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Interdisciplinary Thai Studies, Thammasat University - Summer

This guide was created to help you navigate the different aspects of travelling abroad as a UCEAP student. All important aspects of attending university in your host country are addressed here, including academic information, extension of UCEAP participation, cultural awareness, orientation, transportation, finances and much more.

Remember to also visit the Participants section of the UCEAP website for important information and deadlines.
Click a heading below to see section content.
Your UCEAP Network

Study Center Abroad

Once abroad, a host university faculty or staff member assisting UCEAP will be your first point of contact for all matters. Among other things, the designated person provides support with academic matters, program logistics, and personal issues.
The Interdisciplinary Thai Studies summer program is managed by the Pridi Banomyong International College (PBIC) at Thammasat University, with set courses and instructors. Additional support is provided through the Office of International Affairs.
It is critical that you understand the role of each person involved with program, logistic, and academic issues, and remember to communicate your concerns with all parties (both in Thammasat and at UC). 
Pridi Banomyong International College
Thammasat University
8th Floor Anekprasong 1 Building,
Thammasat University Tha Phrachan Campus,
2 Phra Chan Road, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Phone (calling from the U.S.): (011-66) 2-613-3701
Phone (calling from Bangkok): 02-613-3701

Phone Number Codes

U.S. international code . . . . . . . . . . .011
(dial this to call from the U.S.)
Thailand country code. . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Bangkok city code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

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Academic Information
Program Overview
This summer program provides a set curriculum in English for UC and other international students.
  • Attendance at all orientation sessions.
  • 12 UC quarter units; the variable unit option is not available.
  • Three courses: Thai Buddhism (5 UC quarter units), Society and Culture of Thailand (5 units), and Thai Language and Culture (2 units)
  • The Thai Language and Culture course is graded P/NP only. The other two courses must be taken for letter grade.
  • Participation in required field trips throughout the program.
  • MyEAP Study List registration; you will receive instructions after arrival in Thailand.
Course Information

​Courses are subject to change.  Following are syllabi from summer 2012.

Academic Culture
​It is important that you learn and adhere to Thai norms for classroom decorum. This begins with respecting the social hierarchy and traditional modes of social interaction. Following the King, the Royal Family, and Buddhist monks (who are highly revered and always take precedence), university professors are deeply respected and hold prestigious positions in Thai society.
The traditional Thai university classroom culture is changing as many of the instructors are graduates of U.S. and European institutions and welcome active class participation. However, respect the Thai manner of being polite and positive and avoid making negative remarks. In deference to Thai students’ polite reserve, avoid dominating class discussions or being as assertive as you may be at UC. Thai students frequently work in teams or groups. Their spoken English may not be advanced, but their written work is of high quality.
Talking on cell phones, chewing gum, eating, and loud behavior of any kind is unacceptable in the classroom. Although Thai students sometimes talk while the instructor is lecturing or may be late to class, as a representative of UC, do not emulate those less desirable behaviors.
Course Information
Attendance, Exams, & Grades
Assessment in classes varies with the instructor. While most classes have midterm and final exams, some also require papers, class participation, presentations, etc. Final exams are often in essay format rather than in short answer or multiple-choice formats, and in the international programs they generally count for 50 to 70 percent of the final grade.

Class attendance is mandatory, and you may be dropped from the course or prohibited from taking the final exam if your attendance falls below 80 percent.

It is inappropriate to question instructors about test scores or grades. Address any concerns you have about grades to the Liaison Officer, not to the professor of an individual course.

Grades for this program are usually available in late September.

For more information about grades, see the Academic Information chapter of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad.

Extending UCEAP Participation
Cultural Awareness
Educate Yourself
Social Conduct
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation

Official UCEAP Start Date

Pre-Program Travel

Do not plan to travel outside of the U.S. after finals at UC and before the program begins. Each year, the host universities send acceptance letters and visa documents on different dates, sometimes only a short time before the program’s Official Start Date. You need to be in the U.S. to receive the materials. 
The dates of the program can change due to unforeseen circumstances. You are responsible for making modifications in your travel itinerary to accommodate such changes. UCEAP is not responsible for any unrecoverable transportation charges incurred for independent travel arrangements.
In order to keep informed of program changes, update MyEAP with any changes to your contact information.
Failure to arrive before the Official Start Date is cause for dismissal from the program (Student Agreement, Section 10). More detailed arrival information and directions to the check-in point are provided in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist online.  

On-site Orientation

Summer students will attend an orientation conducted by Pridi Banomyong International College.
The UCEAP Study Center also organizes separate orientation that covers UCEAP requirements and regulations, including MyEAP Study List registration and insurance information. While learning important details, you will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and learn local traditions.
Travel Planning
Travel to Your Host Country
Travel Documents
Summer students can apply for a single or double-entry tourist visa. A tourist visa is valid for a 60 day stay.  
Packing Tips
 The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing abroad.
Climate and Dress
Financial Information
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Handling Money Abroad
Communications Abroad
Internet Access
Mail & Shipments
Housing & Meals
Daily Life Abroad
Local Transportation
Extracurricular Activities
Students with Disabilities
​While in Thailand, students with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they experience in the United States. The Thai constitution mandates that newly constructed buildings have facilities for persons with disabilities. Also, newly built transportation facilities and new transportation equipment must be accessible to people with disabilities. Enforcement and awareness of these provisions has been gradually increasing but enforcement is not uniform.
Wheelchair access to buildings and public transportation is often difficult, impracticable, or non-existent. Ramps may be excessively steep. Curbs are seldom cut for wheelchairs. Sidewalks can be uneven and congested with vendors, utility poles, and other obstacles. Beginning in 2008, Bangkok began reconstructing sidewalks in commercial areas to make them safer for persons with disabilities. Facilities for individuals with hearing and vision disabilities are sparse and designed primarily for readers and speakers of Thai.
Travel Sign-out Form
UCEAP Insurance
Staying Healthy
Local Medical Facilities
Physical Health
Prescription Medications
Mental Health
Health Risks
Staying Safe
Minimize Risk
Crime & Prevention
Although the crime threat in Bangkok and other Thai cities remains lower than that in many U.S. cities, crimes of opportunity such as pick-pocketing, purse-snatching, and burglary are not unusual. You should be especially wary when walking in crowded markets, tourist sites, and bus or train stations. Many U.S. citizens have reported having passports, wallets, and other valuables stolen in Bangkok's Chatuchak Weekend Market, usually by pickpockets and thieves who cut into purses or bags with a razor and remove items surreptitiously.
There have been occasional reports of prostitutes or bar workers drugging people with the powerful sedative scopolamine in order to rob them. Tourists have also been victimized by drugged food and drink, usually offered by a friendly stranger who is sometimes posing as a fellow traveler on an overnight bus or train. In addition, casual acquaintances you meet in a bar or on the street may pose a threat. You should not leave drinks or food unattended and should avoid going alone to unfamiliar venues.
Although most bars and entertainment venues operate honestly, some, especially in tourist areas such as Bangkok’s Patpong area, try to charge exorbitant prices for drinks or unadvertised cover charges and then threaten violence if the charges are not paid. If you are victimized in this fashion, you should not attempt to resolve the problem yourself but should instead pay the price demanded and then seek out a nearby Tourist Police officer for help in getting restitution.
Civil Unrest
Traffic & Transportation Safety
Natural Disasters
UCEAP Travel Warning
UCEAP Contingency Planning
Fire Safety

Fire safety standards, sprinkler systems, and building codes in hotels and other buildings may not match those for similar structures in the United States. On March 8, 2012, a fire in a Bangkok hotel belonging to an international chain killed two foreign tourists and injured several others. There was no sprinkler system in part of the hotel. On August 17, 2012, a fire at a Phuket disco killed two Thais and two foreign tourists, and injured several other persons.


Follow these general fire safety tips. Most college-related fires in the U.S., are due to a general lack of knowledge about fire safety and prevention. Educate yourself about fire safety standards in your UCEAP country. Fire safety standards differ drastically around the world.
  • Know how to call the local fire department.
  • Purchase and use a smoke detector.
  • Have an escape plan and practice it.
  • Treat every smoke alarm activation as a likely fire and react quickly and safely to the alarm.
  • Check for fire hazards. Make sure exit routes are not blocked.
  • If you have a disability, alert others of the type of assistance you need to leave the building.
  • Refer to the Fire Safety section of the UCEAP Guide to Study Abroad for more information.

In An Emergency
The University of California, in accordance with applicable Federal and State law and University policy, does not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy,* disability, age, medical condition (cancer-related), ancestry, marital status, citizenship, sexual orientation, or status as a Vietnam-era veteran or special disabled veteran. The University also prohibits sexual harassment. This nondiscrimination policy covers admission, access, and treatment in University programs and activities. Inquiries regarding the University’s student-related nondiscrimination policies may be directed to the campus Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action office.

* Pregnancy includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.