Thailand a look into southeast asia! Past Review

By (Bussiness, University of Hawaii - Manoa) for

Thammasat University: Bangkok - Direct Enrollment & Exchange

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I definitely believe that this experience was worthwhile. I learned about different cultures including thai and cultures from around the world. I also learned about my own culture and looked at it in a different way. I have changed from this experience and it has altered my academic and future plans. I believe it was challenging and rewarding at the same time!

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.

One of the major problems was the scheduling of classes. At Thammasat University, instructors can reschedule class according to their preferences at any time. This led to weekend classes, which many students were not used to. In addition, some study materials were not made available to the international students. The Thai students had access to study materials from the previous semesters to help them prepare for exams. These materials were not openly available to all students. Attendance was also taken for each class. I personally was not used to this kind of educational system. I believe that a university student should have the right of attend or not attend class. Points were subtracted from students depending on attendance. Part of the college experience is developing a sense of time management.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The international program faculty leaders were always available and ready to aid students in overcoming various obstacles while studying at their university.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I stayed at the Amarin Mansion, which is across the Chao Praya river from Thammasat university. Amarin Mansion is located in the Pinklao district which is relatively safe. The rooms were quite modern and clean, but I soon found out that this apartment was on the more expensive side. It was very convenient to commute to the university, about a 10 minute walk to the river and a short ferry ride right to the university. This was great because there is bad traffic in the morning, the ferry commute was ideal. There are different venues of night life around the city. It is quite easy to take a taxi anywhere in the city. The best option is to get a group together and share the taxi fare. It's probably just a good idea to go out at night in a group in general. The apartment is relatively new, so cookware was not provided. Overall I recommend Amarin Mansion if you will be attending Thammasat University.

* Food:

I do not have many dietary restrictions, so I thought the food available in Bangkok was great. If you wanted a cheap meal you could find affordable thai dishes, but if you wanted other types of food it was available. If a student is vegetarian or vegan he or she might have difficulties finding accommodations.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

There were many international students from Thammasat University at Amarin Mansion. One draw back was the lack of exposure to local culture of the Thailand, however, I did get to experience different cultures from around the world through the international students. The international business program did take us on a couple fields trips, one to Ayudttaya and one to Pattaya. Both were great, however, like I stated above it was bonding time for the international students and a limited amount of exposure to Thai culture. They also held a farewell diner, which was nice touch to end the semester. The bussiness program really took care of the students. If students are interested in experiencing more thai culture they can look to the other departments of the university. They are many activities and field trips. I took the opportunity to go on a social development project on the border of Burma which was organized by Thai university students. They were more than happy to have foreigners join there project. If you take the initiative there will be opportunities at Thammasat.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

The city's is safe if you take precautions. During my stay there was political issues and protests, however, dangerous situations were avoidable-- the locations of the protests were wildly known. Thammasat has a university clinic which was available to students in the program. The doctor was never there, but the nurses handed out free medication. Mostly for diarrhea and a the common cold. If there is a more serious medical emergency students can to the hospital in the area.

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)


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Language acquisition improvement?

In Bangkok, depending where you went, thai language was not required in everyday interactions. At Thammasat university, most students spoke English and the instruction was also in English. One has to make a active effort to practice his or her Thai.

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

  • International Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? My advice would be to try to experience as much as possible while staying safe. Do not get stuck one thing like partying at the different clubs and bars. It's good but there should be a good balance between night life, school, travel, friends, and culture. Regarding friends if you go home and know you have a couple of good friends then that is a success.