Truly the Best Think I've Ever Done Past Review

By (Clemson University) - abroad from 05/25/2018 to 06/19/2018 with

The Education Abroad Network (TEAN): Thailand - Summer in Bangkok

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
Yes and it was definitely worth while.

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? 2 weeks - 1 month

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

Lauren and Nala were the TEAN staff that worked with us while Thailand. Both were incredibly welcoming and tried their best to answer any questions we had. They gave us a presentation on the country as a whole and what to expect culturally and academically which was nice. They accompanied us to many of our field trips and Nala, being the student re, helped us coordinate many daily activities, including a day trip to the beautiful White Temple in Chaing Rai.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

For the most part, UniLoft was amazing as far as student housing goes. The people who were in DCondo had an awesome infinity pool that was nice to visit. For us in UniLoft, I liked that a whole group of us TEAN students were on the same hallway so we could hang out and stop by each other's dorms on the way out. It made everyone feel very included in a lot of the last minute plans that were often made. The only problem that I saw was consistent with us students was the laundry situation. The washers ruined some of mine and 2 other girls' clothes. One of my favorite shirts became greatly discolored after one cycle, which was unfortunate. Apart from the laundry though, I enjoyed UniLoft.

* Food:

All the food I tried in Thailand was absolutely delicious. If you have the chance to visit a place that serves fried banana flower, DO IT. It was amazing. All the flavor and sauces were amazing. One of my favorite places to eat was BaseCamp, which is right past the Suthep Road entrance to Chaing Mai University, so it was super convenient to go there before class. Their coffee and smoothies were delicious and their sweet and sour chicken was an almost everyday thing for me to order. The owner, Cake is so welcoming and she even helped me with one of my class assignments. Another place right down the road from BaseCamp that I loved was Supatra Cottage. They have a great mix of traditional northern Thai food and more Westernized food, like pizza and spaghetti. The Nimman area of Chiang Mai also has some good western style food if you're feeling homesick or tired of eating rice for every meal. The one thing to watch out for in Thailand is the chance of food poisoning. Almost everybody that visits will have an adjustment period for the food, which for the most part doesn't inhibit any daily activities. But while my group was there, 3 people out of 27 did get actually sick from food poisoning. It's just a fact of visiting a place with such emphasis on street food and quick vendors. But, once you're there, you can gauge which places look sketchy or not and if you stick to the right kinds of food, you should be okay. I never felt super sick while there, but it is something to watch out for.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

Being a Chaing Mai University student helped tremendously in feeling integrated into the culture. Being able to ask professors cultural questions was one plus to it. The main plus was that since all college students have to wear a uniform, we felt very "local" while walking around in our uniforms. Shop vendors were more apt to welcome us and saw us as separate from the backpackers that make Chiang Mai a short term destination. Also, our Thai roommates, Meah and Phurne made us feel very included in everyday life in Chiang Mai. They showed us restaurants, shops, and activities that I really don't think you could find easily without having a personal tour guide. They also helped us translate which was a major help.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

I am thoroughly impressed with Thai Healthcare. I think it's absolutely amazing. One girl got food poisoning and since Thailand doesn't really have an private practices, they go to hospitals for small things like food poisoning. It was a very clean space and the process was quick, and super affordable.

* Safety:

I never felt personally unsafe. There seemed to be almost no violence in Chiang Mai. I never felt unsafe walking alone and at night, I felt secure walking with one other person only. Nobody heckled me or yelled at me. Everybody was very nice and polite. As for the infrastructure though, the level of safety could definitely be improved upon. One time me and a group of students were walking and there was a loose telephone cable dangling form above us and it was laying in a puddle on the sidewalk. The cars have no regard for the pedestrians so you have to be very alert when walking. The sidewalks were a clear afterthought as well.

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

I loved everything we did and saw. It was a trip of a lifetime.


* 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)

Thailand, I think, I the most inexpensive place to study abroad. For a month, I spent $400. I ate out for every meal, took multiple Grab or RedTruck (Thailand's versions of taxis and Uber) rides per day, bought dozens of gifts for myself and others, and paid for many extra activities like entrance fees to temples all with that $400. Extra money was simple to withdraw from an ATM using a US debit card.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $100
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Honestly, Thailand was so cheap, I didn't need to think about saving money.


* Did your program have a foreign language component? No

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Dorm
* 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?
  • The temple visits
  • the immersion into the culture
  • the trip to the southern islands
* What could be improved?
  • the laundry
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? How far your dollar will go

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Nearly Native or Trail Blazer
Craving the most authentic experience possible, perhaps you lived with a host family or really got in good with the locals. You may have felt confined by your program requirements and group excursions. Instead, you'd have preferred to plan your own trips, even skipping class to conduct your own 'field work.'