Reminder: 2017 May Term Thailand Fundraiser Dinner

This dinner and silent auction is provided by the students of the 2017 Westminster College May Term Study Experience to Thailand, providing needed funds for service projects with schools in Northern Thailand. Come enjoy a wonderful Thai meal, bid on a wide assortment of silent auction items, and learn more about the trip and the work we have done.

The dinner will be held on Friday, April 7th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Westminster On The Draw, located at 2120 South 1300 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84106. Please park in the parking structure next to the Chevron Station off of 1300 East, just south of 2100 South, and follow the signs.

Tickets are $25 per person in advance, $15 for students. To purchase tickets online, please follow this link:

2017 May Term Thailand Fundraiser Dinner

Treatments for Motion Sickness

We will be experiencing just about every mode of transportation during this trip. We will be flying, driving in minivans (a lot, through city traffic as well as curvy, mountainous roads), riding in speedboats, riding in the backs of pickups over rough mountain roads, riding in tuk-tuks, riding bikes, riding tractors, and even riding on elephants.

Unfortunately, traveling causes misery for many people in the form of motion sickness. Motion sickness results from when the motion that your inner ear senses differs from the motion that you visualize. Many people experience motion sickness to one degree or another, some more severe than others. Some only get sick on ships during the roughest seas, while others can experience it during short drivers or even while skiing on an overcast day. Motion sickness progresses from a feeling of uneasiness to sweating and dizziness, and progresses to nausea and vomiting. Symptoms are exacerbated by lack of ventilation, inability to see outside the vehicle (and visualize the movement), being inside an enclosed space, or having anxiety or fear of traveling.

Estimates of the prevalence of motion sickness varies, from 3% to 60%, depending on the study. Many researchers believe almost everyone suffers from motion sickness, given strong enough motion stimuli. Women and children are generally more at risk for motion sickness. Continue reading Treatments for Motion Sickness

For Those Staying Afterwards….

For students who are planning on staying afterwards and traveling on your own, here is some advice on where to go, getting around, visas and passports, and other sundry comments.

Where to go and for how long?

Bangkok is a great base for travel to a number of places. Within a one hour flight, you can reach Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Chiang Mai, Southern Thailand, and Northern Malaysia. Within a two hour flight, you can reach Singapore and the rest of Malaysia, as well as parts of China. Within a four hour flight, you can reach a number of places, including Bali, the Philippines, Indonesia, more of China….. Continue reading For Those Staying Afterwards….

May Term Thailand 2017!

It’s that time, to start thinking about our ninth (!!) May Term Thailand trip! This year’s trip is tentatively scheduled for May 14, 2017 through June 11, 2017. The total cost of the trip is $4,300, which includes round trip airfare from Salt Lake City to Bangkok, Thailand, all ground (and water) travel during the trip, all lodging, all meals, and all fees. It does not include any passport fees (if you need to renew or get one), immunizations and travel clinic fees, snacks and beverages during the trip, souvenirs, or optional side trips while on the island.

To register for this trip, please download and fill out the May Term registration form, sign and initial everything, and bring a copy to the Cashier’s Office in Bamberger Hall at 9:00 am on Tuesday, October 25. If you didn’t have a chance to do this, Sara Demko will have copies at the Cashier’s Office Tuesday morning. Also have ready a $300 deposit, which can be cash, check , or charge card (no Visa, sorry). We will cap the trip at 24 students, so please register early if you are interested in participating. Last year, the trip filled in less than 5 hours! Continue reading May Term Thailand 2017!

May Term Thailand FAQs

Family and friends of May Term Thailand participants have asked us many questions about 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?

Continue reading May Term Thailand FAQs

Important Things to Remember Before Departure – 2016

Here are some miscellaneous important things to remember before departure:

What to Bring – Checklist for Packing

I like to use a checklist of things to pack and do for a long trip to make sure I don’t forget anything. This one is specifically for Thailand. You can add and subtract certain items, but I would be really careful about dropping “critical” items. I have a packing list you can print out here in .pdf format. I would literally check off items as you pack them, to make sure you bring those critical items.

Packing List for May Term Thailand 2016

Continue reading What to Bring – Checklist for Packing

How to Survive the (Gulp!) 24+ Hour Flight to Thailand

It’s a long flight to Bangkok, there’s no way around it. It is almost on the opposite side of the globe. It’s not quite as long as a flight to Africa, or India, or Australia, but it’s close. It’s a 1 hour 50 minute flight from SLC to LAX, a 9 hour 10 minute layover in LAX, a 14 hour 5 minute flight from LAX to TPE, a 1 hour layover in TPE, and a 3 hour 30 minute flight from TPE to BKK. It’s a long long day! And during this “day”, we pass through 13 time zones and the international date line. We miraculously land 2 days after we leave. You will have no sense of time or place; your body will be completely out of whack.

But there are ways to make this flight, if not completely enjoyable, at least tolerable. You have to do three things: bring the right things for the flight, wear the right things during the flight, and do the right thing during the flight. Continue reading How to Survive the (Gulp!) 24+ Hour Flight to Thailand

Miscellaneous Items to Bring

Here are some more unusual items to pack that will be VERY useful on this trip:

Zip Lock bags, various sizes – These are incredibly useful for many reasons, and take almost no room. They can be used to pack up wet or dirty clothing, used to store liquids when going through airport security, waterproof important documents or electronics, pack potentially leaking toiletries, etc. This site has some other wonderful ideas for these incredibly useful items.

Garbage bags – For the same reasons as above, but for bigger and bulkier, or more, things. And they make a handy emergency poncho.

Duct tape – This is obvious. You can repair your bag, use it as a label, repair clothing….its uses are only limited by your imagination. Here are some more ideas. You can bring an entire roll, or roll some around your water bottle or other cylindrical object. And yes, in a pinch, you can create an evening gown out of duct tape.

Zip Ties – These are great impromptu luggage locks, but they also work great for repairs. Bring a bunch of miscellaneous sizes.

Continue reading Miscellaneous Items to Bring

Personal Safety While Traveling

A fear many have about traveling outside of the United States is personal safety. Much of this is ingrained in the fear of the unknown, and not on any firm data. While there are dangerous regions in the world today (Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Nicaragua, Yemen, Pakistan), there are many parts of the world that are considerably safer than regions of the US. Thailand in particular is a very safe destination for travel. By many measures of crime and safety rates, Thailand is safer than Canada, New Zealand, Australia, China, Belgium, and far safer than France, Italy, Ireland, and even the United States. And within the United States, places like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Detroit are far more dangerous than many developing countries. Continue reading Personal Safety While Traveling

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