Chiang Mai - a lifetime of memories! Past Review

By (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo) - abroad from 08/08/2018 to 12/14/2018 with

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

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a broader knowledge on the world and different cultures. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to do in the future.

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.

The course level was up to par with my home university. I was excited that the quality and content of the courses were immersive into the culture while also providing enough time to enjoy being abroad. The professors were readily available and quite knowledgeable for whatever the students needed. The professors were a mix of Western professors as well as Thai; this allowed for a diversity of backgrounds.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

There was a TEAN representative that was very helpful and available almost always. She was in the building where we had class and we saw her every day that we had classes. No matter what the issue was, she was ready to help and provided us with local insight on the best things to do in Chiang Mai.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

We lived in student housing just under a mile from the building we learned in. It was awesome having your own room and being able to share with either a TEAN students or a Thai student. There was also an option to live in a single flat that was nearby. The housing felt very safe with 24/7 security and locked entrances.

* Food:

Food was exceptional. The housing was just a street away from an entire stretch of street food. With many options within a walking distance, food was never scarce. It was also exceptionally affordable; I often purchased spring rolls for 35 baht (just about $1!). There were many more options in the main area of the city as well.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Attending Chiang Mai University was a unique experience in learning what student life was like. Chiang Mai is a great location in Thailand to be immersed in the culture without being overwhelmed with Western tourists, as opposed to Bangkok, for example. There were many opportunities to bond with Thai locals and learn about the culture.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I personally did not need any health care assistance. However, some peers needed to visit the hospital for various stomach bugs. The hospitals are very English friendly, very efficient, and quite inexpensive to be treated.

* Safety:

I felt more safe in Chiang Mai than I do at home in California! I never felt unsafe doing some solo adventuring as a young woman. Thai locals are very respectively and willing to help if you need direction or assistance. I never encountered any situations where my safety was in question.

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

I would choose this program again for the included trips, expertise, and overall great service. They were always available to answer questions before and during the trip and made the process simple and smooth.


* 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)

Eating in Chiang Mai was very inexpensive and personal expenses were kept to a minimum. Transportation is very cheap as well if you want to go somewhere out of walking distance. You could eat on under $5 a day easily!

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $50
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Since we had small fridges in each apartment, it was nice to go to the grocery store under the MAYA mall and stock up on some snacks. Street food is also very cheap, fast, and delicious.


* 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

Thai language seems intimidating at first; however, this class was my favorite as the professor was very understanding and entertaining. He made learning the language fun! The locals really appreciated you trying to speak Thai and definitely respected you more if you attempted to speak in their language.

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? Intermediate
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? None
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? My best advice to learn the language is to practice it when you order food, in transportation, and anywhere else you can manage. The class is very helpful but only if you practice every day! It is quite fun and rewarding being able to communicate with locals.

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
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Communication
  • Immersion
  • Availability
* What could be improved?
  • Receiving transcripts after the fact faster
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how safe Thailand was so that I didn't worry about it beforehand.