May Term Thailand X FAQs

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Family and friends of May Term Thailand participants have asked us many questionsabout this trip. Questions such as what we’re going to do, how we’re going to stay safe and healthy, and why we’re going to Thailand are some of what is asked of me. These are very important questions for friends and family, knowing that we’re going so far away to a country that is so different. So to answer some of these questions, I have compiled a little FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) post here. If you have any further questions, please feel free to comment on this post, and I can answer those questions as well.

What is the purpose of this course? Why do we do this?

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More Details on Registration for May Term Thailand X

Here are a few more details on registration for May Term Thailand X for May 2018:

  • Registration for seniors (90+ credits) and juniors (60-89 credits) begins on Tuesday, October 24th at 7:30 AM. All other undergraduate students can register beginning at 7:30 AM on Wednesday, October 25th. Registration will be online through Self-Service (the same as registration for any other classes).
  • IMPORTANT! If you have a registration hold for any reason (student accounts, library, etc.), you will not be able to register for any May Term trips! Please check your Self-Service account and make sure you don’t have a registration hold. If you do, please clear it and confirm that it’s clear prior to October 24th so you can register!
  • If the trip is full by the time you register,  you will automatically be placed on a wait list. I know it’s disappointing that you aren’t on the list, but there are always cancellations, so please put your name on the wait list. Furthermore, if someone doesn’t place their $300 deposit within three days of registration (see below), they forfeit their spot on the list, and the next person on the wait list will be eligible to register and place a deposit.
  • Once you successfully register, you MUST place a $300 deposit to your account within three days of registration. This can be done through the Cashier’s Office in the basement of Bamberger Hall or online, using the same system to pay for tuition. Failure to place this deposit will forfeit your spot on the trip. This deposit is nonrefundable (unless the trip is officially cancelled by the College due to lack of enrollment or other unforeseeable reasons).
  • The registration deadline for all May Term trips is January 31, 2018.
  • The total trip cost for May Term Thailand X is $4,400. This includes round trip airfare from SLC to Bangkok, all lodging, meals in Thailand, fees for guides, transportation within country, trip and event fees, travel insurance, and cell phones (or SIM cards) to use within Thailand along with initial amount of minutes. It does not include passport or visa costs (no visa is required, unless you plan on traveling after the official trip), vaccinations, meals at airports during transit, or optional outings. Spending money varies wildly depending on your spending habits and what you decide to buy, but around $200-300 is typical. You will want money to buy gifts and souvenirs, for optional outings in Chiang Mai and Ko Samet, snacks and food, and evening activities on your own (but not for dinner, which is included in the trip fee).
  • Final payment is due February 1, 2018. Your account at that point must be at $4,400.
  • Please note the dates for REQUIRED pretrip orientation sessions.

Please note that this trip has traditionally filled very quickly. Last year, it filled in less than 30 minutes. If you are planning on going, I strongly suggest you register as early as possible. If you cannot register for May Term Thailand X, and you have one or more years left before graduation, May Term Thailand XI for May 2019 has already been approved, and we will for certain be going again!

Registration for May Term Thailand X

Yes, that is correct, May Term Thailand 2018 will be our tenth May Term Thailand! It’s quite humbling to us that this trip has been so popular and so life-changing for so many students! And we can’t wait for our tenth trip to Thailand.

The trip this year will be from May 13, 2018 to June 9, 2018. These dates are still tentative, and may chance by +/- 1 day.

The registration process starts with the Global Engagement Fair in Shaw on Thursday, September 21st, from 10 am to 2 pm. You won’t be able to register then, but you will be able to ask us questions, get information, and sign up to receive updates. Both Peter Ingle and Han Kim will be available to answer any questions you may have, and we may also have May Term Thailand alum around to give you student perspectives on the trip.

The actual registration will begin on October 24th. The registration process will be slightly different this year. It will be an online registration through Self-Service, similar to registering for class. Also, priority will be given to Seniors (90+ credits) and Juniors (60–89 credits); they will be allowed to register on October 24th. All other students will be allowed to register on October 25th. Once you register online, you will have three days to pay the non-refundable $300 deposit to the Cashier’s Office; failure to do so will remove your place on the trip, and the next person on the wait list. The remainder of the trip fee will be due on February 1, 2018. Last year, the trip filled in less than 30 minutes, so if you want to go, please make sure you register as soon as you can!

The trip fee this year will be $4,400, and this includes roundtrip airfare from Salt Lake City to Bangkok, Thailand, all in-country travel, all lodging, all meals while in Thailand (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and all admissions and trip fees. It does not include spending money for souvenirs or snacks, cost of immunizations, passport fees, visa fees (if you are staying afterwards), food at airports during the flight to and from Salt Lake City, or fees for optional activities.

A Brief Overview of Health Care in Thailand

By Madeline Gere, Megan Poling, and Lyons Wells

During a primary orientation meeting for the May Term Thailand Course, a question regarding the quality of Thai health care was asked. Han Kim replied, “Oh yeah, the Thai health care system is great. In fact, some people travel there for health care. Medical tourism, ever heard of it?” By many measures medical practice in Thailand is laudable. With a rich history of Thai medical care and progressive advancements, Thai health care has emerged as a leader in medicine.

History of Thai Health Care

Medical care has deep roots in the history of Thailand. Dating back to the early 11th century, there is evidence of intentional efforts to provide healing services to the people. Tools to produce medicines and written instructions for a royal medicinal garden suggest that many empires studied and manipulated the healing properties of their natural environments (Hays, 2008). During the 14th to 18th century, health care continued to grow. Some major advancements included royal drug dispensaries, drug stores and royal documents detailing the effects and directions for using specific medicines (Hays, 2008). The study and expansion of medicine was an integral part of many historical eras in Thailand.

Western medicine was slowly incorporated into Thai health care. The French and Portuguese were responsible for introducing international methods of medicine and Western hospitals to the Thai (Hays, 2008). When King Phet Racha banned foreigners from the

Continue reading A Brief Overview of Health Care in Thailand

Tourism in Thailand

By Eli Clarke and Tanner Peacock

Thailand is a small, but amazing country. There are a couple things that Thailand is well-known for. First is the fact that Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia to never been colonized by Europeans. The people within this country take great pride in this aspect of their lives. Since this country has never been colonized, this means there is a very unique culture that you cannot experience anywhere else in the world.

However, due to this unique culture, Thailand has become a huge tourist destination. Bangkok, with 12.2 million expected visitors in 2017 alone, is the third most visited city in the world (behind London and Paris). With the high amount of visitors, tourism has shaped the country in more ways than one is able to think about. Now, Thailand is seen more as a getaway vacation destination than as a country in most visitors’ eyes. The influence of tourism has been divided up into four main sections: economic, social, environmental, and technological. Continue reading Tourism in Thailand

Contemporary Thai Political Issues

By Noor Hamouda, Sophia Moreno, and Kiera Stukey

Death of the King

Over the last year the political climate in Thailand has experienced a new turn that it has not witnessed in over seventy years. On October 13th, 2016, former and beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej also known as King Rama IX passed away.

King Rama IX became the monarch shortly after world war II and was only 18 years old when he gained power. He was born in the United States, in Cambridge, where his father was attending Harvard. He spent a significant amount of his own educational career in Switzerland, but once he returned home to Thailand he stayed. Continue reading Contemporary Thai Political Issues

Thai Traditional Medicine

By Adanna Foley, Mingyu Hu, and Aubrey Louder

Traditional Thai medicine is a practice that has been used for generations. Contrary to Western medicine, traditional Thai medicine makes use of mostly local remedies and local healers. Massage and herb-based healing is an important part of tying the body and soul together. There are three ways of classifying herbal remedies; those takes orally, those applied to the body, and those inhaled (Hays, 2013). Homage is payed to different guardian spirits to ensure that health follows after a healing. These guardians include Shivaga Komarpaj, the Ayurvedic practitioner who treated the Lord Buddha and is considered the father of Thai traditional medicine, Shivago and the unbroken lineage of masters who have kept the tradition alive, and Phra Mae Thorani, or “Mother Earth,” (Hays, 2013). Those who partake in traditional Thai medicine make prayers and offerings, and chant as they collect plants to use in rituals. Small altars are made to honor the guardian spirits.

Continue reading Thai Traditional Medicine

Education in Thailand vs. The United States

By Mia Angelis and Carolina Magana

The educational system in the United States varies when compared to other countries around the world. In the U.S. Students attend primary and secondary school for a combined total of 12 years. Students begin elementary school at the age of six, before that, some students are put in a preschool. Going to preschool is not obligated, even though it is highly encouraged. Once students finish elementary school, they move onto middle school which now becomes part of secondary schooling. Students attend middle school for three to four years and then attend high school. In high school, they receive a certificate if they are able to graduate with the credits necessary. Students will then attend college if they wish to do so once they receive their diploma. Continue reading Education in Thailand vs. The United States

Buddhism

By Meghan Garrecht-Connelly , Katie Saad, and Haley Schiek

History and Influences of Thai Buddhism:

There are varying theories about when Buddhism reached Thailand. Some say that Buddhism was introduced to Thailand during Asoka’s (a great Indian leader) reign. He sent Buddhist missionaries to many parts of the world. Others believe that Buddhism was introduced much later. Based on archeological and historical evidence, Buddhism first reached Thailand when it was inhabited by a racial stock of people known as the Mon-Khmer who had their capital city situated about 50 kilometers from where Bangkok is now.

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Course Assignments 2017

Here is a summary of the assignments that you will need to get credit for the course:

PRIOR TO LEAVING:

Pre-trip Personal Reflection

All students will submit a 2-3 page pre-trip reflection where students will reflect on their traits as a global citizen; how they learn about and respect other cultures,beliefs, values, etc; ways in which they address global issues; and a self reflection on one’s own beliefs, culture, language, religion, and more. Please submit this to Canvas on May 11.

Short Research Assignment

This is a 3-5 page research report on a topic relevant to the trip. This will be done in groups of 2 to 4, on a topic of your choice (as long as it isn’t a topic someone else is doing). This report will be posted directly on this blog. Make sure that the report is referenced and cited correctly. Since this is a blog post, please include illustrations and hyperlinks to other sites whenever appropriate. This is an informational post, so keep it general. As for the audience, this should be for those looking to travel to Thailand to learn and experience a different culture, rather than just to frolic on the beach. It should be informational, and in-depth enough for college students who want to know something about the culture, history, cuisine, language, economy, politics, and other aspects of a country so that they can truly have an educated travel experience. Have fun with this one! If you need guidance, please ask Han, or check out the posts done by students from previous trips.

Continue reading Course Assignments 2017

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