Although Katlyn is from a small town in North Carolina, she went big and traveled 9,000 miles to Bangkok, Thailand with only a passport and suitcase. She came back with nothing but memories and friends that will last a lifetime.
Why did you choose this program?
I chose CIS Abroad because their website was clearly organized. You could see what classes were offered, the pricing of the program, and all of the bonuses it offered. I felt like the price of their program was the best, and it included several excursions that I would have had to plan on my own if it weren't for them! The program included an elephant sanctuary, an island trip, temple tours, and more.
What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
My program assisted me with everything along the way. Once I submitted my application, I had representatives working with me to make my class schedule and ensure that I would get transfer credit. They have pre-departure seminars, and CIS Abroad has people waiting for you as soon as you land to help you get to your new home. They also give you a cell phone that works in Thailand so if you ever need to call your adviser, they are one speed dial button away!
Everyone was incredibly helpful with every step along the way. They understand that this can be an intimidating process and are happy to help.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
Thailand can be such a unique experience, if you give it the chance! It is important to remember that you did not pack your things and move across the world to sit in your room! Dive head first into their exquisite culture. Thailand has so much to offer. Their temples are architecture masterpieces, and the islands are an easy access weekend getaway. Take full advantage of every opportunity.
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
An average week in Thailand is full of fun adventures. Their school classes are mostly Monday-Thursday, leaving you with a three-day weekend, every weekend! Most students go to class in the morning and afternoon, and then spend the night studying in groups and walking outside scanning the streets to find the best street food. Most nights, students go into the city or go in the pool if they do not have a lot of school work, and then spend the weekends traveling.
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
My biggest fear, by far, was being alone. I was traveling half way across the globe, leaving my family and friends, to be in a foreign place with people I had never met before. It was intimidating. This experience forces you to be independent, which can be a scary thought at times!
I met people at the airport who were also studying abroad, and we instantly clicked. It's been over a year since we both got back to America, and we still keep in touch and visit each other.
You meet people, you travel with them, you go to school with them, but most importantly, you grow with them.
Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to reach your full potential, in ways you probably didn't even know you could.
Do you have any regrets regarding your time abroad?
The only regret I have is not staying longer. I remember sitting on my flight to Bangkok and thinking to myself, "It's only a semester, you'll survive." It felt like only a few weeks went by and then it was time to fly back home. Although I was extremely excited to see my family and friends, it truly felt like I was leaving a huge part of my life behind in Thailand.