Gain Some Hmong Relatives and Have The Best Summer Doing It - Nan Field Studies Past Review

By (International Relations and Affairs., Brigham Young University) - abroad from 05/24/2013 to 08/09/2013 with

Study Abroad Programs in Thailand

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained tons of research experience, interviewing experience, a chance to see life changing "real" poverty, compare the difference between two countries, to see how minorities are treated, to learn many new aspects of a culture and people I had previously spent 3 years studying and living with in the US.

Review Photos

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Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

It was a very intense class in which I learned many practical skills and theoretical practices.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I got to live in a Hmong house while studying the life and culture of the Hmong, what more could I ask for? The squatty toilet, the chickens, the family were all genuinely awesome.

* Food:

Authentic Thai food, authentic Hmong food. Even the boiled toad cut into 4 chunks was surprisingly delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

As much as possible, Hmong culture and Thai culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I got really sick with a long term thing with my immune system. The hospital I attended was kind of sketchy, but it got me the treatment I needed and it was super cheap. The assistant to the professor was extremely helpful and patient.

* Safety:

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)

Other than the program fees - $5000 and the plane ticket- $1200 which were not covered by the program, living there was very reasonable. Not withstanding that, I am in some heavy duty debt from the program.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Look ASAP for plane tickets, have a host family that is home and will cook.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Don't be picky and cling to American foods.


* 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

I was a translator in Hmong. I got to start learning Thai also.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Fluent
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Fluent
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? 394
How many hours per day did you use the language? 10+
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Meet returned missionaries or move to Northern California or Minnesota and practice like crazy.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • Host Family
* 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?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Thai Food
  • Adventure
  • Culturally Rich
* What could be improved?
  • Longer program
  • No People in mid 20's in the village
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? To bring more antifungal creme, and that I wish I would have known more Thai before the program.

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 Academic or Linguist
You went abroad with specific academic goals in mind; the program credentials and rigor of your coursework abroad were very important to you. You had a great time abroad, but never lost sight of your studies and (if applicable) were diligent with your foreign language study. Good for you!