While In Thailand

Gerald Pirkola
Integrated Supply Management
Business and Culture in Thailand, Summer I 2017

1.) When you first arrived, how did you exchange your money? Was it successful? What do you wish you would have known about the process?

It was a very smooth process when I first exchanged my currency. We had two professors who went with us on this study abroad, so they just told us what to do, and it was easy as that. All I had to do was go to an ATM and take money out, I did not have to go to a currency booth and mess with all that. The currency rate in Thailand was 1 US dollar to 33 Thailand Baht. When I used the ATM I took out 10,000 Baht, which was equivalent to $300 US dollars.

2.) If you are living with a host family, how did it go when you first met them? Are you communicating well with each other so far?

I did not live with a host family. We actually had the opportunity to stay at hotels most of the trip. When we didn’t stay at hotels, we stayed at a hostel for one night and then huts/cabins.

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Sky-bar in downtown Bangkok.

3.) Have you tried public transportation yet? How did it go? How is it?

During my whole trip at Thailand we got around by public transportation. We took the subway a lot to get to different spots around the city, Taking the subway was simple, all we had to do was get a subway card, and then follow the signs. Their subway system is no different than taking the subway in New York City or Chicago.

We also got around by Took Tooks, which are mopeds that can fit up to 4 people. We usually only took these when the distance was pretty close. All you had to do to take one of these one flag one down like you’re flagging down a taxi.

4.) Has there been anything that has really shocked you since you arrived?

The only thing that was really shocked me was how the traffic system was set up. Everything was opposite. Instead of driving on the right side of the road, people drove on the left. Also, inside the vehicle the steering wheel was on the right side of the vehicle, instead of the left side. In Thailand they have traffic lines, but it seems that no one uses them. Since I’ve been here I am surprised that I have not seen one car/moped accident.

Riding in style! At the Elephant sanctuary in Chang Mei, Thailand. 

5.) How have you communicated with friends/family at home? How long did it take you to communicate once you arrived?

I actually have not communicated with my family since I’ve been in Thailand. I told them before I left to not expect a phone call when I am there. I wanted my experience to be all about me, so I did not want to have any contact in the United States. I wanted my study abroad to be drama free. So, this is why I plan to not contact my family until I am on my way back to the United States.

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