Category Archives: Before You Go

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?

Continue reading May Term Thailand X FAQs

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.

Important Things to Remember Before Departure – 2017

Here are some miscellaneous important things to remember before departure:

I think that’s it for now. If you have any questions or comments, please call me, email me, or stop by my office. See you on Thursday and Sunday!

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

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 2017 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 59 minute flight from SLC to SFO, a 9 hour 14 minute layover in SFO, a 13 hour 20 minute flight from SFO to TPE, a 55 minute 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, and take up 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

Squat Toilets and Bucket Showers – Essential Information

Traveling to remote parts of the world, especially in Asia, may require Americans to rethink some fundamental aspects of their daily activities. We have found over the years that the squat toilet and the bucket shower can be problematic for some students. To help everyone prepare, we want to provide some information to consider.

Here is a link to a good site that explains the essentials of the squat toilet.

http://migrationology.com/2011/08/how-to-use-a-squat-toilet-like-a-pro/

Here is a link to using a bucket shower

http://matadornetwork.com/life/how-to-bucket-shower-like-a-pro/

Might be a good idea to have a look at these before we go. When we stay in peoples homes, understanding these makes for better relations with the family and the village as a whole.