Thailand: The Land of Smiles! Past Review

By (Political Science and Government., Illinois State University) for

Thammasat University: Bangkok - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I became much more independent and got a better world view. Had to deal with adversity but it made the program more worthwhile.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 0-2 weeks

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The workload for the Political Science program was average. Most classes had 2 tests and a paper so it was less homework than I was used too. However the Business program had a very small workload. Grading was more than fair and often rounded depending on class scores. Be prepared for 3 hour block courses but less busy work than american universities.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

All of the staff at Thammasat University were more than willing to go out of their way to help in any situation. However, keep in mind that thai culture can be slow and bureaucratic. Some times it takes a while to get things done and staff dont always follow things based on time. Its just part of the culture and you learn to adjust expectations.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I would highly recommend Amarin Mansion if attending Thammasat University. Its very close to the University, a good price, and has a great friendly staff. I learned most of the words I knew in Thai from the store owner at the apartment. The staff at this apartment acts as your family and really introduce you to local culture.

* Food:

The food everywhere is amazing. If you are a vegetarian, ask a local friend for the word or write it on a card and everyone will be more than accommodating. People will tell you not to eat at food stalls but I would recommend it. They are mostly safe, cheap, and Delicious.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I highly recomend seeing a Muay Thai fight and traveling to the south of thailand.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

Very safe city. Be careful when riding a motor bike. If you get sick, Bangkok has some of the best hospitals in the world. I went to the doctor and got medicine without insurance for about 15$.

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)

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Everything is very cheap, it makes it easy to eat out for every meal. You can eat a good meal for 2$ and get a beer for 1$. Use the street carts to eat cheap and good.
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? If you eat at western restaurants you will spend similar to US prices, better to eat local.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

I did not study Thai but wish I had. It is used everywhere however most people you need to converse with (Taxi drivers, store clerks, food carts) know enough English to get by. Learning 20 words can prove to be quite helpful and will really impress the locals and also separate you as a student from other tourists.

Direct Enrollment/Exchange

* Did you study abroad through an exchange program or did you directly enroll in the foreign university? Exchange

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

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

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • The food
  • Bangkok
  • The people
* What could be improved?
  • improving thammasat's speed in getting things done
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program takes someone who is adventurous but you will meet other like minded students. Super cheap program, amazing traveling opportunities, some of the best food and nightlife in the world, and friendly locals, whats not to like?