CIS Abroad - Semester in Thailand - Mahidol University

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About

Thailand is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, fun nightlife, tranquil Buddhist culture, and peaceful temples. Immerse yourself in this welcoming culture as you study at Mahidol University, Thailand’s top-ranked university. Choose from a wide variety of courses in English from the university’s International College. Our Semester in Thailand program is centered in your new home, the scenic college town of Salaya. From Salaya, easily venture into the heart of Bangkok, Thailand’s capital city. You’ll enjoy the serenity of a small town and the bustle of a booming city. The rest of Thailand also awaits you, with its beaches, jungles, and delicious cuisine.

Highlights
  • Wide range of course offerings available
  • Classes available in English
  • Opportunities to interact with elephants and explore ancient ruins
  • Take classes with Thai and international students
  • Volunteer in the local community: replant mangroves that were deforested due to overfishing

Scholarships

CISabroad Scholarships
CISabroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships, grants, or discounts to study abroad. We're unapologetically committed to increasing access to international education for all students.

Value
$250 - $500

Questions & Answers

Hi! I took three hospitality classes while I was there (Consumer Behavior in Tourism, Tour Package Management, and Wine Studies and Wine Tourism). I didn't find these classes too difficult, and the homework load was definitely manageable (honestly, not that much at all). Some of my friends who took more business-oriented classes, such as accounting or finance, thought those classes were a bit more...

Reviews

9.47 Rating
based on 19 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 8.2
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 8 of 19
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Alayna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Bangkok, Thailand

A semester in Thailand was an incredible experience. From the cultural immersion to the nearly-every-weekend travels, I learned so much and worked past challenges that led me to grow as an individual tremendously. If I had never studied abroad in Asia with a program then I am not sure if I ever would have discovered all of the countries and activities that I have after college. CIS Abroad was visibly the best program to be a part of during the semester with the planned trips and amazing staff. I would do another semester abroad if I could!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be aware of the challenges that are common with tourists. Things WILL happen but it is unstoppable and what matters is how you deal with it. Some things that happened to me that I was able to learn from were people will try and get more money out of you. When paying a bill and you need change, try and give as close to the payment as possible. Do not give your big bills here for change, just go to 7/11. Taxi drivers may try and charge you more halfway through the ride. Just stick with the original agreement and have the tourist police number handy in case the driver makes a scene which will usually only happen when nobody else is around. Use as much of the language as possible as locals will appreciate it and will be more willing to help you. Know that issues will arise and be confident you can work past them.
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Jeremy
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Abroad- Semester in Thailand

CIS Abroad made my experience incredible. From a few days after we arrived abroad, we had an orientation before classes started where the taught us some of the local culture and language, brought us to the mall to explore and purchase cell phone plans, as well as assisting us with any questions we had right off the bat. Throughout the program as well, staff were always willing to answer questions and were available to help most of the time. They helped organize various tours and programs during our time abroad which was a great way for us to enjoy the experience even more without being burdened by the pressure of planning all o f our own trips. I would highly recommend CIS abroad to anyone looking to study abroad especially in Thailand. They really made our experience great.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
We were able to try everything from Scorpions to Spiders at the local market street Called Khao San Road. One of my favorite places to spend nights out.
Response from CIS Abroad

Thank you for your review, Jeremy! It's so good to know that our on-site staff were so helpful during your arrival and throughout your time abroad. We're so glad you enjoyed the excursions and you had such a great experience in Thailand. We appreciate your recommendation!

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Nora
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Thailand: Mahidol University

What I enjoyed most about being a part of CIS Semester Abroad in Thailand was the sense of community and closeness that the program facilitated. I enjoyed that the program had pre-planned excursions and trips that included everyone in the program. It gave me an easy way to connect with other students studying abroad in Thailand and it made it effortless to make such a close knit group of friends. The pre-planned trips by CIS are what I looked forward to most while I was abroad because I knew we were always going to do something amazing and I got to be with everyone I had come to be close friends with. It also made planning trips less of a hassle because the program had everything planned out for us already when we went on group trips. I would always suggest that students participating in a CIS study abroad program take advantage of the pre-planned trips and try to go on them whenever they possibly can.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My biggest piece of advice would be to take risks. I seriously had such an enjoyable time abroad because I did things I would have never pictured myself doing before this experience. This could range from anywhere between trying a new meal or traveling to a secluded, rural part of the country you are studying in that tourists would not normally go to. For example, I traveled to rural Vietnam and did a homestay with a Vietnamese family during my school break. I had to travel 3 hours from a main city on a small, cramped bus where no one could speak English or communicate clearly with me. I would have turned around before my abroad experience, however I knew I had to push myself and do something I wasn't necessarily comfortable with in order to gain an authentic experience. I am so glad I chose to do this homestay because I got to learn so much about Vietnamese culture that I otherwise would not have learned if I had merely just visited the main, touristy parts of Vietnam. The family I stayed with taught me all about Vietnamese history and taught me how to cook Vietnamese dishes, which are delicious! I would encourage students to travel as much as they can while abroad and take the risks that I did. During my time studying in Thailand, I got to visit 5 other countries which included Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Vietnam. I got to visit elephants, go hot air ballooning, zip line through the jungle, try food I had never even heard of and completely immerse myself into Southeast Asian culture. It is because of my willingness to stray outside of my comfort zone that I had such an amazing experience abroad, and I would encourage any student considering studying abroad to do the same.
Response from CIS Abroad

Hi Nora! We're excited to hear that you had such an amazing experience abroad! It's so wonderful that that you were able to get out of your comfort zone, travel to so many other countries, and experience so much of what Southeast Asia has to offer. We really appreciate you sharing your experience with us!

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Linden
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Comfortable in Another Culture

CISabroad coordinated airport picks up, which trust me, after coming off from a 17.5-hour flight from China, and another 2-hour flight to Bangkok was NECESSARY. Getting to the housing to the airport was very easy. It struck me on my first night there, after I had walked to 7/11, how natural I felt there. A the pre-departure orientation at my university a representative from CIS came who has been to the university in Thailand. She was able to outline for me what just some day to day things I could expect are. Like wearing a uniform, eating at 7/11 and the importance of carrying cash (fun fact! many places in Thailand don't take credit card). I felt supported when I was there enough so that I could live my life in the way that I wanted to abroad. I couldn't have done it without CIS!

What would you improve about this program?
I think that CIS should offer more support in obtaining the student visa. And I don't think they should list the Mahidol program as being in Bangkok! In reality, students live and go to school about 30 minutes from the outskirts of Bangkok. This wasn't a bad thing AT ALL! It was so much more of local life. Not a lot of the business spoke English and things are a lot cheaper outside of the city.
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Ashley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Thailand

Thailand was an absolutely incredible time. During my stay there, I traveled to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia, which was done with ease due to our close proximity to the travel-hub of Bangkok. I haven't stopped talking about the trip since I returned to the US, and can't wait to start planning another trip back to Southeast Asia. Everyone that I met brought something truly unique to the experience & I will always cherish it. Southeast Asia was the perfect balance of culture, nature, and urban/rural life that kept every day & excursion exciting.

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Kate
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in the Land of Smiles!

When I decided to pack a suitcase and board a 23 hours flight to Bangkok, Thailand, I did not know much about the country. I really only knew where it was on a map. I was extremely nervous, but I could tell it was an excited nervous. Thailand is known as the land of smiles, and for good reason! Their culture is warm and welcoming, to say the least. What is unique about Thailand is their beautiful temples, delicious food, and islands. Once you are in the country, you can spend a day eating, shopping, and traveling to islands for less than $50. It is a simple, breathtaking, and life changing experience.

What would you improve about this program?
N/a
Read my full story
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Krista
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in the Land of Smiles

Through CIS, I was able to go to Thailand for a whole semester last Fall. I was so excited to go, but I had no idea how much fun I was actually going to have until I was home again in the states. My time there was beyond incredible, and it was truly the best experience of my life...I even got a tattoo to remember it while I was there! CIS was very helpful with everything, and having an advisor that lives nearby, that you can basically text/call at any hour, was very comforting. Our trips through CIS were also amazing. The floating market, the elephant sanctuary, and the Ko Chang island trip were amazing, and our advisor was very organized and helpful when scheduling trip dates/locations/times. I've now been home for about 5 months, and I would do anything to go back!

What would you improve about this program?
The only issue I ever came across was scheduling my classes, as I had some difficulty and communication errors upon arrival. Therefore, if anything, maybe there needs to be more communication with the program supervisor, making sure that their CIS students have submitted everything necessary before arrival.
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Kyra
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Abroad - Thailand

Overall I loved this program, I just wish there was more support coming from the CIS staff prior to arrival at the program (with the visa process, answering questions, putting us in contact with other students who have previously attended the program, etc.) as well as during the program. A lot of us felt like we were in the dark about a lot of things, and we had to rely heavily on each other to answer our questions based on if they had already asked our advisors or even gotten a response back. I think Thailand is a great place to go abroad and I would definitely recommend to others.

What would you improve about this program?
See above in my review, communication from program staff and transparency about housing. I also think information about the visa process and renewing your visa abroad should be clearer and multiple versus single entry.