Category Archives: Before You Go

Course Assignments 2017

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


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

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

Flight Itinerary for May Term Thailand 2017

We will again be taking China Air from SLC to BKK via SFO and TPE, and via TPE and SFO on the way home. It will be approximately 20 hours in the air. We will be in coach, and the flights are usually full. But the 747s and 777s are big and comfortable, with free meals, food, drinks, blankets, headphones, slippers, and personal entertainment centers.

And yes, there is a significant layover in SFO on the flight over to Bangkok. Unfortunately, it can’t be helped. We’ll most likely take a little trip into San Francisco on BART before our flight to TPE departs.

Please note that the flights this year are a bit different than in previous years.

Here are the details of our flight itinerary for the trip:

Salt Lake City to Bangkok, Thailand

Time (all times are local)

Sunday, May 14, 2017 Alaska Airlines AS 743 Salt Lake City (SLC) Dep 6:25 am
San Francisco (SFO) Arr 7:24 am
Duration 1:59

Sunday, May 14, 2017 China Airlines CI 15 San Francisco (SFO) Dep 4:50 pm
Taipei (TPE) Arr 9:10 pm (May 15)
Duration 13:20

Monday, May 15, 2017 China Airlines CI 837 Taipei (TPE) Dep 10:05 pm
Bangkok (BKK) Arr 12:35 am (May 16)
Duration 3:30

Bangkok, Thailand to Salt Lake City

Time (all times are local)

Sunday, June 11, 2017 China Airlines CI 834 Bangkok (BKK) Dep 11:15 am
Taipei (TPE) Arr 3:55 pm
Duration 3:40

Sunday, June 11, 2017 China Airlines CI 16 Taipei (TPE) Dep 6:25 pm
San Francisco (SFO) Arr 2:50 pm
Duration 11:25

Sunday, June 11, 2017 Alaska Airlines AS 744 San Francisco (SFO) Dep 6:45 pm
Salt Lake City (SLC) Arr 9:27 pm
Duration 1:46

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

The Karen People

 By Zoe, Emily, and McCall

When people think of the Karen people they are typically familiar with films, documentaries about them or have heard of the term “long neck” tribe. People hear of the term “long neck tribe” due to the brass rings that women wear around their neck. An interesting myth about the rings is that it is said to elongate the wearer’s neck but is rather just a visual illusion. What most people don’t know that there are only certain subgroups within the Karen people practice this custom and is most common in the Padaung subgroup. The different subgroups had not historically recognized themselves as belonging to the same group until recently. Other than the gold neck rings the traditional clothing of the Karen consists of men wearing a sarong (a wrap like piece of clothing) and a sleeveless shirt. Unmarried Karen women sometimes wear a long white dress, and married Karen women wear a sarong and sleeveless shirt. Men and women wear different patterned and colored sarongs and wear them in different ways. Continue reading The Karen People

Thai Buddhism

By: Erin Elton & McCall Smith

For Thai’s, Buddhism is more than a religion, it is a way of life. In fact, 95% of people in Thailand are Buddhist (TAT). It has been the dominant religion since early-recorded history, and is the official religion of Thailand. The people of Thailand are extremely proud of their religion, but at the same time are compassionate and tolerant of other’s. They are very open about their beliefs and practices.  Many Thai’s are more than willing to answer any questions visitors have and will even include non-Buddhists in their religious practice. When traveling to Thailand it is important to familiarize yourself with Buddhism, particularly Thai Buddhism (TAT).


Continue reading Thai Buddhism

Thailand Health Care System

By: Caitlyn Jasumback & Brolin Mawejje

Thailand has had a universal health care system since 2002. This Universal Health Care (UHC) policy has resulted in a 99% coverage rate (1). This system is based off of the “30-baht health scheme”. This means that each individual will not be required to spend more than 30 baht, or about 84 cents, per visit for either inpatient or outpatient care, including drugs (4). This system continues to be based off of primary care, which means an individual sees a general practitioner and then a specialist will be recommended if needed. Thai citizens with a Universal Coverage Health card get healthcare for free, except for on Saturdays (3). This system has been very effective in providing healthcare to Thai citizens. Continue reading Thailand Health Care System

How to Start a Account

For your pre-trip research blog post and your trip report blog post, you will need a account to post on this blog. Here is a quick video on how to do that. I will send you email invitations. If you don’t get one, please let me know and I will send it to you again.

Remember, you don’t need to create a blog ( will ask), you only need an account.

Visa Requirements for Thailand (Important for Those Planning on Staying)

For US (and Canadian) citizens, you do not need a visa to visit Thailand if you are staying less than 30 days. All you need is a valid US passport that will not expire within 6 months of the planned departure date. If you are planning on staying more than 30 days, you will need a visa, most likely a tourist visa. A tourist visa is good for 60 days, and can be extended twice for an additional 30 days for a 1,900 THB fee (approximately $60 US). Continue reading Visa Requirements for Thailand (Important for Those Planning on Staying)