TEAN: Thailand & Vietnam Semester

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About Program

To better explore and understand Southeast Asia, TEAN offer students the unique opportunity to split their semester spending two months in Chiang Mai, Thailand and two months in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. For anyone having a hard time deciding between these two amazing locations, this program is for you! Participants will begin their studies at Chiang Mai University in Thailand and then travel to Ho Chi Minh where they will be hosted by Hoa Sen University.

The program includes an orientation in Chiang Mai, a five-day stay in a traditional rural Thai village, expert guidance from local staff, and an array of cultural activities designed to deepen your understanding and appreciation of these colorful countries. Visit the TEAN website to learn more.

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Program Reviews

9.67 Rating
based on 3 reviews
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  • Academics 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.7
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 9.7
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Yes, I recommend this program

Going On A World Tour

I recently studied abroad this past spring in Thailand and Vietnam. For me, my study abroad experience was an unforgettable experience that has definitely changed me for the better. I personally enjoyed meeting new people, learning Thai and Vietnamese, and going on cultural excursions. One thing I can definitely say about TEAN is that they have the program set up for the students so that they're getting an experience that's very enlightening. The program is set up so that students will have an experience to learn about the culture, environmental issues, how to combat the environmental issues, and most importantly, how to emerge yourself in a community. I studied in Thailand for 2 months then studied in Vietnam for 2 months and the experience was very different, but also a very enriching experience.

During the last week of January, TEAN had organized a village homestay for us to participate in for a week. I had the opportunity to be assigned a host family, begin learning Thai, and getting to know my family members. I had a younger brother who I managed to love so much, play UNO with, and teach each other both of our native languages. In the village I had the opportunity of learning how to weave baskets, make desserts, and have a celebration with my host family. One of my favorite things I did was going to the rice field and planting rice because some of the parents were rice farmers so it was really cool to participate in rice planting and see how the process is done. Another activity I participated in was attending a Monk ceremony where I watched Monks chant, pass out goodies to the Monks, and join everyone in the community for a feast. Lastly, we had the opportunity to learn a few dances, practice in the village, and dress up in costume to perform for the community.

In Thailand, I attended Chiang Mai University which is an extremely colossal campus that resembles campuses in rural areas in the United States. My days getting to class consisted of me taking the shuttle bus or walking if I really felt I wanted an adventure. My favorite course I took while studying in Thailand happened to be Buddhism. My professor was an individual who was extremely knowledgable on Buddhism and is also a teacher for individuals who want to become monks. He taught us how to meditate, use different meditation techniques and sound audio to enhance our experience, and took us on trips to visit temples which were gorgeous by the way. I've always wanted to learn about Buddhism and what better way to learn about Buddhism where majority of people residing here are Buddhists! He had us make comparisons between religion in Thailand and the United states as well as interview an individual to learn about what religion they identify with, how involved are they, and what they believe. He also had us keep track of a meditation journal or participate in temple ethnography as a project which really made the course worthwhile.

TEAN organized a few group excursions which was very helpful to us because a lot of these places would've remained undiscovered if they hadn't. They took us to the Elephant nature park which was an incredible experience. While at the Elephant Nature Park, we learned about elephant abuse, how they rescued the elephants, and had the chance to feed the elephants as well. We also had a feast which had great options and accommodated special diets. As a group, we were always taken on dinners which I found to be very helpful because we were introduce to other parts of town and also ate at expensive restaurants which were definitely worth. Also, TEAN scheduled an optional excursion to the Phi Phi Islands which was an amazing experience altogether.

I truly enjoyed the level of independence I had while studying in Vietnam. For me, being on my own and planning things to do for myself is something extremely rewarding because I can do things on my own time. I personally enjoyed discovering things on my own, befriending locals, and trying to immerse myself as much as possible in the community. This allowed me to build strong relationships with people in Vietnam that I hope to see again one day. My time here made me realize how big this world is, how much there is to learn, and how important certain bonds will be. There's definitely a big sense of community in Vietnam and I believe this country is extremely welcoming and friendly. The people definitely made it memorable for me, but I also think my effort is what made it worth while.

The motorbike food tour was an incredible experience. I have never been on a motorbike before so the experience was terrifying, but it was also worth it. I went on a five hour food tour that exposed me to popular foods, drinks, and desserts in Vietnam. This was a great way to experience numerous dishes because I think it's easy for individuals have a hard time deciding what dishes they should try. I left extremely full and satisfied with the food tour. The individuals running the food tour were very helpful, kind, and welcoming. The staff did an exceptional job of introducing me to different dishes as well as educating me more about Vietnam. One thing I can say that stood out to me was an outdoor market we went to at night which was filled with all of the fruits and vegetables you can imagine. During the tour, an associate actually cut up Guava for me to try free of charge which I thought was really sweet because this is what she does for a living.

In Vietnam, I attended Hoa Sen University which resembles my home university because it's located in a city and has separate buildings. My favorite course I took while attending Hoa Sen University happened to be Gender and Development in Vietnam. Taking this course helped me learn about the gender roles in Vietnam, men and woman paying to be matched with a spouse who has all of the qualities they're looking form, and how men and women are treated in the work force. I had an amazing professor who was very knowledgable on this topic and encouraged us to think outside of the box. We participated in daily discussion and made comparisons and contrasts all of these topics to the United States. Our professor was an incredible woman who also tried to introduce us to Vietnamese culture as much as possible. She brought in seaweed, desserts, and tea for us to try which were delicious.

Being abroad for five and half months has shaped me into a better individual and I can guarantee being abroad has broaden my horizons in many ways possible. I enjoyed my time in both countries and had the ability to experience how breath taking Asia is. Leaving was tough, but it's only a goodbye for now and I know I will be back one day.

I can honestly say that studying abroad through TEAN was the best decision I ever made. TEAN happened to be the only program that had a unique program experience that I was looking for and I'm very happy I met with staff when they attend my study abroad fair. I signed up to be on their email list and kept receiving wonderful emails which led to me to revisit their website plenty of times. TEAN really outdid themselves with this program and I highly encourage any student looking for an extraordinary experience abroad to study abroad through TEAN.

What would you improve about this program?
This program is absolutely perfect and there aren't any improvements to be made!
1 person found this review helpful.
Yes, I recommend this program

Invaluable Adventure

Studying abroad in Southeast Asia was an experience that I will forever take with me. It was such an fun, eye-opening, and adventuresome way to learn about yourself and new places! TEAN was a great organization and the experiences and people I met through them are invaluable to me! The split semester between Thailand and Vietnam was an a unique way to study abroad but was a great way to compare different cultures and places within the region of Southeast Asia. Both offered great housing accommodations, classes, and excursions!

What would you improve about this program?
The communication between TEAN and ISEAA could be greatly improved, that way there is no miscommunication between the students, teachers, program staff, and locals involved.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program

Incredible, Life Changing...Must Experience It!

I was originally wary about study abroad, but after talking to the staff on the phone, I was sold on going. TEAN's orientation was extremely helpful in getting used to life in Thailand, and helped the students in my group bond before starting classes. We also stayed in a village for a few days along with the rest of our classmates at Chiang Mai University, a really incredible way to experience Thai culture firsthand. The classes were rigorous but interesting, and further contributed to our understanding of the country we were living in. Thai language class was especially helpful in navigating everyday life. Along the way, TEAN staff was ready to help out with any questions we had or just to meet up for a meal. Living with a Thai roommate in a (beautiful) dorm was one of my favorite parts of the program.

In Vietnam, we each had our own apartment with a bathroom in the same building, and took classes at a local private university. While we didn't have any local students in our building or classes, the international club eagerly welcomed us and helped us to make our closest friends. The in-country staff, Chris, worked close to our apartment and would often have dinner with us. As a travel agent by profession, he was able to help us out with navigating the city, the country, and the region.

While most students stayed in Thailand the entire semester, I think having the opportunity to experience two cultures was a unique and worthwhile challenge, and I would encourage any curious and adventurous people to do it. (And, of course, the food was amazing in both countries.)

What would you improve about this program?
Grades came out a little later than I expected, but I believe this is an unavoidable issue many study abroad programs have.
1 person found this review helpful.

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