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Leaving for exchange in..eek! two months!
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  1. #1
    Guest
    Hey
    In July I'll be leaving for Thailand for a year-long exchange program. I'll be staying in a city in Southern Thailand.

    Just saying that became very, very scary.

    I found out in January, but it never really hit me until now, that their's so little time left. I've only met on Thai person before in my life, and I love him to pieces, but he's only one, you know? I'm just dizzy from all the anxiety. I have a few stupid questions to ask, too. Please someone answer them.

    1.I'm a Westerner, caucausian with blue eyes and blonde hair. Should I worry about stereotyping or rudeness because of this? My blonde friend who's going to Japan is dying her hair black to fit in. Should I consider this?
    2.I know many schools require hair cuts for students. I'm kind of attached to my hair. Does this rule stand for High school students?
    3.Is the food going to make me sick/fat/throw up in the first few months? As a general rule (I am a teenage girl, after all) I don't eat alot. Is this going to be an issue?
    4. I'm 5'7, 110lbs. Will I tower over Thai people? Am I going to seem beast-like?
    5.I like parties. Alot. Do they have many parties in Thailand? What do they do for fun?

    Thank you sooooo much

  2. #2
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    Heeey!

    PLEASE tell me you're going with Rotary. So far I know two other folks heading to Thailand for a year and wouldn't ya know - they're going in two months! So, anyhoo, here's the lowdown on at least what I think would be your pressing issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 1.I'm a Westerner, caucausian with blue eyes and blonde hair. Should I worry about stereotyping or rudeness because of this? My blonde friend who's going to Japan is dying her hair black to fit in. Should I consider this?
    Hmm that's a good question. Mind you, I'm an Asian, brown skin with brown eyes, and black hair. Personally, I don't think you'd have to worry too much about stereotyping, and definitely nothing about rudeness. If anything, they'll find you a bit more fascinating than Joe-six-pack or Jane-long-legs. I think the hair dying might be a bit much though.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 2.I know many schools require hair cuts for students. I'm kind of attached to my hair. Does this rule stand for High school students?
    As a general rule, the hair cuts will stand. BUT, seeing as you're gonna be an exchange student, many Thai schools will let you keep your hair as long as it's neat and tidy. No mohawks, mullets, hair from the 80's, that kind of thing.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 3.Is the food going to make me sick/fat/throw up in the first few months? As a general rule (I am a teenage girl, after all) I don't eat alot. Is this going to be an issue?
    The food might take some time to get used to and I wouldn't be surprised if you feel a bit sick for the first few months. Weight gain however, is a different issue. #### near everyone gains a bit of weight (I put on 25 lbs and 4 inches) but if you don't obsess about it, it's really nothing to worry about.
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 4. I'm 5'7, 110lbs. Will I tower over Thai people? Am I going to seem beast-like?
    You'll probably be a bit taller than them, but you certainly won't tower over them. I don't think you could be a beast!
    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ] 5.I like parties. Alot. Do they have many parties in Thailand? What do they do for fun?
    There are parties, but nothing on the scale of something you'd see in American Pie. Plus, now that the Thai police are starting to crack down on under-aged people in discoes, it's gonna be pretty tough to shake that groove thang. Your Thai friends, however, will be pretty happy to skip school with you and take you out to waterfalls or temples. That kind of thing.

    I hope this answers some of your questions - if there's anything I can help you out with, don't hesitate to email me - mantex_jonny_blaze@hotmail.com

    As well, if you want to see a short summary of my year in Thailand, just pop on over to this here page . As well, can also check out this here post to see how I felt, two years after returning.

    Hope to swap war stories with you soon!

    Jonny

  3. #3
    delawang Guest
    Goldi, you should be prepared for people to talk about your height and hair color, but it is not meant to be offensive at all. I hear Thai's talk about people's physical characteristics a lot, but they do not take it as seriously as westerners. It is just talking. Just smile when someone says something about your hair and everything will be OK. They do not mean to make you feel out of place.

    As for the food, it is really healthy! Thai women I know say bread makes you fat and rice doesn't, so don't worry about that.

    When I have watched my wife try to make friends with western women the thing that causes problems is the fact that westerners associate touching between adults with sex and Thai's don't. One time my wife's feelings were really hurt when farang woman we know wouldn't hold hands with her when they were crossing the street. I don't think she ever got over it. In Thailand, you will have very little physical contact with boys and lots with other girls. This is not sexual by any means. My wife and her friends sleep together, sit on each others laps, and groom each other a lot- there is nothing even remotely sexual about this. On the other hand, men and women have less physical contact than we do in the west.

    I really hope you can adjust to this, because if you don't you will hurt people's feelings. They will not understand why you don't like them and why you don't want to be their friend. I have tried to explain this to my wife, who is much older than you and rapidly becoming expert in farang, and she just looks at me like "What planet do you guys come from?"

    I think next year you will speak Thai perfectly, I am so jealous :-)

    del

  4. #4
    Guest
    Thanks Johnny and delawang:)
    -->Yes, I am going with good ole Rotary. What country are the other two exchange students from? Do you know what city they're in? Your experience sounds amazing:) I hope mine's that good!
    ---->Thanks for the info delawang...I'm a pretty touchy person, but I had no idea that it was like that there! I'm pretty sure you've saved me some embarrasment/offensiveness.

  5. #5
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    Oi Goldi!

    Yaaay!! Another Rotary YE!! Sweet-ah!

    The other two people I know are from Canada. I met them both during a Rotary conference (I think you'll be meeting the two of them during the inter-district conference, sometime next year.) They are going to districts 3350 (central) and 3340 (North East.)

    If you're gonna be in the south, is that 3360? or are you heading into the eastern seaboard, in 3340?

    Jonny

  6. #6
    aislingeach Guest
    I would be the student going to district 3350. It seems that we'll have similar experiances, though! I'm about the same height as you, with blue eyes and blondish hair... I think we might have to keep a correspondance, for sanity's sake.

    What country are you from?

    Jonny: Brandt's going to the northeast? I'm not sure whether to be jealous, or to laugh at him...

  7. #7
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    Oi Aislin!

    It's time to laugh!! He's going to *my city* (Korat) and will know the same Rotarians that I did!!

    I've got mostly friends among Rotary there, but inevitably a few enemies. So, I think it will be *highly* interesting to see the kind of experience he'll be having...if you can't tell, I just about died laughing when he told me he'd be heading into Korat.

    Jonny

  8. #8
    aislingeach Guest
    I had to pester my placement officer hardcore just to find out what district she's sending me to. She's not gotten my forms to me yet... But I checked the 3350 website, and they have three clubs that meet in Ayutthaya, so I've got all of my fingers crossed.

  9. #9
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    talking

    Hmmm

    You might end up in Samut Prakan. I think that would be a totally spooky spooky experience

    Jonny

  10. #10
    aislingeach Guest
    Why's that? Is it haunted?

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