CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR DECISION TO STUDY ABROAD IN Thailand!

We have outlined here TEAN’s six easy steps to studying abroad. Your TEAN Program Manager guides you through the entire process, reminding you when and what we need from you as you move along the journey to studying abroad. These six steps also include all the vital information you need to know as you prepare for your time abroad. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, then don’t hesitate to call or email us.

Get Started

Overview

Snapshot

Congratulations! You have applied to a TEAN Thailand semester program, so you are already one step toward the best experience of your college life! This section walks you through how to complete your application, paying your deposit, how to obtain a passport and check that yours will be valid for the duration you need, the best ways to contact TEAN, and all the important dates to mark down on your calendar now. As usual, if your questions are not answered here, then don’t hesitate to contact us! Step 1: Get Started explained in 60 seconds.

TEAN Application

Complete your TEAN Application

1. If you haven’t already started your application with TEAN, you will need to visit the apply now page to start the process. You will be asked to pay a $95 application deposit that is counted toward your total program fees.

2. Once you’ve submitted your application and paid the application deposit, our team will review your application.

3. After your application has been approved by TEAN you will receive an email from us with information on how to login to your account and access your application.

4. Now you can start to work on the checklist items listed for your application. You will see a list of things that need to be worked on including the following:

  • TEAN Applicant Profile 
  • Copy of Your Passport – see the step by step instructions below (let us know if you’re renewing).   
  • Send the TEAN Statement from University electronically to your advisor at your home institution for completion 
  • Emergency Contact Info  
  • Academic Reference (if marked as required) 

As we move through the application process more forms and items will be added to your checklist by your Program Manager. So continue to check back for updates! 

5. Submit your most recent transcripts. In order for us to fully accept you into the program, we will need to review your official transcripts. For students studying in the Spring semester, we will need transcripts including grades from the previous Spring semester. For Fall students, we require transcripts including grades from the previous Fall semester.

There are two ways you can submit your official transcripts:

1. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent via mail to our office:

The EDUCATION ABROAD Network
5301 Southwest Parkway, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735

2. Request an official copy of your transcript be sent electronically (directly from your Registrar’s office) to TEANtranscripts@teanabroad.org We are unable to accept documents that have been previously opened as they are then considered “unofficial.”

Program Acceptance

TEAN PROGRAM ACCEPTANCE 

Once you complete the required forms in your TEAN application portal, your Program Manager will let you know that you are accepted to the program!  Once accepted, we will provide information on how you will pay for your program. If we do not have a billing agreement with your home institution, you will receive your program invoice at this time. Payment is due by your program’s payment deadline. We’ll send you more information on how to make payment, using financial aid, and the option of a payment plan. Please be prepared to make payment by your payment deadline in order to move forward with the program.  You can review more information regarding finances here.  

PROGRAM CONTRACT 

Your TEAN Program Contract will be available in your TEAN application portal once you apply. You must sign and upload your completed Program Contract by your program’s payment deadline. Please familiarize yourself with the cancellation policy below prior to signing your  contract. 

CANCELLATION POLICY 

The below cancellation policy applies if a student chooses to withdraw.  For our policy covering TEAN cancelling the program, please see here. 

This policy applies to all cancellations, regardless of the reason. Your request to withdraw and receive a refund must be made in writing to TEAN. The $95 application deposit is non-refundable. If your application is denied due to eligibility requirements, your deposit will be fully refunded. Alternative payment arrangements (financial aid, payment plans, etc.) do not exempt you from this policy. Payment deadlines can be found on our Dates & Fees page. 

If you withdraw…  

  • on or before the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for the $95 application deposit  
  • 1-9 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf  
  • 10-20 days after the TEAN original payment due date, you are liable for $1,250 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,000 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.  
  • 21 or more days after the TEAN original payment due date but prior to the final deadline for withdrawal, you are liable for $1,750 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf. Summer program participants are liable for $1,500 plus costs incurred by TEAN on your behalf.   

The final deadline to withdraw from any TEAN program is 14 days prior to the start date of the program. If you withdraw after this deadline, regardless of the reason for withdrawal, you are not eligible for any refund from TEAN.  

Signing and returning all documents in your student portal is your responsibility. If you fail to return the documents after repeated notification (email or call), you will be deemed withdrawn and will not be eligible for any refund.  

Housing confirmation fees are non-refundable after the TEAN original payment due date. If you change or defer to another TEAN program after your TEAN original payment due date, but prior to the final deadline to withdraw, TEAN will assess a $500 change fee plus costs incurred. Program changes are not permitted 1-14 days prior to the start of the program. Prior to your official acceptance, please refrain from booking flights for your program. TEAN reserves the right to adjust program dates to accommodate host university calendar changes and is not responsible for airline fare or ticket change fees incurred by program participants.   

Prices and dates are subject to change without notice. 

Passport

Apply/Renew your Passport

Obtaining a passport for international travel may take a considerable period of time as the State Department can often have a backlog of applications to work through. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for your passport as early as possible to avoid any last minute complications. You can apply for your passport at your local U.S. Post Office.

You can obtain necessary information regarding passports from the U.S. Department of State: Passport Services Department,   download passport applications, find a nationwide list of passport agencies, etc. here.


Verify Validity of your Passport

As a condition of your student visa, your passport must be valid a minimum of six months post your anticipated return home. If your current passport is set to expire before then, you will need to apply for a renewal.


Inform TEAN of your passport details

  1. Scan a copy of your passport page with your photo and information on it.
  2. Upload the scanned image to your TEAN application where it states, “Please upload a copy/photo of your passport (signature and picture page only).” Alternatively, email the scanned copy of your passport to your TEAN Program Manager.
  3. Enter your passport information under the section titled, “TEAN Applicant Profile.”

Contacting TEAN

Contacting TEAN

Email is the primary form of communication during the application and enrollment period. Please provide us with an email address you use regularly, as important program announcements and instructions will be sent via email. Also, please check your email on a regular basis and make sure to update your online application if you change your email address. Please also periodically check your junk mail to ensure that messages from TEAN are not being filtered into “spam”. If messages are being filtered into spam, please add the TEAN email address to your contacts.

In addition, please be sure to include your full name on all correspondence (including emails). We work with many students so providing your full name will ensure timely responses to questions and inquiries.

Mailing Address

The EDUCATION ABROAD Network
5301 Southwest Parkway, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78735

Telephone and Fax

Toll Free: 1-800-585-9658 (from within U.S.)
Local Number: 1-312-239-3710 (from outside of U.S.)
Fax: 1-312-239-3713

Office Hours

TEAN is open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Central Standard Time and observes all major holidays. If these hours are not convenient, you may schedule a time outside of our normal business hours to speak with us. If you are currently international, it is possible to set up a time to Skype and get to know your Program Managers.

Important Dates

Important Dates

We finalize our program calendar several months before each semester abroad. During that time, we work with our overseas partner universities in order to determine our orientation schedule. We will provide updated information pertaining to orientation, key semester dates, flights and excursions once our program calendar has been finalized. We will send you an email notification once the updated calendar information has been posted on the website so you can plan accordingly.

Once the program calendar has been finalized, we will post this information on our website and you’ll be notified by your Program Manager. Once the calendar has been released, all dates are still subject to change. While we do not anticipate any date changes once the calendar has been finalized, we reserve the right to make changes, particularly if one of our partner universities institutes their own date modification. All program participants will be contacted in the event of a date change.

DEADLINES AND CANCELLATION POLICY 

If you haven’t already, please start your TEAN application prior to your program’s application deadline.  Your payment for the program (unless we have a billing agreement with your home institution) and Program Contract are due by your program’s payment deadline. You can find both deadlines on our Dates & Fees page. You must also reach out to your home institution’s study abroad office to ensure you meet any of their deadlines to study abroad. 

Please review the cancellation policy in the ‘Program Acceptance’ section above for important dates should you choose to withdraw your application. 


Program Start Dates

The program officially begins at the start of our Orientation Program in Bangkok. Students arriving in advance of our orientation will be responsible for their own transportation from the airport and any necessary accommodations prior to the orientation start date. See the current Thailand Semester dates.

Health Considerations

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Students are encouraged to disclose medical conditions with TEAN. Though TEAN does not require this information in our application procedures, we urge students to start a dialogue with us as soon as possible so we can offer guidance and direct students to further resources. Your TEAN Program Manager will open up the TEAN medical form for you to complete later in the application process. However, students with an existing physical or mental health condition are encouraged to start planning now how they will manage their condition in Thailand.

Mental Health

There are very limited mental health services in Thailand. While students do have access to some counseling services at Mahidol University International College, any student that currently has regular counseling should discuss with their counselor/therapist how they will manage these sessions while away from home. Any student taking regular mental health medications should discuss travel plans with their regular doctor, and develop a plan for the duration of the student’s time abroad. Thailand does have restrictions on some medications, particularly for mental health conditions, that are more commonly used in the U.S. Students should always bring a copy of their current prescription with them as well as contact information for their U.S.-based doctor.

For more information on medications abroad, please see the following online resources:

Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Accessibility

Any student with a physical condition that affects mobility should be aware that accessibility is an issue in Thailand. We encourage students to disclose any medical condition that may affect their mobility so we can offer guidance and direct students to further resources. The TEAN Program Manager is best equipped to field questions related to Thailand.

Respiratory Conditions

From February to April a combination of factors including burning farm land to prepare fields and the lack of rain often results in air pollution across northern Thailand. Students who have respiratory conditions may be affected. Face masks are readily available to purchase in Chiang Mai at this time and TEAN’s in-country staff will advise students accordingly if they plan to travel there during this time.

Diversity & Identity

Diversity and Identity

One of our main goals at TEAN is to make sure all of our students are thoroughly supported from day one of the study abroad process. Embracing diversity in all its forms is very important to us. We’re dedicated to providing the most information and resources possible so students can make an informed decision on what program will best suit them, both academically and personally. We encourage all students to read through our Diversity and Identity page of our website to find resources useful for you directly and learn more about the students you will be studying abroad with.

Get Schooled

Overview

Snapshot

Congratulations again! If you’ve gotten this far you are well and truly on your way to an incredible semester in Southeast Asia! This section contains information on selecting your courses and ensuring you get credit for them, financial aid and how to navigate the system to ensure your aid transfers, as well as details regarding TEAN scholarships and other scholarships you may want to apply for. Step 2: Get Schooled explained in 60 seconds.

Academics

Program Model in Thailand

TEAN has established an integrated direct enrollment model with Mahidol University International College. By enrolling our students directly, we are able to give you access to a majority of the courses offered throughout the International College’s academic departments. All courses in the International College are offered in English with the exception of language courses. This means that the course selections offer American students the opportunity to be in the company of Thai students looking to improve their English-language skills. This is a factor that distinguishes our programs from those offered by other island or satellite campus programs.

Please Note: Mahidol University does not typically release their finalized course schedule until a couple weeks before you depart for the program. We are able to provide you with courses that have been offered during previous semesters so you can gain approval from your home institution in advance. Your Program Manager will work hard to distribute the course details as soon as it is released from the university. You will enroll in your courses about two weeks prior to the start of the semester.


Contact Hours

All students are required to undertake a minimum of 16 MUIC credits per semester. Most courses are 4 MUIC credits which typically transfers back to 3 US semester credits. Each 4-credit MUIC course meets for four hours per week. Final credit allotment is at the discretion of each student’s home university, and is typically based off of the total number of contact hours for each course. Credits and contact hours at MUIC can be identified by the set of numbers following the course title.  

  • The first number is the amount of MUIC credits that the course is worth 
  • The first number in the parenthesis is the number of hours per week that you will be in that class/lecture 
  • The second number in the parenthesis is the number of lab or practical hours the course has per week 
  • The last number in the parenthesis is the number of self-study hours outside the classroom per week that the course recommends 
  • For example, ICML160: Introduction to Thai Language and Culture 4(4-0-8) is worth 4 MUIC credits, will meet 4 hours per week in class/lecture, has 0 hours of lab or practical components per week and it’s recommended that there are 8 hours of self-study per week outside the classroom  

Please note that tuition covers 4 courses, so students wishing to take 15 US credits or 5 MUIC classes will need to pay an additional fee. Some courses also contain a lab component or extra contact hours that will have additional fees. Please pay attention to this when following the ‘Selecting your Courses’ instructions, below. 

Selecting your Courses

Important Notes

  • MUIC uses a trimester system as follows: 
    • TEAN Fall program = Trimester I 
    • TEAN Spring program = Trimester II 
    • TEAN Summer semester program = Trimester III 
  • Credits at MUIC can be identified by the set of numbers following the course title. Most courses are 4 MUIC credits which typically transfer back as 3 US credits.  
    • Example Course: ICML160: Introduction to Thai Language and Culture 4(4-0-8)  
      • The first number is the amount of MUIC credits that the course is worth – 4 
      • The first number in the parenthesis is the number of hours per week that you will be in that class/lecture – 4  
      • The second number in the parenthesis is the number of lab or practical hours the course has per week – 0  
      • The last number in the parenthesis is the number of self-study hours outside the classroom per week that the course recommends – 8 
  • The course schedule for the upcoming term is released approximately 2-4 weeks before the start of the term so we recommend looking at courses offered for your correct term from the year prior to find available courses (ex. Fall 2022 students would look at Trimester I, 2021 courses). 
  • MUIC does not check your prerequisites, so it is your responsibility to select courses that you are qualified to take while abroad (i.e., don’t take high-level courses if you haven’t taken the appropriate introductory-level courses). 
  • The courses you pick at this stage are for pre-approval. You are not actually signing up at this time. Your preferences will be submitted to Mahidol University during the Pre-Registration period once the course schedule is posted. Based on the pre-registration form you submit, MUIC will then enroll you in your selected courses on your behalf 
  • Students wishing to take a language test will take a placement exam once onsite. Instructions for this will be sent with the general course registration information.  

Some courses contain a lab component or extra contact hours that will have additional fees. This can be identified by looking at the number set that follows the course name. Anything with a number higher than 0 in the middle digit within the parenthesis indicates a lab or practical component or extra contact hours and will incur additional fees (e.g. ICHM241 Introduction to Drawing 4(2-4-6). 


Selecting your Courses

  1. You can find the course schedule for previous trimesters here 
    • Note: this will automatically open to current trimester. Please be sure to search for your respective Trimester: 
      • US Fall – Click the T1/21 Box 
      • US Spring – Click the T2/22 Box 
      • US Summer – Click the T3/22 Box 
    • For course descriptions and a complete list of offerings, refer to the MUIC Course Catalog. If you need specific course syllabi, please reach out to your TEAN Program Manager.  
  2. Meet with your home university to approve at least 8 courses (have at least 4 backups approved in case your preferred courses are unavailable). 
  3. Enter your courses in order of preference in the TEAN Course Selection form in your TEAN Application.  Please be sure to add the ENTIRE course code (can be found under “Subject” on the course schedule page). Include the number set that follows the course name [e.g. 4(4-0-8)]. 
EXAMPLE:

Course Name: Introduction to Thai Language and Culture
Course University: Mahidol University International College (or MUIC)
Course Code: ICML160: Introduction to Thai Language and Culture 4(4-0-8)
Course Period of Study: List which Trimester the course is offered at MUIC
Course Credit Points: 4 MUIC Credits
Course Comments: Use this section to rank the order of preference for your courses. If you don’t have a preference, leave this blank or type “N/A” in this section. 


Popular Courses

CHOOSE EARTH

At TEAN, “Choose Earth” encompasses not only environmental sustainability but also social justice and cross-cultural awareness. Hanyang offers a range of courses that will expose you to global issues, solutions and understanding. If you would like to participate in our Choose Earth Certificate program, consider one of the subjects below to complete the course requirement.

  • ICGN123 The Earth’s Dynamic Structure
  • ICGS118 Skills in Dealing with People Across Cultures
  • ICMB311 Business Ethics and Sustainability
  • ICEN351 Population and the Environment
  • ICIR233 Identity Politics and Social Movements in Asia 
  • ICEN361 Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • ICSS221 Thai Society and Thai Culture
Popular Courses Offered in English
Business
Spring Courses Fall Courses
ICGS139 Leadership and Change for a Global Society ICGS139 Leadership and Change for a Global Society
ICMB214 Managerial Accounting ICMB213 Financial Accounting
ICMB311 Business Ethics and Sustainability ICMB216 Business Communication
ICMB237 International Business Management ICMB311 Business Ethics and Sustainability
Communications & Media
Spring Courses Fall Courses
ICEG265 Literature into Film ICEG265 Literature into Film
ICCU206 Ethics and Media
Environment
Spring Course Fall Course
ICEN351 Population and the Environment ICEN361 Principles of Environmental Impact Assessment
Humanities & Social Sciences
Spring Courses Fall Courses
ICGC206 Literature Into Film ICGH119 Listen! Soundscapes, Well-Being and Musical Soul Searching
ICGS106 Fashion and Society ICGS106 Fashion and Society
ICIC354 Women and Gender Studies
International Studies
Spring Courses Fall Courses
ICGL160 Introduction to Thai Language and Culture ICGL160 Introduction to Thai Language and Culture
ICGL161 Elementary Thai I ICGL161 Elementary Thai I
ICGS113 Perspectives on the Thai Past ICGS118 Skills in Dealing with People Across Cultures
ICGS131 Introduction to International Studies ICIR232 Tradition and Modernity Asia
ICGS118 Skills in Dealing with People Across Cultures ICCU201 Society, Politics and Economics in Contemporary Asia
ICSS222 Thai History ICSS221 Thai Society and Thai Culture
Science
Spring Courses Fall Courses
ICGN123 The Earth’s Dynamic Structure ICPY200 Modern Physics 
ICBI216 Cell Biology ICBI101 Biology
ICCH211 General Chemistry II ICCS418 Computer System Security
ICSC303 Statistics
Visual & Performing Arts and Design
Spring Course Fall Course
  ICCD150 Art History 

Course Approvals

Schedule Meeting with Academic Advisor

It is highly recommended that you have your academic advisor approve your classes before leaving if you wish to ensure you receive transfer credit. If you do not wish to receive any credit when you return home you may be able to forego the approval process. Some students negotiate the credit transfer issues when they return from their program, but at the very minimum you should meet with your academic advisor/dean before departure so they are fully aware you will be studying abroad. They will be able to help you select courses that will count toward your major and that will be easily transferable for credit when you return.


Schedule Meeting with Study Abroad Office

Contact your study abroad office at your home university to discuss study abroad credit approval and other specific procedures to be completed for your program overseas. This is an important step as it may reveal crucial steps towards avoiding complications and making your transition abroad seamless. In addition, your study abroad advisor will need to sign our “Statement from University” form. You can send this to them from your online application.

Financial Aid

Schedule Meeting with Financial Ad Advisor

While we strive to keep our programs affordable, we recognize that many students need financial help. The good news is that most financial aid you are currently receiving is applicable toward study abroad. Generally, you can transfer federal financial aid, such as Pell Grants and Stafford Loans, that do not need to be repaid until after graduation.

See the Higher Education Act of 1965 (Public Law 102-325, 106 Stat.448): The act was reauthorized in the summer of 1992 to include a number of provisions to facilitate the use of federal financial aid for study abroad. (NAFSA: Association of International Educators Newsletter, Volume 44, No 3/Dec-Jan 1993).

The U.S. Department of Education advised that the Perkins Loans, SSIG Grant Program, Pell Grants, FSEOG Grants, Stafford Loans, SLS loans, PLUS Loans and Consolidation loans can now be used for study abroad. Your study abroad experience does not have to be compulsory for your degree program in order to apply your aid. Please contact your home institution financial aid office to discuss your financial aid options for study abroad.


FINANCIAL AID AGREEMENT FORM (FAA) 

The  Financial Aid Agreement form (FAA) is completed by you and your home university. The FAA acts as proof of incoming funds and allows you to defer a portion of your payment until your financial aid awards are released, even if that is after your program start date. Note: If your entire program is covered by aid, a down payment is still required to confirm your participation in the program. More information will be available via a link in your TEAN portal. 

  1. Download the Financial Aid Agreement from your TEAN application 

 2. Read the information carefully and sign and date the student portion at the bottom 

  1. Send your signed FAA to your financial aid office and ask them to either send to info@teanabroad.org or return the form to you to upload to your TEAN application. 
  2. Pay your program’s down payment OR the balance not covered by aid (whichever amount is greater) by your program’s payment deadline.

For example: If your financial aid covers all but $700 of your balance and your program down payment is $1000, you would pay $1,000 by the payment deadline. This $1,000 would go towards your total program balance. 

If your financial aid only covers $5,000 of your $12,000 program balance, you would pay the difference ($7,000) at the payment deadline and then pay the remaining $5,000 once your aid is disbursed. 

  1. Pay your remaining balance once your financial aid is disbursed. Payment is due to TEAN within 5 business days of the date listed on your FAA form.

Your FAA is due by your program’s payment deadline. You can read more about financial aid and payment options here. 


Consortium Agreements

If you are currently receiving financial aid (federal loans, grants, scholarships, etc.) from your home institution please follow these steps. The financial aid you currently receive may not be processed in the same manner and the same amounts may not be awarded to you.

Step 1: Visit your home university’s financial aid office and inform them you will be studying abroad through TEAN. Ask them how much of your current aid will transfer for a study abroad experience. You will also need to check if there is additional paperwork specific to your home university.

Step 2: Ask your financial aid office if they have a “consortium agreement” (do not worry if this is a foreign term to you, they will know what it is!), which essentially means they will complete all paperwork regarding your existing financial aid while you are studying abroad. This is the ideal arrangement as it makes the whole process easier for everyone. You will also need to have a TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form filled out that will be provided to you by your Program Manager.

Step 3: If they have a consortium agreement, most likely they will have an existing agreement that is university specific. TEAN will likely have to sign this for you and send it back to them. It will not go to your overseas institution. The TEAN Financial Aid Agreement form should then be faxed or emailed to us.

Unfortunately, not all universities will sign a consortium agreement. If this applies to your school please consult us immediately for further guidance.

Please note: The financial aid process is very complex and adequate planning is necessary. You should contact your home institution’s financial aid office if you will, or think you may need to, apply loans or aid to your study abroad program. TEAN is not a lending institution so unfortunately, all financial aid and loan discussions will need to be made within your home university’s financial aid office.

Scholarships

Scholarships

In addition to the current financial aid you receive, you may want to consider one of our many scholarships. Each year TEAN awards thousands of scholarship dollars to qualified program participants.  Awards range from $1,000 – $5,000, and we have a range of categories that students may qualify for. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available through several external organizations. Review details of the available study abroad scholarships. If you are a returning TEAN student, review the option to apply for our TEAN Repeat Grant as well. 

Get a Room

Overview

Snapshot

TEAN provides students with a unique living experience to aid in cultural immersion on a daily basis. You will live in off-campus student accommodation located just a free 10-minute shuttle ride from the MUIC campus in Salaya. Each room is fully furnished with wardrobes, desks, a refrigerator, air conditioner, TV and bathroom. Students share a room with another TEAN student or visiting student. Within the complex, you will find a pool, small fitness center, laundry facilities, a rooftop area, and several restaurants and shops that offer affordable options. Within a short walk from your front door, you’ll also find many cafes, restaurants and awesome street food. Step 3: Get a Room explained in 60 seconds.

Housing Details

Housing Details

TEAN students on the Semester in Thailand program live at Bundit Home. This contemporary student dorm complex features our standard housing and is included in the program cost for the Thailand Semester Program.

Bundit Home provides:

  • Twin-share bedroom with a TEAN roommate
  • Shared ensuite bathroom
  • Refrigerator – note there are no kitchen facilities
  • Small pool and fitness center onsite
  • Washers and dryers in each apartment building
  • Convenience store, restaurants, laundry and ATM machines on the apartment grounds
  • 24/7 security onsite

Check out photos of the housing here.

Utilities

Your utilities are covered in the housing cost.

Cleaning

Your accommodation has free weekly cleanings. You are responsible for laundering your own sheets and towels. There are laundry facilities within the accommodations offering students cheap coin operated washing machines. Most students dry their clothes on a drying rack on their room’s balcony.

Linens

A linen pack is included in the total program fees by TEAN. The linen pack includes a fitted sheet, comforter, pillow and pillowcase. Note that it does not include a top sheet as most Thai people do not use top sheets. It is advised if you want a top sheet to bring it from home, as they are relatively expensive in Thailand.

Internet

WiFi is included in the accommodations.


Complete Housing Questionnaire

In order to place you in your preferred housing and match you with a roommate, you will be asked to complete a housing questionnaire. Your Program Manager will provide you with these details.

Get Booked

Overview

Snapshot

It’s time to book your flights! It’s really happening – get excited! This section details information regarding booking flights for the Semester in Thailand program. Step 4: Get Booked explained in 60 seconds.

Flights

Booking your Flights

TEAN partners with Student Universe to offer students a simple way to book their flights. We recommend booking with Student Universe however it is not a requirement. Please review all the information on this page before booking your flight.  

Important: Do not book your flights until you have received instructions to do so by email from TEAN and you have completed all steps in the TEAN application portal. 

TEAN strongly recommends that you purchase refundable airfare or flights with flexibility. If you purchase non-refundable tickets for the current arrival date and the date changes for any reason including entry and quarantine requirement changes, visa processing issues or PCR test results, you will be responsible for the cost to change your flights. 


Arrival in Thailand

  • You should arrive in Bangkok on the start date of your program. For students leaving from the US, due to the time difference and overnight flight, you will likely depart one day prior to the start date. 
  • Students should fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport (airport code BKK), also known unofficially as Bangkok Airport on the arrival day provided in the email.
  • Once you get out of customs at BKK (Bangkok Airport), you will meet with TEAN Staff. The exact meeting place will be given to you about 1-2 weeks before the program starts. 
  • If your flight is delayed, you must let TEAN know so that we can make changes accordingly.  

Return Dates

  • Since TEAN doesn’t bring you back to the airport at the end of the semester (trust us, using public transportation will be a breeze by then!), you will need to leave your housing no later than 5:00 PM on the last day of your program. 
  • You cannot leave the program early. If you have special circumstances, let us know so that we can work with you. 
  • You are allowed to stay in Thailand after the program independently as long as your visa permits 
  • We recommend that you purchase a round-trip ticket, if possible 

Bagage Allowance

  • Each airline has different baggage allowances, so it is imperative that you check with your airline(s) for your luggage allowance. If you do not double check with your airline(s), it may lead to additional baggage charges during your travel days.
  • Adding your domestic connection to your international ticket helps ensure that you will have your international luggage allowance for all your flights 

Important Flight Booking Notes

  • TEAN recommends shopping around to find the best routing and airfare from your departing location 
  • Students must arrive in Bangkok on the arrival date. Please ensure that you have the correct arrival date when researching airfare options. Most flights landing on the arrival date will have departed the day before; however this is not always the case. You may have to book a flight that departs two days prior to the arrival date
  • Accommodation will be provided for students arriving on the arrival date, but it will not be available prior to the specified arrival date.
  • Be careful when looking at arrival dates/times. Double check dates and times to ensure you arrive on the correct day.
  • Be sure to allow at least a 3-hour window of time between domestic and international connections. If you need to re-check your bags in any domestic US airport, you should allow 3-5 hours between flights. This may seem like a long time but, considering potential flight details, it is better to wait at the airport for your international flight than to miss your flight overseas.
  • Airfare costs can vary greatly from one departure city to another. If you live close to multiple departure cities, we encourage you to research flight options through each departure location. You may find that by driving to a slightly farther departure city/airport, you can save a significant amount in airfare costs.
  • Please note there are two airport in Bangkok. You should fly into Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). This is where most international flights fly in and out of.
  • To complete your application for your Thai visa, you must provide a copy of your air ticket or an air itinerary with proof that it has been paid in full. You will receive instructions for your student visa application separately.
  • Pay attention to any cancellation policies, ticketing fees and baggage fees. Many great deals are non-refundable and have quite a few rules and regulations for use. Again, TEAN strongly recommends that you book flexible or refundable airfare.
  • We recommend booking any domestic flights from your home city on the same ticket as your international flight to get international baggage allowances. This will also ensure that you will be booked on the next available flight if a connection is missed.
  • We strongly encourage you to do your research before finalizing your flight booking. Keep in mind that sometimes sites like Expedia, Kayak, Orbitz, Hotwire, Priceline, etc. do not always provide the most flexibility or assistance in times of need (missed flights, getting rebooked, changing your itinerary, etc.) We recommend booking with Student Universe or with the airline directly. 
  • Check out our partner travel agency, Student Universe. The key benefit to using a travel agent like Student Universe is the personalized service, particularly useful if flights are delayed, connections are missed, or if you have to change your flight for any reason. Fill out your request here, https://www.studentuniverse.com/travel-services/tean/affiliate/TEANflights, email travel@studentuniverse.com, or call +1 303-802-8507. Hours are: Monday-Friday: 9:00am – 6:00pm EST. 

Special COVID-19 Considerations

Planning for an international trip and booking flights during the COVID-19 pandemic presents additional challenges. Please take the following into consideration as you make your plans to study abroad in 2022: 

  • As mentioned above, TEAN recommends that you purchase refundable, flexible or insured airfare, even under normal circumstances. Should your TEAN program be cancelled or interrupted for any reason, TEAN will not refund or reimburse you for non-program costs, such as airfare
  • Currently, Thailand is requiring travelers to take a COVID-19 PCR test and receive the negative results within 72 hours of departure from the US. Travelers must present the negative test result prior to boarding your flight. Your airline will not permit you to board your flight without a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours. TEAN will send you additional details on this requirement closer to departure.
  • Upon arrival, all passengers are required to quarantine at a government-approved hotel for 24 hours while they wait for their COVID-19 test results.
  • Proof of vaccination for COVID-19 may be required for boarding depending on your airline and Thai government requirements.
  • Given varying and rapidly changing COVID-19 protocols, TEAN strongly encourages purchasing flights without international layovers, if possible. Floying directly from your home country (US connections are OK) to Bangkok will minimize the chance of travel complications. If you must have an international layover, it is your responsibility to confirm any COVID related restrictions, policies, and protocols for the country you are transiting through.  

How to Book Your FLights

After you’ve reviewed all the flight booking information on this page including Arrival in Thailand, Return Dates, Baggage Allowances, Important Booking Notes and COVID-19 Considerations, you can proceed with booking your flight through the TEAN and Student Universe booking portal here:  

Student Universe Booking Portal 

Please note you are not required to book through Student Universe though we highly recommend it. Student Universe offers student fares and assistance in the event you need to change your flights.    

If you have any questions regarding booking your flights, please contact the Thailand Program Manager, Paula Rivera, on 312-239-3710 or via email at paula.riverasantos@worldstrides.com

 

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

How to Offset your Carbon Footprint

Team up with TEAN to reduce your carbon footprint by offsetting your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from air travel!

What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting is the action or process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions produced from industrial or other human activity by participating in activities or programs designed to reduce the equivalent amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How do I calculate my carbon emissions?
Visit the free Carbon Footprint calculator page to access a user-friendly calculator that will guide you through the quick process of calculating your carbon.  We encourage you to utilize the emissions calculator to estimate how much carbon is entering the atmosphere from your flight overseas. Through TEAN activities or utilizing companies that Carbon Footprint Ltd is associated with, you will have plenty of ample opportunities to offset your carbon throughout your semester abroad and better understand the many ways in which you can make a positive environmental impact.  The Choose Earth Team at TEAN is always happy to assist you with your calculations, so please don’t hesitate to ask us for help!

What can I do to offset my carbon emissions?
TEAN will suggest plenty of opportunities to Choose Earth while you are abroad that will help offset your carbon emissions from your international flight. Following their helpful tips and offsetting your flight is the best way to start reducing your overall carbon footprint while abroad.

If you would like to do more – and we hope that you do! We encourage you to donate the monetary amount estimated by the calculator through Carbon Footprint Ltd.'s partnerships with multiple certified eco-friendly companies. That way, you can directly contribute to programs that help offset the carbon emitted from your flights, helping to make a global impact. Contributions from climate conscious consumers assist in developing projects that promote clean technology. The beauty of this particular program is that you can choose from a variety of charitable causes that are personal to you, as opposed to a single monetary donation to an airline where you may not beg sure if your money is going exactly where you intend it to. Through Carbon Footprint Ltd, you have the power to choose when and how your carbon emissions are offset.

Get Documents

Overview

Snapshot

This section is very important. Before you jet off for the time of your life, you’ll need to apply for a student visa for your program. Please read this section carefully, and when the time comes, your Program Manager will guide you through the visa application process. 

Student Visa

Student Visa

All students studying abroad in Bangkok, Thailand are required to apply for a student visa (Non-Immigrant Visa Category “ED”). Your Program Manager will supply you with specific, step-by-step instructions when you are eligible to apply, but it is important to understand the process and what you can expect.

Letter of Acceptance

To apply for a Visa “ED”, you will be required to submit with your visa application with an official Letter of Acceptance. This letter and very specific instructions will be provided approximately two months prior to departure.

Passport ReminderS
  • You should apply for your passport as soon as possible once you apply for your study abroad experience in Thailand, as this process can take approximately 4-8 weeks and will be required for your student visa application as well.
  • Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the conclusion of your semester to satisfy Thailand’s entry requirements. All countries have different requirements for passport validity so be sure to check details for any other countries you plan to visit before your final return home.
Cost of Student Visa

The Thailand student visa costs approximately $200 USD (Thailand Semester) + shipping costs. The cost for obtaining a student visa is not included in the final program fee.

Processing Time

Thailand applications are mailed into a U.S. consulate office and most students receive their visas in approximately two weeks.

Get Going

Overview

Snapshot

It’s almost time! Now you just need to review some final pre-departure information including the below quick tips, insurance while abroad, our packing tips, planning how you will manage your money while abroad, reviewing cell phone arrangements, and reading up on details regarding your arrival and Orientation in Bangkok. Our Thailand-based staff are looking forward to meeting you when you get off that plane! Step 6: Get Going explained in 60 seconds.

Pre-Departure Tips

Pre-Departure Quick Tips

Photocopy all important documents – Leave one set of photocopies with your parent/guardian and keep one set with you (on your person) as you travel. Important documents to copy include, but are not limited to: passport, airline tickets, medical insurance details and inoculation details.

Bring copies of important numbers/contact details – Details include, but are not limited to: emergency contact details (i.e.: parents/guardians), TEAN contact details (to be provided), arrival details (to be provided).

Exchange money in advance of your arrival into Thailand – If possible, it is advisable to exchange some funds prior to your arrival into Thailand. Most international airports have currency exchange kiosks where you can exchange funds for a small fee. Rates are competitive with local banks, and will be much more convenient than attempting to exchange funds after your arrival in Thailand following a long and exhausting journey. It is recommended that students have enough funds to get them from the airport to the accommodations (if necessary) and cover any initial expenses while in Thailand ($50 is ample and you can use excess funds to get you through the first couple of weeks!).

Arrival Instructions – Be sure to carry all airport arrival instructions as provided by TEAN. This will be extremely helpful in the event you are unable to locate your guide at the airport.

Bug Spray – This is highly recommended for your stay in Southeast Asia, however rather than bring it along, it is advisable to wait to purchase bug spray until after you have arrived in Thailand. Doing so will allow for more space and less weight.

Clothing – Please refer to the Packing Tips in regards to appropriate dress, especially in consideration of school uniforms. Please also note that beyond these campus requirements, it is still important to practice “conservative dressing” while in Southeast Asia. Be careful not to expose too much of the shoulders or arms (tank tops are okay for daily wear, but can’t be worn for temple visits). Clothing exposing the torso or with low-cut necklines should not be worn. Shorter skirts and shorts are generally okay outside of temples and rural areas. In regards to exposure of the shoulders – when in doubt, throw a thin lightweight shawl or scarf over your shoulders.

 

Thai language phrasebooks – We recommend purchasing a Thai phrasebook to bring with you. Past students have found these phrasebooks helpful:
Mini Thai Dictionary 
Instant Thai Phrase Book

Flexibility – Students are encouraged to be flexible at all times and to expect changes in the schedule as this is part of the “spice of life” in Southeast Asia! Try to accept the differences between American schedules and Thailand schedules as much as possible and you will have an amazing time.

Bring a positive attitude and a willingness to experience new people and surroundings!

Health & Safety

Health Insurance

TEAN requires that all international students possess health insurance coverage for the duration of their studies in Thailand. The cost of this insurance will be included in your program fee and enrollment is automatic.

Your medical insurance policy includes the following:

  • Prescription medications
  • Medical evaluation
  • Hospitalization
  • X-rays
  • Emergency medical assistance
  • Medical transportation and evacuation
  • Return of mortal remains

There are some limitations to this medical insurance, including dental and optical services. If you have any existing health concerns, contact your current insurance provider before you leave for Thailand. Medical insurance for higher levels of need is your own responsibility.

Please note that the insurance does not cover: 

  • Injury sustained while participating in professional sports.  
  • Injury resulting from scuba diving; jet or water skiing; mountain climbing (where ropes or guides are used); sky diving; professional or amateur racing 

Personal Articles Insurance

We recommend students put anything of value, i.e., phone, camera, tablet, jewelry, musical instruments, cellphone, laptops, etc., on a Personal Articles Policy (many homeowners already have this policy so students most likely can add their items onto their parents’ Personal Article Policy). This insurance often covers the full value of the items worldwide, with no deductible. Typically, items valued up to $3,000 can be covered for an approximately $30 premium. We encourage students to take pictures of items and note their model, make and serial number, as well as saving receipts when possible. Purchase of this insurance is left to the discretion of the student and his/her parents.


Travel Insurance

Trip insurance is optional and is not included in TEAN program fees. We recommend considering supplemental trip insurance to protect against unexpected mishaps (i.e. lost luggage) that can occur while traveling. Plans range from $100 to $350 and can be purchased through various insurance carriers.


Health and Safety

TEAN is committed to the health and safety of every participant. It is very important that students make informed decisions about their study and travel destinations. TEAN continually monitors the safety and security of our study abroad program locations as well as popular student travel destinations. We continue to advise students of the safety and health risks associated with studying and traveling abroad based on the information from the U.S. Department of State travel warnings, local law enforcement, the Southeast Asian governments, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the World Health Organization.

TEAN has created an Emergency Response Plan for our study abroad locations that will be implemented by both our staff in Southeast Asia/the South Pacific, and our U.S.-based staff in Chicago. TEAN staff will work with students, parents, and study abroad staff at both the student’s home and host institution to provide the most up-to-date information regarding situations that may arise while studying abroad.

Tips for Personal Safety

Emergency Contacts:  Be sure to designate a parent or guardian as your Emergency Contact. This way, information regarding an emergency situation will automatically be passed on to your parents. Also make sure to provide TEAN your Emergency Contact’s most up-to-date contact information.

Communication Information:  Provide TEAN with accurate and up-to-date contact information regarding your mobile phone number, WhatsApp details and email address. Be sure to notify your parents and Resident Director in case of an emergency.

Keep Others Informed:  Tell others (your roommates, your parents, your Resident Director) your travel plans. Keeping others informed will make it easier to locate you in case of an emergency.

Stay Informed:  Research the political, cultural, and social climate of your study and travel abroad destination before heading overseas. While abroad, whenever possible, read local newspapers and watch local news broadcasts for developments that may affect your health and safety. If you have questions, please contact a TEAN staff member either in the U.S. or abroad.

What about anti-foreign sentiment?  Although individuals are generally well-liked abroad, host nationals will often question the activities of foreign governments and may hold anti-foreign views. This has occurred for some time, in periods of both peace and crisis. Participants in the past have found these tips useful: use common sense, dress to blend in, speak softly, avoid overt displays of home country patriotism, and stay away from known established locations frequented by foreigners. TEAN also advises that students avoid all public demonstrations.


Safety Notes Regarding Food & Water

TEAN urges students to be extremely cautious about food and water while studying in Southeast Asia. Diseases from food and water are the leading cause of illness in travelers.  Follow these tips for safe eating and drinking:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before eating. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand gel (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Water that is provided at restaurants is safe to drink (no one drinks tap water).
  • Drink only bottled or filtered water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles.
  • Make sure food is fully cooked.
  • Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.

Diseases from food and water often cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to bring diarrhea medicine with you so that you can treat mild cases yourself. Keep in mind that even if you do follow all tips, it is common to find yourself unwell with food poisoning at some time during your stay in Southeast Asia. Usually, you can obtain medicine from a local pharmacy a short walk from your accommodation, and your TEAN Resident Coordinator is just a quick phone call away to take you to see a doctor if needed.


Vaccinations

There is no need to have malaria shots or take malaria pills. Malaria is not prevalent in the areas where you will be studying. It is recommended to have general vaccinations up-to-date including tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, etc.

Please note TEAN requires all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate on programs. If you have any questions, please contact your Program Manager.

If you have any health conditions that may cause issues, please make sure to consult a doctor before departing.


Relevant Travel and Safety Links

Packing

School Uniforms in Thailand

All undergraduate students at Thai universities are required to wear student uniforms.  Please review the details below and prepare your attire accordingly.

First time wearing a uniform? Check out our YouTube video of former students describing their experience in Thailand!

Males

The typical uniform for male students consists of black slacks and a white collared-shirt. Students should ensure that their short sleeve uniform shirts are collared and have buttons down the front (similar to a standard “dress shirt” in the U.S.). Students would be wise to purchase several dress shirts as the weather is quite warm and shirts may need to be laundered frequently. Please also bring black closed-toed shoes to wear with your uniform. It can be difficult to find shoes larger than size 10 in Thailand.

Females

The typical uniform for female students consists of black skirts and a white button-up shirt. Students should ensure that their short sleeve uniform shirts are collared and have buttons down the front (similar to a standard “dress shirt” in the U.S.) and that shoulders are not exposed. No jeans, miniskirts, sleeveless shirts, sandals or sports shoes are acceptable. Students would be wise to purchase several dress shirts as the weather is quite warm and shirts may need to be laundered frequently. Please also bring black closed-toed shoes to wear with your uniform. It can be difficult to find shoes larger than a size 9 in Thailand.

Additional Uniform Notes

Uniform apparel may also be purchased on the MUIC campus, or at the uniform shops near campus. Most students bring one set of clothes for the uniform with them, and purchase more inexpensively upon arrival. Students can choose whether they want to wear a male or female uniform based on the gender they more comfortably identify with.


Computers and School Supplies

TEAN’s university partners in Southeast Asia have wireless internet access throughout the campuses, although please be aware that the internet speeds in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are sometimes slower than that of the U.S. Students should bring a laptop. Having a laptop will make typing papers easier. Universities have computer labs, but they do operate on limited opening hours (i.e. will not be available late at night).

Internet is also available in your housing in Thailand. Local cafés are also great places to go to find a strong – and free! – WiFi connection.


Suggested Packing List

PLEASE NOTE:  The packing list provided is a suggested list. Triple check to ensure you have everything necessary! TEAN is not responsible for forgotten items.

Essentials to Pack
  • Passport/visa
  • Arrival instructions (to be supplied by TEAN close to departure)
  • Driver’s license (alternate form of ID)
  • Airline tickets and/or electronic confirmation numbers
  • Money (cash, debit/credit cards, etc.)
  • Photocopies of important documents
  • Reusable water bottle/s (the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to get drinking water is to refill bottles at the water machines in the common areas of your housing)
General Clothing Items
  • Basic clothing such as jeans/khakis/lightweight trousers, long skirts, pajamas, underwear, socks, shorts and t-shirts. Flowy cotton clothing is recommended for optimum comfort in the heat. However there may be times where you will want to wear jeans.
  • Jacket/warm top for nights in Thailand, light layers for cooler nights
  • Lightweight scarf or shawl (good for nights and good for covering up at temples)
  • Hat (to protect from sun – these are also inexpensive and readily available in-country)
    Bathing suit (two-piece suits for girls is okay in the islands, but it’s recommended to get a one-piece if you plan to use the pool in your housing)
Clothes for Temple Visits and When Traveling Outside the City

Loose fitting pants or skirts that cover the knees and tops that cover your shoulders with high necklines. Note that leggings are not suitable attire for rural Thailand and temples.

Shoes
  • Comfortable walking shoes: tennis shoes, shoes for hiking (lace-up shoes), etc.
  • Close-toed black shoes for school (flats, TOMS, etc. – no sneakers)
  • 1-2 pairs of sturdy sandals that are comfortable for walking
  • Flip-flops
Toiletries / Cosmetics
  • Sunscreen and bug spray (may also be purchased after arrival)
  • Feminine hygiene products (tampons, especially with applicators, are not easy to find and more expensive than in the U.S.)
  • Shampoo, conditioner, hair products, etc. can be purchased after arrival and will save you space in your suitcase. Thailand carries popular Western brands such as Pantene, Dove, Herbal Essences, etc. and also have Western supermarkets where you can purchase salon-brand items if you really need them.
  • Contact lenses (extended wear if possible) and solution
  • Glasses: prescription (if necessary) and sunglasses
  • Prescription medicine (bring note/proof from doctor)
Accessories / Electronics
  • Towel
  • Smaller backpack for books/local travel
  • Phone/tablet and chargers
  • Laptop and charger
Miscellaneous
  • Phone numbers and email addresses of people with whom you wish to keep in contact
    Extra passport photos (often needed for travel to other Southeast Asian countries). You can also get these done cheaply while in Thailand.
  • You are provided with a fitted sheet, comforter, pillow and pillow case, but Thai people don’t really use a top sheet. If that’s important then bring one from home as they are surprisingly expensive in Thailand.
Studying Abroad in the Rainy Season (Mostly Fall Students)
  • Raincoat with a hood or waterproof Gore-tex jacket OR just buy a poncho for around a $1 at any convenience store in Thailand
  • Rain resistant shoes (if owned)
  • Umbrella
Former Participant Recommendations
  • Asian sizes run smaller, so bring comfortable, lounge-type clothes and clothes to go out at night in.
  • If you have any favorite snack foods that you can’t live without, bring a small supply.
  • Gifts for locals that you encounter on excursions – postcards, jelly beans, key chains, shirts (small sizes)
  • Medications – Ibuprofen, stomach medications, cold medications, and if you are prone to iron deficiency, perhaps consider bringing some supplements for your iron supply.
  • Bring a back-up credit or debit card that can be left in your dorm. Just in case your main card is lost/stolen you will still have easy access to your funds.
Notes

Medications: Most medications you would use at home are readily available over the counter at pharmacies in Thailand. You can purchase Ibuprofen, Tylenol, nausea medicine, cold medicine, and even antibiotics without a prescription from a licensed pharmacist.

Clothing: Please keep in mind that Thailand is more conservative than the United States. It is important to dress appropriately for the culture as well as the climate. We recommend loose, flowy clothing that covers your shoulders and knees. You can wear shorts and tank tops (so long as they are modest) out and about in Thailand, but not at temples and not during the village homestay or academic excursions. Observe the behavior of those around you and you will pick up on what’s appropriate and what’s not appropriate to wear in certain settings. You will also be able to purchase inexpensive lightweight, loose-fitting comfortable clothing at markets all throughout Thailand (think: flowy elephant pants).

Adaptors/converters: Electric outlets in Thailand are often the same as those used in the U.S. but sometimes feature two-pronged round outlets. You can probably get by without an adaptor but sometimes may find you need one, like while working at a cafe with round outlets. If you plan to travel to other countries in Southeast Asia, it’s advised that you research whether or not you’ll need an adaptor there. These can all be purchased while you’re in Thailand. Converters are recommended for larger electronics such as hair dryers or computer chargers.


Baggage Restrictions

International Flight to Thailand: Most airlines allow all passengers flying internationally two checked items, one carry-on and one personal item. Please contact your air carrier for their current baggage restrictions (including dimensions and weight) and fees for additional checked items. If you will exceed your air carrier’s baggage restrictions, it is generally more economical, more reliable and easier to pay the airlines for additional checked baggage versus shipping items to Thailand.

Carry On

While there is little chance of this happening, if you plan on the airline losing your baggage for at least 24-48 hours you will be prepared and avoid extra inconvenience. Pack travel sized toiletries (no more than 3 bottles, 3oz or less in a clear bag), medication and change of clothes in your carry-on. This will more than likely not happen, but if it does you will be ready.

Culture Tips

Culture Tips

  • You will find the people of Thailand to be some of the most accommodating and friendly in the world. To reciprocate their kindness, make sure to follow these basic cultural tips!
  • The Thai greeting is a wai. Gently bow your head and bring your hands together in a prayer-like gesture. Always wai an elder or someone in position of respect.
  • The feet are considered dirty and should not be pointed directly at people or raised, and shoes are never worn inside. The bottom of the feet should not be shown and one should not tap feet or fidget with legs.
  • Raise your hand to get someone’s attention, never point with a finger.
  • Avoid public displays of affection and never show anger.
  • The head is sanctified, so avoid touching others on the head.
  • Thai people appreciate clean and neatly presented visitors, especially in formal or public places.
  • Your head is high and your feet are low, it is polite to gently crouch down when passing someone who is seated and never step over someone in your path.
  • Please never shout or raise your voice.
  • Before you take a photo of someone, ask if it is okay.
  • Please do not distribute gifts to children as it encourages begging, but give to an established organization or village elders instead.
  • Always respect the monarchy at all times and never ever joke about the king or royal family. Thailand has very strict lese majesty laws that apply to both Thai citizens and foreigners. (A Swedish tourist was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail after making remarks about the king a few years ago, and was actually incarcerated.)
  • Females especially should be certain to cover their shoulders and knees when visiting temples or similar.
  • Monks are prohibited to touch females. As a precaution when walking by a monk, it is best to give a wide berth to avoid accidentally touching.
Visiting a Temple

Since Thailand is a very relaxed country, many tourists seem surprised when they visit a temple and realize there are strict rules. Please respect the Thai Buddhist culture and follow these etiquette tips.

  • Dress appropriately – For men that means no short shorts or tank tops. Shorts to the knees are mostly fine. Women should wear a skirt or loose fitting pants longer than the knees. Shirts must also have sleeves (no tank tops) and not reveal cleavage.
  • Keep the noise down
  • Remove shoes when entering temple buildings – You will see a shoe rack and other shoes to indicate where you need to take off your shoes.
  • Sit with feet pointing away from the Buddha statues and never point at Buddha images or monks.
  • Most parts of a temple are open to the public but sometimes women aren’t allowed in certain shrine buildings. There will be a sign outside of the building saying so.

Arrival

Arrival in Thailand

For students entering on a student visa, when you arrive in Thailand, make sure that the Immigration Officer in Bangkok sees your non-immigrant visa and stamps 90 days admittance in your passport – not 30 days. This sometimes happens if the Immigration Officer overlooks your student visa, so make sure you receive the correct stamp before walking away.

Airport Pick-up

Specific arrival details will be provided prior to your departure.

Contact Information

Prior to your departure your Program Manager will provide you with contact details for all key TEAN personnel, including your Resident Director, as well as information on your local embassy and emergency contacts.

Orientation

TEAN Orientation

Home to more than eight million people and often the most-visited city in the world, Bangkok offers a kaleidoscope of culture, color, cuisine and traffic congestion. Arriving in the city can sometimes be overwhelming for first-timers but, don’t worry, you’ll soon fall in love with the electric pull of the Big Mango. Ease into the transition with TEAN’s 4-day included orientation that will introduce you to your new campus, go over cultural backgrounds and differences, and show you how to use public transportation


University Orientation

Your university orientation is held the day after the TEAN Orientation ends. This orientation is mandatory. Topics discussed may include cultural tips, security, and academic enrollment/expectations. Although there may be some overlap, your university orientation will touch on specific details related to the program.

Communicating While Abroad

Contacting Home

Below are some suggested ways that you can easily stay in touch with your family and friends while studying abroad.

We recommend setting up a contact plan before you depart, deciding how and when you’ll be available while abroad. Whether that looks like daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly check-ins, it’s good to have a consistent way to get in touch, as well as back up alternatives in case of an emergency. While studying abroad can be a time to spread your wings and become more independent, it’s important to regularly touch base with your loved ones so they don’t worry while you’re away.

No matter which method you choose, we recommend downloading your preferred applications before leaving home and testing them out to make sure any accounts and contacts are set up properly.

LOCAL SIM CARD

TEAN will assist all students with getting a local SIM card for calls, texting and data. Phone plans vary depending on location and more details will be provided by your Program Manager. It is recommended to only use your local phone number to call home in cases of emergency since long distance calls can be expensive but there are plenty of ways to call internationally for free or very cheap (keep reading!)..

UNLOCKING YOUR PHONE

In order to use the local SIM card, you need to make sure your phone is unlocked and able to accept SIM cards from other mobile carriers. “Unlocking” your phone means that your phone is not locked to one specific carrier. If your phone is unlocked you will be able to use a foreign SIM card while you are abroad. If you’re unsure if your phone is unlocked, it’s important to call your current service provider to check. If you cannot get your current phone unlocked, you will need to bring a different unlocked phone from home or plan to purchase a phone while in your host country.

INTERNATIONAL PHONE PLAN

While all students are encouraged to get a local SIM card, some may decide to keep their US number and opt for an international phone plan. In most cases, this allows students to utilize their phone domestically in their host country and internationally. The cost of this can vary based on service provider. If you are interested in this option, you should get in touch with your phone service provider to get the relevant fees and service options. Be sure to consider costs for dialing local numbers as it can sometimes make an international plan undesirable for calls within your host country.

PURCHASING A PHONE IN COUNTRY

This would only be a viable option if you do not want to or cannot use your current U.S. phone, and can speak and read the local language. Phones can be purchased in all locations for costs comparable to U.S. phones. This may be a good option for a student who is looking to use a phone for just texting and calling while in country, as non-smart phones can be purchased cheaply in most countries. If you are worried about losing your U.S. smartphone, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive phone in your host country.


FREE INTERNATIONAL CONTACT OPTIONS

While all students will have access to a local number, there are free ways to get in touch with people across the world while connected to the internet or data.

SKYPE

Allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while using WiFi or data. This allows for calls between two parties both using the Skype app downloaded. The Skype app can be downloaded onto your phone, tablet and computer. You can also purchase Skype credit which allows you to call international landline and mobile phone numbers directly (so both parties don’t have to have a Skype account). These calls typically cost around $.05 for the connection and $.03 per minute, making it an affordable option.

FACEBOOK MESSENGER

Facebook’s Messenger app allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data.

IMESSAGE

While we don’t suggest going out of your way to purchase an iPhone for this option, it is a great feature for any students who have these phones already. iPhones use iMessage and FaceTime while on WiFi or data at zero charge to the provider plan.

OTHER FREE MESSAGING APPS

There are several apps that allows free chat, audio calling and video calling between users while on WiFi or data. WhatsApp is popular outside of the U.S. but some countries also have their own messaging app of choice that you’ll likely want to download to chat with your new local friends. These include:

EMAIL

It may seem obvious, but email is a great way to continue to stay in touch with people back home regardless of the time differences. If your host institution gives you a new school email, but sure to update friends and family with the email address you will be checking most frequently throughout your program.


INTERNET SERVICES

  • Internet service is provided within your accommodation in Bangkok.
  • Upon arrival, it may take some time to set up personal computers to wireless networks, patience is requested.
  • Internet in parts of Southeast Asia is slower than that of the United States. Please be patient!

Finances While Abroad

Bringing U.S. Currency to Thailand

We do not recommend bringing large amounts of cash with you for security and safety reasons. However, you may wish to bring a small amount of foreign currency for any initial personal expense needs. Most major banks in large U.S. cities have foreign currency in stock, but smaller, regional banks may be able to order Southeast Asian currencies. Therefore, do not wait until the last minute to place your order. Alternatively, you can exchange money at the airport before you depart for the overseas flight. This is slightly more expensive than using a local bank (1-2% higher fees), but much more convenient.


Money Access in Thailand

Opening a Thai Bank Account: Unfortunately it is not possible to open a bank account in Thailand as a foreigner unless you have a 12-month visa. For this reason we recommend opening a Charles Schwab bank account before departing the U.S. if you are staying in Thailand for longer than a one-month program. See below for more details.

Using a U.S. Bank Account: You can avoid paying ATM fees by opening a Charles Schwab account because they refund all ATM domestic and foreign transaction fees worldwide and it is free to open an account. They never charge a fee but if the foreign bank does then Charles Schwab refunds the cost at the end of each month. Accounts can be opened online. It is always good to check your local bank’s policy as well.

It usually takes 7-10 days for Charles Schwab to mail the actual ATM card (so don’t wait until the last minute to open an account). All transactions can be done online (including funding the account from another bank account you have in the U.S.).

If you plan to withdraw money from an ATM using your regular U.S. card, ensure you notify your bank that you will be accessing money in Thailand before you leave the U.S. Thailand is very much a cash-based society and ATMs can be found absolutely everywhere, however note that most Thai bank ATMs charge 220 THB per withdrawal. When you consider that a local Thai meal costs around 50 THB, then that’s four meals in just one bank charge. This is why you’ll see most popular American travel bloggers recommend using a Charles Schwab bank account for travel to avoid these fees.

U.S. Credit Card: We recommend that you have a credit card for your time in Southeast Asia and not just a debit card. You probably will not use it much, but it’s good to have for emergencies or to purchase flights for regional travel.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Southeast Asia is considerably lower than that of the United States and thus day-to-day expenses will be less for most students. However, as students are in one of the best regions in the world to travel, participants may find themselves booking regional airfares and optional excursions at additional expense.