, we participated in many cultural events and were immersed in the local culture.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Things weren't very clear all the time. Group meetups, requirements, and other things were told to us at the last minute.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

* Food:

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

It was easily accessible. My host family took me to a government healthcare clinic and I was helped for a good price. The antibiotic that I was given helped a lot, but it did not fix the problem. The local healthcare system is a bit lower in quality than I'm used to in the States, but overall I was taken care of really well and I have no complaints. My program had no need to assist me because the total cost was about three dollars. A prevalent health issue in my host country was dengue fever, which has no vaccine (but is not fatal if treated). Also, I needed a typhoid vaccine before visiting this country.

* Safety:

Chiang Mai is a lot safer than you would think. As a white girl, you attract attention to yourself so still be careful. But I never dealt with pickpockets, never felt like someone was trying to steal my money or trick me. I felt safer than when I was at home. But I was still cautious. Being out after dark is a little sketchy because not a lot of people are out, and a lot of people get drunk at night. When I was there, someone got stolen from and everyone was talking about it.

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


* 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)

Very easy. Almost everything in Thailand is really inexpensive.

* Was housing included in your program cost? Yes
* Was food included in your program cost? Yes
Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $1-2 on needed expenses, another $5-10 on expenses for fun
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? On the weekends when you go to the market with friends, there will be lots of cool things you'll want to buy. Don't feel a rush or need to buy anything. Anything you can see, you can find at markets all the time, everywhere in Thailand. Go slowly.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Hostel
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Host Family
  • Other
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with? 10+

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Learning the local language on my own
  • Being immersed in the culture with a host family
  • Visiting cultural sites and participating in the culture
* What could be improved?
  • The clarity of what was required of us as students.
  • The clarity of when student events were going to be.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I understood some of the details of Thai culture, which would have made things a lot easier. I wish I had planned my lessons out better (I taught English).