A Surreal Experience

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I went on TEAN's Summer in Thailand program and had the time of my life. I did the 7-week option. I took Buddhism in Southeast Asia the first session and Human Rights in Southeast Asia the second, and in between I went on TEAN's Souhtern Island excursion. I wanted to go to Thailand, specifically Chiang Mai, because of its unique blend of relaxed city life and natural landscape and its heavily Buddhist-influenced culture. Taking a Buddhism class in Thailand was a dream. I still can't believe I actually got to stay the night in a Thai Forest Tradition temple and follow the monk on his morning alms through a village. This is something I never could have dreamed of experiencing, and something that an average tourist just passing through would not be able to do. This is what I think is the greatest value of studying instead of just visiting Thailand: you get integrated into the culture, and you learn quickly to adapt.
Everyone I came across in Thailand was nothing less than welcoming and kind. If you follow TEAN's rules, especially the one prohibiting the operation of a motor vehicle (the streets are crazy but the red truck/ tuk tuk/ grab drivers know what they're doing), you should be very safe. I never truly felt reason to fear for my safety in Chiang Mai.
The education was top-notch and the professors are very understanding of the fact that we are only there for a short period of time and desire time away from the actual studying part. I went to class for three hours Monday-Friday, giving ample time to visit places in the morning, afternoons, and weekends. The local TEAN staff members, Nala and Lauren, were extremely kind and always eager to help with anything.
If you're a nature lover, a culture/ religion enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, Thailand is the perfect place to study. There are beautiful nearby hiking trails, waterfalls, tons of museums and temples, active nightlife, amazing food everywhere, many types of markets, and so much more. I am incredibly happy that I did this program, it has truly been the greatest experience of my life so far. I met beautiful friends both from TEAN and local Thai students. If you have any desire to do this, do it!

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed