Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Advice for Future Students

Sawatee Krup future Thailand scholars,

My name is Keng.  Before we begin, I would like to congratulate you on your acceptance and participation in the Study Abroad program to Thailand.  You are in great hands with Acharn Catherine and Acharn Jill. There expertise and experience in Thailand will help make your trip enjoyable and educational. With that out of the way, there are a few items you should definitely bring with you on this remarkable journey along with a few closing statements and tips.

Items to bring

1. Smartphone or cellphone.

I am sure most of you will have some sort of smart phone. Although you will need it much in Thailand, they are helpful. They can serve as a camera, a MP3 or MP4, a gaming system, a phone, a way to connect to the internet and home and so much more. Trust me, the internet component comes in handy. You'll be surprised at how many places in Thailand have wifi. Take it from the guy who did not bring his Iphone. You will thank me later.

2.  Neck Wallet or Phanny pack

Phanny Pack

Neck Wallet

Need I say more. These helpful items will help deter pick-pockets and give you a sense of security. Although no one in our group experienced any pick pockets (that I know of), it is better to be safe than sorry. It may be uncomfortable at first and people may question your sense of fashion, but it makes life a lot easier when you know that your personal items are somewhere you can see and feel.

3. First Aid supplies

You may encounter a few rough days in Thailand and may need some medicine. Here is a quick list of things you may need depending on the trip.

Sun screen and Aloe Vera. You'll need it if you go to the beach. Trust me.

Ibuprofen or some sort of pain killer. It will help ease those transitional days or those days you feel like crap.

Hand sanitizer. It is always better to prevent things than deal with the aftermath. So bring plenty and use it before you eat.

Pepto-Bismol and Immodium. I am sure this will be covered but these items are a must. Chances are you won't be use to some of the foods here and may have a bad reaction to them, so bring some.

4. Disposable toilet paper/ Toilet paper

Some places do not have toilet paper. It would be wise to carry some with you at all. You never know when you will have to go. Even if you don't someone will.


Without further to do, here are some things you should keep in mind  to ensure a safe, eye-opening, fun and educating trip.

1. Make the most of things and try to spend time with everyone and I mean everyone. Chances are they want to do the same thing too. This will help create a stronger group bond and this will help open your mind to new ideas, perspectives and make this trip more enjoyable.

2. Take advantage of your position. How many students can say that they went to Thailand for winter break? I am sure not to many, but what I am trying to say is explore your new scenery. Thailand has a lot to offer and with only three weeks to explore this beautiful country do all that you can (legally and ethically).

3.  Relax and enjoy the culture shock. Sure things are different in Thailand but this is part of the learning experience. You see and reflect and if all else fails talk to the awesome Acharns leading the trip.

4. Record your experiences. Some days are brutal and some days are easy but writing about it will help you reflect on your experiences and help you share your remarkable journey with those close to you.

5. Be alert and mindful of your actions and the actions of others. Watch your back whenever you go out and always go in a group. Even when you feel comfortable with your setting, you should always remember that there is safety in numbers. Besides, big groups often get better discounts on local transportation. Watch what you say and do in Thailand. Remember you are not on vacation and you are still representing your educational institution.

6. Learn about the Thai culture and try out some Thai food. This will help you get a general idea of what Thailand has to offer. It will also help you decide what you like and don't like.

7. Have fun. Thailand has so much to offer so enjoy it.

 Closing Remarks

Finally, we are at the end. Enjoy your trip and make the most of it. It is an experience you will never forget.

Keng Xiong

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