Thailand: An Amazing Semester in the Land of Smiles Past Review

By (Economics, International Studies, Augustana College) for

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Thailand - Semester in Chiang Mai

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I had such a great experience in Thailand that I am looking at ways to go back after graduation. My semester really enlightened me on a region of the world with a rich culture that is undergoing rapid development.

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.

My courses were just with other international students, mainly Americans, and were taught in a similar style to American universities. There was more emphasis on the final and less on coursework throughout the semester, however. I learned a lot but was still able to travel on weekends. Really interesting professors from all around the world.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Very supportive staff, eager to help with any questions or problems as they arose. They went above and beyond - one administrator even acted as a translator for me for an independent research project. They were also a lot of fun on our excursions.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

The housing is about a 10 minute walk from the main campus. Transportation is needed to get into the main city. I felt safe and the housing was comfortable. I shared a dorm room with a Thai student and we had our own bathroom. I needed sheets and towels when I arrived but my program helped me get them right away.

* Food:

I love Thai food! Breakfast and dinner on weekdays was included in the overall cost. The options were somewhat limited, especially for vegetarians. I usually ate lunch on campus during the week and ate meals in the city on the weekends - tons of options, both Thai and non-Thai. Cooking on your own is difficult.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Great excursions arranged by program - two home stays and one sightseeing trip to Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, and Bangkok. Also cultural events in the city.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

I felt safe in the city, although I didn't go out alone in the evening. Drunk driving is probably the biggest safety issue. I didn't have to use healthcare while abroad, but I know that others got assistance from the program when they were sick and needed to see a doctor.

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
Language acquisition improvement?

We learned basic Thai skills, which was very useful for getting around the city. It was intensive language courses. I practiced with my Thai roommate, who was also learning English. Many Thai university students are learning English, but it is helpful to know some Thai when you're in the markets or traveling.

If applicable, to what degree did your living situation aid your language acquisition?

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? This program is ideal for a student who wants to immerse themselves in an entirely new culture, but still feel supported by a great staff. I had so many amazing experiences and grew personally from my time abroad.

Individual Course Reviews

Course Name/Rating:

Gender, Sexuality, and Transformation in Thai Society

Course Department:
Instructor: Dr. Stephen Whitehead
Instruction Language: English
Comments: This course was a fascinating intro to gender studies in the context of Thailand. Definitely my most intriguing and thought-provoking course. Great discussions.
Credit Transfer Issues: No.