There are decided advantages and disadvantages to traveling abroad for any reason. Students and independent student travelers looking to study abroad have some of their questions and concerns that should be sorted out before traveling. The advice we have to share will offer a unique insight into the opportunities and concerns that students visiting Thailand should consider beforehand.
Be Prepared to study in Thailand
As a student planning to study abroad, it is also necessary to have all your academic responsibilities planned out. You will especially want to prepare for the unexpected. That means knowing all your course work will be done well and turned in on time.
One preventive measure you might want to consider is utilizing an essay writing service for college students that can assist with written assignments in a pinch. With that, let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of traveling to and studying in Thailand.
1. Getting There
The Pros: Located in Southeast Asia, many affordable travel options make traveling to Thailand accessible to students on a budget. Once in Thailand, reliable land transportation allows exploration of every region and even other nearby countries.
The Cons: Novice travelers need to be aware of some of the more common rules associated with traveling overseas. In many instances, physical and various inoculations are required for entry into a foreign country to return home. A valid passport is also a necessity. Knowing local rules for international customs and TSA procedures is also a must for any student who wants to avoid delays or detainments over marginal issues.
2. Diverse Terrains and Ecosystems
The Pros: Thailand offers a diverse landscape that students studying abroad will no doubt find awe-inspiring. There are many aspects to flora and fauna of the country and its various regions that most students will find enriching to experience firsthand. A lifetime of memories and experience awaits the more adventurous traveler.
The Cons: Going too far off the beaten path can be dangerous since emergency services in Thailand may not be as readily available or accessible as they are in other parts of the world. This becomes more true the further one strays off the beaten path. Stay in contact with people who can assist is help is needed and do not rely solely on cell phones in emergencies.
3. Living With Host Families
The Pros: Living and interacting with a Thai family can be especially enriching. It gives a clear picture of some of the subtle-to-drastic differences between one's familiar home life and that of a family on the other side of the world. Thai families are typically very welcoming and are very concerned with being perceived as kind and gracious hosts.
The Cons: Your presence, no matter how welcome, is always somewhat of a distraction. Be prepared to be the one who adjusts routines and behaviors to match better what the host family considers normal. They expect specific differences and idiosyncrasies, but they also rightly hope visitors to respect their homes and way of life.
4. Language Immersion
The Pros: There are many Thai language classes that teach study abroad students the basics so they can communicate with the locals and obtain goods and services. Most classes also have a large cultural immersion aspect where students learn about local customs, traditions, and ways of life. Interacting with locals is also bound to teach even the most novice student enough about the language to get by.
The Cons: it is always better to have at least a surface understanding of the language before spending a significant amount of time in any foreign country. It will be a bumpy ride for the first few weeks at least for any student who arrives in Thailand a blank slate to the language and culture. Learn all you can get about both before starting this phase of your life.
5. Cultural Immersion
The Pros: Thailand has a rich, deep culture that spans a lengthy timeline. There are ample opportunities to interact with locals and their communities and study abroad programs often arrange for this kind of immersive experience. Full immersion is the best way to assimilate both in language and behavior and develop an understanding of life in this part of the world.
The Cons: No matter what, foreigners stick out like a sore thumb. That leaves them vulnerable to petty crimes and infractions like pickpocketing, short-changing in the marketplaces, and other non-threatening, but irritating, distractions. Keep all monies and vital paperwork secure, especially your passport. Having to deal with your country's embassy if you lose it can involve various levels of aggravation and inconvenience.
6. A Slower Pace of Life
The Pros: Thailand offers a much slower pace of life that is found in many other parts of the world. This makes the experience of studying in Thailand less stressful and more immersive. It also provides more time to enjoy new cultural experiences and forge new relationships.
The Cons: The sheer difference in lifestyle can make it difficult for some students to assimilate. Approach the experience from the standpoint of learning, then relax and start taking in the experience. Don't be in a hurry and don't perpetuate stereotypes about tourists – the locals will not appreciate it.
We hope that the above information helps you make a more informed decision about whether or not Thailand would be a positive experience for you as a study abroad student. Please take the advice we've offered to heart but don't let your research stop here. Seek out as much information as you can about the culture and opportunities in any country you might decide to visit or whose study abroad programs in which you might participate.