Happy holidays! I hope everyone is having a great break! I know that May Term seems a lifetime away (well, a semester), you want to start thinking about some things over break.
- Make sure you have a valid passport that does not have an expiration date within six months of the last day you’re planning on being in Thailand. That means that it should have an expiration date sometime in 2016 at the earliest. If it expired any time in 2015, please start the renewal process as soon as possible. Also, get me a copy of the picture page of your passport as soon as you can.
- I also need a copy of your domestic health insurance card. Many of you are under your parents’ plans, so if you need to ask your parents, do it while you’re at home.
- There are two very important deadlines for payment. Half of the trip fee MUST be paid by January 15, and the balance is due March 1. If this is a problem, please let me know ASAP!
- Make sure you like our Facebook page and follow this blog! We will be updating these often.
- We will be having several orientation meetings prior to the trip. It is essential that you make all of these. They will be from 4pm to 6pm on January 14, February 11, March 18, April 15, and April 29.
- Think about any big ticket items you may need for the trip. You probably already have everything you need, and there isn’t anything expensive or special that you need specifically for this trip, but there are a few “big ticket” items that you might want for the trip: a good camera (I’ll have a post on this soon) or a nice suitcase might be items to consider.
- If you are interested in raising some funds for the trip fee, please consider setting up a website through a crowdfunding site such as GoFundMe or Indiegogo. The way this works is that the site takes a small percentage of what you raise, depending on whether you meet your goal or not. The most successful sites extensively leverage social networking, advertising through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. We’ve had several students do this and some have raised significant funding to offset some of the trip fee. Here’s an example by Nicole Roberts who attended last year. If you do this, let me know, and I’ll post it on the May Term Thailand Facebook page, which has over 500 likes.
- If you are interested in staying longer in Thailand after the official trip, please let me know as soon as you can. This is very popular, since you’re already in Southeast Asia. The only extra cost is if the different departure date is different than our return ticket. I will determine the cost difference so you know how much more the ticket will cost before you need to commit. You just need to get me a return date (or a range of dates).
- We’ll be talking about health extensively during our orientations. One thing you can think about now is vaccinations. The only specific vaccination that you’ll need for Thailand is typhoid. This can be done through the two travel clinics in the Salt Lake Valley, the University of Utah Travel Clinic and the Salt Lake County Health Department International Travel Clinic. Otherwise, you need to be up to date on all the standard vaccinations as recommended by the CDC. You can do this through your primary care physician.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me! Enjoy the rest of your break!