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Help! Stu. Exchange in Thailand
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  1. #1
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    sad Help! Stu. Exchange in Thailand

    Hello Everyone!

    I read some of your threads on Thai culture. So, I thought you guys can help me out. I am a Canadian who has been learning French for 10 years. So, when the time came about to apply for a student exchange, I applied for France and got accepted there. Now, I`m really confused as I have become really interested in Thailand, its history, culture and people + IT`S CHEAP

    Has anyone done a student exchange in Thailand? or anyone working in Thailand«. I`ll be attending Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. How is the student life there? What did you? What did you like? or disliked?
    I`ll be sooooooo thankful to you!

    Please help me decide I have been feeling lost for the past month defending my decision to go to France but still can`t decide. Would it be worth it to change my plans from France to a totally different country, Thailand?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Why not head to France to tie off your French then start planning for Thailand next year?

    Ultimately though, it's your decision

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    Hi Amank,

    What exciting opportunities! It sounds like you have great flexibility and could go anywhere... ahh....to have that time!

    I can't respond to being an exchange student at the university level. (except to say that Chula is a fantastic school in the heart of the city. I taught English near by and taught a lot of Chula students)

    However, I was an exchange student in High School (many years ago) in Thailand. I stayed with a Thai family in Trang province in the South. It was the single most impactful experience in my life. The cultures and life styles can be very different (North American/Thai) and the process of learning the differences and appreciating the similarities is so rewarding. In the end, you'll learn more about yourself as a person...

    Come to Thailand!!

  4. #4
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    Hello PailingLove,

    Thanks for your reply! I don`t know any Thai at all. If I choose to go to Thailand, I would want to go to the countryside, visit some buddhist monsteries and even stay there for a few weeks to learn meditation and learn more about buddhism.
    How important is it to know Thai there? When you first went there for high-school, how did u feel?

    The only reason I chose France was because I wanted to learn French! But looking at Thailand, I see more opportunities to grow as a person to learn about life... instead of running after the French haute couture.

    What was it about Thailand, that you chose to stay there? (if I`m not mistaken you`re still there right?)

    Are there any minuses to THailand?

    Can a Canadian from Toronto survive the hot weather lol... My background is Indian and I have been to India and it`s unbearably hot... but I wonder if Thailand is even hotter than India.

    Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    THanks

    Aman

  5. #5
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    Hi Aman,

    I am not in Thailand right now I live in the States and visit Thailand every other year. I lived there as an exchange student in High School and also after graduate school I lived there for a few years teaching English.

    When I first arrived, I was 17 and in a tiny village with a family that didn't speak any English. It was very hard. But the joys were greater. I cried every day in frustration and lonliness. But I laughed every day in the community of my family, friends, classmates. The difficulties were more about me and my lack of experience (at that time) travelling and with other cultures. The joys and positive expereinces were about my wonderful family and all of the Thai people I met. They went out of their way...and continue to do so every time I visit... make me feel at home and help me enjoy the experience. So... are you a traveller? Are you ready to be someplace very different from Toronto? If so...you won't have any problem at all.

    I didn't know any Thai at all when I arrived. Certainly you can get by in Thailand with English (in tourist areas), but to understand truly the culture and people is to learn the language. Luckily, Thai is phonetic, so it's not as hard as you think. There are difficult tones (I'm struggling with these currently in the Thai For Beginners Thread) but if you make an effort, most Thai people will understand what you are saying in context.

    When I filled out the application for my exchange program, they asked me to list what countries I would like to visit. I listed France and Luxembourg and Belgium... for the dumbest reason. I just thought that's "where exchange students went" At the end of the application, they asked you to describe where you wanted to go (rather than list the name of the country). I said that I wanted to go someplace far from home, some place that didn't resemble my home, someplace with warm people, and with a language that I wouldn't normally have the opportunity to study. Thank goodness my program saw through the names of countries I listed and chose Thailand which certainly was what I wanted in an experience.

    Does Thailand have any drawbacks? For me, it is the heat....although, I'm getting better at it. I'm originally from Ohio (Northern US) and I couldn't stand having heat all year round. I used to get very confused in February and think it was August. I live in Texas now and we are VERY hot (very hot, today, in fact) so I have adapted better on trips back to Thailand.

    As for the heat comparison between India and Thailand. I think India is hotter... but then again, most of my time in India was in crowded cities and it was cooler (than Thailand) when I was out in some of the farming areas. In any tropical areas, you can learn ways to cope. It's often better to avoid AC and adjust your body to the heat (that happens faster than you realize)

    Having said all of that.... the heat is NOT a reason to miss Thailand. There are far too many other benefits...and besides, where else can you grow these beautiful flowers and YUMMY fruits if not in the heat of the tropics?

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I feel naive too choosing France although Thailand was always on my mind since the application period began.

    I also want to experience a different way of life ... different from our privileged life in North America.

    Oh, I just hope I can change my plans. I hope the international office in my school understands why I want to change.

    btw, how safe is Bangkok? I`m an explorer and like to go out to discover the hidden treasures. Is it safe to travel at nights, etc.

  7. #7
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    Bangkok is as safe as any large city. That means that at night, there are some areas you want to avoid, but there are also night markets and quiet neighborhoods where it's not a problem. I've never felt unsafe in Bangkok, but I'm certainly aware of my surroundings and where my purse is.

    I hope everything works out for you.... it seems you're about to make some BIG changes. Good Luck with all of that.

  8. #8
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    Amank, www.afs.org does exchange to Thailand But you may be too old for them. And if you are attending class in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, why do you still need to do exchange. Sorry i did not read all the thread above. Just puzzle to what you want.
    Bonne chance mon ami

  9. #9
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    I went to Thailand on AFS. It is primarily for high schools, but they do have some college level volunteering trips. They also have programs for older adults.

  10. #10
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    I`m studying at York University right now and I`ll be doing my exchange through that school. I`m not at Chulalongkorn, if I change my plans and go to Thailand instead of France, I`ll be attending Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

    Thanks for helping me everone.

    Also, what`s the best way to find accomodations there. I have read some reviews online of Chulalongkorn University and most said that the school residence is expensive. I want to spend as little as possible, but still want a clean appartment or room/appartmet with AC. What are the rent rates there? If I want to travel every weekend, how much should I budget for monthly?

    Thanks again

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