How stressful is CMU

Freely formulated experience report

Freely formulated experience report
Free-form experience report - Name: Jonathan Lehmann Subject: Languages ​​and Cultures of Southeast Asia Year / Semester: WiSe 2012/13 Duration: 1 semester Country: Thailand Partner university / institution / company: Chiang Mai University I agree that my report and my e-mail -Address can be passed on to other students who are planning a similar project. Preparation and arrival It was very important to stay in constant contact with the lecturers or professors at your home university. They could tell me beforehand who could possibly be the contact person at the foreign university. In my case, however, this was not so easy, as all the professors who were previously in contact with the University of Hamburg have already retired, which is why I had to find contacts on my own. Conversations with former fellow students who also studied in Chiang Mai were very helpful. So I was able to get in direct contact with the CMU relatively quickly and choose my courses in advance. Since the UHH has a so-called MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the CMU, the approval from Chiang Mai came relatively quickly. It is definitely recommended to arrive in the respective city 1-2 weeks before the start of the semester so that the search for an apartment does not become too stressful. But I will come to that in the next point. I myself flew with Turkish Airlines on October 26, 2012. The flight therefore first went to Bangkok via Istanbul. From Bangkok I flew to Chiang Mai with Bangkok Airways. All flights have been booked with the travel agency EXPLORER, which is highly recommended for long-distance travel. Of course, it is cheaper to travel from Bangkok by coach for around 600 baht (15 €). However, this also takes about 12 hours longer. Accommodation and meals As I only arrived in Chiang Mai on the weekend before the start of the semester, the search for an apartment was a bit more stressful. Most of the so-called condominiums were already fully booked, which is why I was relatively happy to find something affordable at all. It should be noted that most “condos” have negotiable prices. However, one should note that many charge an extra fee for electricity, water, internet, bed linen or final cleaning. I will come to the exact costs below. I lived in a middle class condo called "Sa-nguan Malee" right at the back entrance of the university. The rooms there are relatively large and have a fridge (included in the rent), a balcony and a bathroom. Cooking is relatively uncommon as a student in Thailand, which is why most condos do not have a kitchen. The staff there was very friendly, but I wasn't allowed to bring any guests to the room. The bed was very large, but for hygienic reasons it was provided with a mattress protector made of synthetic leather 1, which is why it was very uncomfortable to sleep on it. The room had a refrigerator, which I only used to cool my water bottles. There was also air conditioning. In winter it was enough for me to open the Ballotier at night, but from February I often switched on the air conditioning, which of course cost more electricity. Costs (accommodation) Name of the accommodation: Sa-nguan Malee Rent: 5000 Baht per month (approx. 135 €, exchange rate: 1 € = 37 Baht) Water: 150 Baht per person / month Electricity: 6 Baht per unit Washing: 7 Baht per item of clothing Internet: once 300 baht Total per month (including laundry): approx. 6500 baht In addition, changing the bed sheet cost 200 baht and the final cleaning cost 400 baht. Costs (food) Lunch in the university canteen: approx. 30 baht Lunch in smaller restaurants: 30-50 baht burger etc .: approx. 80 baht Water bottle (non-carbonated): 7 baht cola, iced tea etc .: 15 baht costs (free time) Moped: 200 Baht / day Moped: 2300 Baht / month Cinema: 150 Baht Beer (in student bars): approx. 40-50 Baht per large bottle Total per month (including moped): 13840 Baht Host institution (host university, internship company, etc. ) The university was about 5 minutes by moped from my condo. For the first 2 months I was on the road without a moped, which I would not recommend, however, as it is very exhausting to walk everywhere, especially at noon. In addition, you are simply more flexible with the moped and do not have to rely on taxis. Without a moped, my way to the university took about 40 minutes because the campus is so big. To get used to the traffic, I recommend looking at the traffic for 2-3 weeks. The large campus is then very suitable for practicing driving. It doesn't seem like it, but helmets are compulsory in Chiang Mai and foreigners in particular are regularly checked. The official fine is 400 baht. Since most foreigners do not have a driver's license either, this can easily exceed 2000 baht. 2 To get official documents from the university, you have to be very patient. I therefore recommend that you apply for all important things (confirmation of study, visa, etc.) very early. Unfortunately, you really have to stay on the ball in this regard, because otherwise you won't get some documents at all. I studied the TFL (Thai as a foreign language) program at CMU, which was actually intended for the Chinese. For individual semesters, however, it shouldn't be a problem to enroll there. The lessons are entirely in Thai. It is compulsory to wear a uniform. The uniform can be bought in the university shop. It is cheaper on the market in front of the university. Everyday life / free time I had Thai lessons for around 18 hours a week. The lessons are also exclusively in Thai, as the teachers mostly cannot speak English. It is more strenuous, but you also learn much faster. After university, I was able to organize my day relatively freely. The university has a large number of sports fields, which is why you can practice every imaginable sport free of charge. You simply go to the sports field and “join in” or you register with the individual trainers in the large sports hall. The university also has 2 fitness centers, which are, however, very old. The faculty also offers activities such as excursions or contests from time to time. You can of course also book excursions on your own in the old town. There are also a lot of student bars near the university that always play Thai LIVE music. These bars usually offer so-called "beer promotions". So if you want to save money, you can drink an after-work beer there very cheaply. I have to say that I made most of my friends in such a bar or on the way there. Through the small talk, my language improved a lot and it is a good balance to the material from the university. There is no opportunity to work because you are not allowed to work in Thailand with an education visa. Conclusion The stay abroad in Chiang Mai was a complete success. I got to know a lot of interesting people. The linguistic successes are enormous. The city is wonderful and if you have learned to negotiate properly with the Song Theow drivers (red shared taxis), you can get everywhere very cheaply. Restaurants come in all price categories, which is why a trip to Chiang Mai can also be a culinary experience. In the end, I had problems with the visa as I often had to extend it, which costs 2000 baht each time. The third time I was not allowed to extend it and then had to pay an overstay of 500 baht / day. If there is an opportunity to get a long visa right away, this opportunity should definitely be used. Unfortunately, there was no such chance in Hamburg. For other questions I am best to be reached at [email protected]. 3 The Uni-Pool My Room 4