Best Decision I've Ever Made Past Review

By (Miami University) - abroad from 01/12/2017 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?
While studying abroad I learned skills I cannot learn anywhere else. I learned how to adapt to a new environment, language, and culture. I gained valuable intercultural communication skills and learned new perspectives on global issues. I also gained personal growth. I was able to break out of my comfort zone while abroad and I'm so glad I did. I was able to make so many new friends and create so many incredible memories by gaining confidence in myself. To me, it was absolutely 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.

Our classes were taught in English and there were a lot of different classes to choose from. The courses offered were on Thai society and Southeast Asia which made it feel like an even more immersive study abroad experience. We even got to take these courses with students from Southeast Asia and there were three monks in my Buddhism class! It was an awesome experience to learn from them. The Professors were incredible too! They took us on amazing excursions to various Temples, museums, and Chiang Rai.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

My TEAN contacts were Lauren and P'Nooy. There were awesome! You can call them anytime for anything. Lauren planned meet ups throughout the semester to check-in with us such as our "coffee break" or "pizza party." These events were optional but almost everyone would go because we couldn't wait to tell her how our experience has been going. P'Nooy was our Thai contact and she was the best trip adviser of all time. If you want to go on a weekend trip anywhere she can help you plan it from start to finish. She also helps you with transportation to and from the airport. Knowing we had them there let us feel comfortable and like we could really become a part of the culture.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Uniloft was the best! You get your own room and a living room with a T.V and fridge. There is also a pool, weight room, and study room. But the best part is the 7/11 that is on-site and open 24 hours!

* Food:

Trying new dishes was one of my favorite things to do in Thailand. Authentic Thai food is like nothing I have ever had before. It is so incredibly good and affordable! There are so many different restaurants and cafes it would be a waste not to try them!

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The best cultural integration was the home-stay. It was such an indescribable experience! Everyone was so kind and welcoming in the village. The villagers took us on field trips to the local market and a newly-built temple. They taught us how to cook various Thai dishes and how to do Ram Thai which is a traditional Thai dance. I learned so much about Thai culture through my time there and am so grateful to TEAN that I was able to have that experience.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I went to Nepal after the TEAN program ended and my Nepali contact advised me to receive multiple shots that I didn't have before coming. I received three shots at Chiang Mai Ram Hospital. P'Nooy made sure I had transportation to and from the hospital. The staff were so friendly and helpful. They spoke English and we were able to make the appointments based on my schedule. After each visit the hospital would call to check on me. I think the service there was more attentive than I've had at home. But if you do not require a shot or medical attention the pharmacies are the way to go! They can give you medicine for pretty much everything and the one by Uniloft had a pharmacist that spoke English. The pharmacy is also affordable and easily accessible.

* Safety:

I felt safer in Chiang Mai than here at home. Not once did I feel threatened.

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

TEAN was well organized in planning everything from start to finish. All the staff members were extremely helpful and friendly. The teachers, excursions, Thai Buddies, and the Home-stay were huge take away's from the semester. I don't know of any other program offering experiences or opportunities like these. I can't imagine choosing anyone other than TEAN.


* 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)

You can get an amazing meal for $1. My budget was to spend $1-4 a day on food, drinks, snacks, etc. And this was easily achievable as long as you don't eat at the mall or bigger restaurants everyday. If I spent less on food one day I had more for the next time I wanted to splurge and go to a nice restaurant. I honestly think it comes down to your self-control so don't get discouraged if you spend too much too fast. Just start a budget and stick to it! Transportation is really affordable too (20 baht which is less than $1) although I walked a lot as well.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $30 max
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Try not to spend all your money in one go. Wait to buy souvenirs until the end so you know for sure what you want to get. There are some great budget apps out there to help you stay on track too!


* 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

They greatly encouraged it! Thai class was so much fun and it was really beneficial. We learned how to introduce ourselves and where we are from, order food, ask for directions, and how to shop. The more effort you put into learning and practicing the more you are going to learn.

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? None
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Don't be afraid to practice with the locals because they love helping you learn Thai! You can help them with English as well!

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?
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Thai Buddies and Excursions
  • Education
* What could be improved?
  • Nothing
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I could go back and tell myself not to be afraid to try new things! Take that trip to Sukhothai! Go bungee jumping, zip lining, and ride in a hot air balloon! I wish I had been more adventurous but now I will have even more to look forward to when/if I go back.

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.