I am a better friend, daughter and person because of Chiang Mai. Past Review

By (Pennsylvania State University - University Park / Penn State) - abroad from 01/11/2017 to 05/19/2017 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
As you read in my title, I am a better friend, daughter and person because of Chiang Mai. It taught me more about myself than I realized I had to learn. The patience and cultural appreciation you learn to have for the people and the country come back to the states with you and I truly think they will make you a better person because it happened to me.

Review Photos

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

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.

Our classes are all taught in english! Taking Thai language was THE best class (it's required) but there are a variety of classes you can choose from aside from that! The courses are created for you to learn about Thailand and Southeast Asia, not just for you to get a grade, which I found really beneficial. The teachers cared more about how much of the info you retain rather than just giving an exam and saying "oh well!" The program does a really good job of making you want to learn the material because it is all so beneficial while you're in Thailand. I learned so much from this program and the variety of AWESOME field trips we went on made it that much better.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

The TEAN Thailand staff become your "cool parents." They will answer a call at any time of the night, pick you up from the airport or even help you plan a trip. I never felt "lost" while I was abroad because the TEAN staff was always there to help.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

One of my friends from home asked if I even had electricity in my apartment. YES!!!! There are so many misconceptions about Thailand and what is there. The apartments are more modern and way nicer than my off campus apartments at Penn State. Each apartment has two rooms, which was perfect because if you needed privacy, you had it. Throughout the semester, I watched a mango tree grow right outside of my window.

* Food:

Three days after I got back to the states, I ordered Thai food from a local restaurant. I'm now back at Penn State (week 3) and I have already made my favorite Thai dishes. Thai food is great in the U.S. but nothing will compare to the indescribable (AMAZING) tastes of authentic Thai food. I'm salivating thinking about Khao Soi (a Chiang Mai MUST).

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I have never been surrounded with so much kindness in my life, and that says a lot for being in an unfamiliar culture and not knowing anyone. Everyone is so genuine and wants to be your friend. Also, TEAN takes you on a home stay in a Thai village. There is no better experience than the home stay. It taught me SO much about the culture and gave me a whole new appreciation for life. I could never pinpoint my favorite part about Thailand because everyday was better than the next but the cultural immersion is probably what I'll remember most.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

Healthcare is extremely accessible. I never had to seek real medical attention but I had friends who got sick and one of the TEAN staff members took her to the hospital. There was a pharmacy at the end of the street we lived on and it has everything you need (except tampons, bring those) unless you feel like you need to see a doctor.

* Safety:

It says a lot when I look over my shoulder more in Baltimore than I do in Chiang Mai. There was not a single time in Thailand I felt unsafe, ever.

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

I tell everyone "DO TEAN!" TEAN had the perfect everything for me. It was small enough that I knew everyone in my program and they have become some of my best friends. They know exactly what they're doing and I would not change anything about TEAN Thailand.


* 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)

When I was abroad, 1 USD was equivalent to about 34 Thai Baht. If you plan it right, you could spend about $5 a day on food/drinks. However, I felt $7-$10 a day was about where I was for the majority of my time. There are also some amazing cafes (a little pricier) that I would splurge on WAY too often and it does add up.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? Around $75??
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Go for the street food!!!!


* 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 LOVED taking Thai language. It helped all of us get around easier and made the experience so much more memorable. By the end of the program you should be able to make your way around pretty easily. I could order food, give directions, greet and introduce and more. Also, it is SO helpful to invest time in this class because then you can order food just the way you want.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? None
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I did not know how to say hello in Thai when I got off of the plane.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Talk to everyone and try to order your food in Thai. Although some of the people you will interact with in restaurants and at street vendors do not know english, they really know how to teach their language and are willing to help. I learned the most by just trying everyday.

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Americans
  • International Students
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?
  • People
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Location
* What could be improved?
  • N/A
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew studying abroad in Chiang Mai would make me want to travel the rest of the world because then I would of started another savings account when I was 10.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

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The Outright Urbanite
A social butterfly, you're happiest in bustling cities with hip people, and took advantage of all it had to offer. You enjoyed the nightlife, and had fun going out dancing, and socializing with friends. Fun-loving and dressed to the nines, you enjoyed discovering new restaurants, shops, cafes, and bars in your host country.