Denisha S. spent summer 2015 studying in Thailand with CISabroad. Learn why her “biggest regret is only not staying longer”, and find out if a Summer in Thailand may be right for you!
What is your home University, and what do you study?
Virginia Commonwealth University, and I’m a senior in the fashion merchandising program.
Why did you decide to Summer in Thailand, and what made you choose CISabroad?
Growing up I had a Thai friend who told me a lot about the country, so when it got to be time to start considering where I wanted to go, Thailand was my first choice. CISabroad offered summer programs that worked perfect with my schedule because I would be taking electives instead of major courses. Price also had a major part in my choosing CISabroad, as it was one of the more affordable programs to choose from. CISabroad also has super helpful staff that are eager to answer any questions that you may have, which was great for someone leaving the country for the first time.
What is the most memorable experience from your Summer in Thailand?
After being in class all day, we would all huddle into 3 red trucks and take the ride from Chiang Mai University to our hotel. In that time, it seemed to be where everyone was the most relaxed. Everyone shared jokes or their experiences in class for the day or a conversation they had with a Thai student while at lunch. It was the best time for the entire group to be just that, a group. That was what is most memorable for me, hearing other people’s experiences of the same trip, seeing how everything was impacting everyone so differently.
What was the biggest challenge of studying abroad?
I had grown up in an area where international students came to study and live all the time and I was lucky enough to be exposed to many different cultures when I was growing up. But I had never been the international student. I can’t say it was a challenge for me, but it was definitely different. It hit home for me when I was surrounded by non-English speaking students after I got separated from my own group.
What was the most surprising experience you had while abroad?
I expected to gain connections while abroad and make lifelong friends but I never thought that the community would be so tight knit. On our last day in Thailand, we ate at a bakery that was located across from our hotel. We had frequented the bakery while there and the owner became familiar with us. When I told her that it was our last day, she rushed out of the store with cookies and pastries and other sweet treats for us to take back. She was so sad to see us go, and asked us to visit again soon, that it shocked me a bit. I knew that Thailand had impacted me, but I was surprised to learn that I was also impacting Thailand.
What advice do you have for students thinking of studying in Thailand?
Do it! I honestly have no regrets about studying abroad in Thailand. Everything about the country enticed me. My biggest regret is only not staying longer.