Chiang Mai University

Chiang Mai University is a great place to go to school! The campus was built in the middle of the jungle so it has plenty of trees and other greenery. It’s about a five minute walk to campus from where I live but about a twenty minute walk to my classes. (This is what the dorms look like http://www.uniloft.co.th/location-gallery.php?local= .) During the day now it’s about 80 degrees so the commute isn’t too bad, but in March and April it’s supposed be between 100 and 110 degrees!

School here is run differently from most universities in America. For starters, everyone needs to wear a uniform to class. Girls wear black knee length skirts and a white button down with elephant pins as accessories, while guys wear a white button down, black pants and a purple tie. Before coming I wasn’t sure whether or not this would be a nuisance, but it’s quite nice to not have to think about what to wear in the morning.

Graduation at CMU is also run very differently and lasts all day. Lots of preparation takes place on campus the weeks preceding it. Flowers are planted, students take pictures in their graduation gowns, and all of the departments make banners and decorations for their students. The campus looked even more lively than usual, they really go all out! It was strange to me to see graduation occurring in January, but that’s the only time they can do it. They need to wait for the royal family to attend the graduation ceremony which is why it takes place about 8 months after seniors finish their last classes.

Here are some photos from the CMU library. You need to scan your student ID card to get inside the building. Fun Fact: I found a book (shown below) at the CMU library that we don’t have in the main library at the UofR, I checked!

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The pictures below are from the American Corner of the library

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Learn Thai!

A-roy  – delicious

Pai and ASL

This past week has been very eventful! Some of the highlights include my weekend trip up to Pai, visiting the Chiang Mai canyons, and going on a five hour hike to the Mae Yen waterfall. However, the most exciting experience so far has been befriending a few locals who happen to be deaf.

The other night I went down to the market to get some dinner, and I saw three people signing pass by. I was super excited! I was not expecting to run into deaf people while in Thailand so I immediately waved to them and communicated that I sign as well. Two of them knew Thai Sign Language and one knew Thai and British Sign as well. It turned out there was enough similarity between the three languages that we were all able to understand each other. We chatted for over an hour. I taught them some ASL and they taught me some Thai signs. I knew it was easier to understand different signed languages than different spoken languages, but it blew my mind to experience it. A deaf person growing up in Thailand and an American who knows ASL are able to communicate just fine. This was one of the most amazing experiences I have had so far.

Here are some pictures from my weekend in Pai (a city in the mountains about three hours north of Chiang Mai).

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Thai Vocab

Mai pen rai- no worries

First Week in Thailand

Sawadee kah! I’ve been in Chiang Mai,Thailand for the past two weeks, and so far it has been great! Thai people are so nice and friendly, and they love teaching their language to foreigners. Since being here, there are many differences I’ve noticed between life here and life back in the United States, and listed below are just a couple.

1. Transportation

IMG_0559This is a picture of a Rod Deng (literal translation means red truck). This is what we use to get around the city, and they are about as common as taxis are in New York City. Most locals on the other hand get around using their scooters. People as young as middle schoolers drive them around. Even though there are cars on the road, the streets are not really designed for them which makes the scooters a more practical option.

2. Daily Meals

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In America it’s considered a luxury to go out to eat everyday, but here in Thailand it’s actually cheaper. Most people don’t cook at home and normally they just order street food instead. You can get a meal here for around 30 baht which is equivalent to 1 USD. My favorite so far has been the Pad Thai!

Thai vocab:

Kob Kun Kah- Thank you (for girls)

Kob Kun Krup- Thank you (for boys)