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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.
Courses are taught in English through Thammasat University’s International Programs in Economics, Business Administration, Thai Studies, British and American Studies, and Politics and International Relations. You will be placed in one of the programs based on your Thammasat University application. You are expected to take the majority of courses (3 of the 5) in your assigned program.
Thai Studies or British and American Studies courses are taken primarily by international students. Courses in economics, business administration, or politics and international relations will have a mixture of Thai and international students.
Most departments are strict about prerequisites. You must provide proof of having fulfilled prerequisites in order to register for certain courses. Take syllabi, papers, and any other documentation to prove requisite knowledge.
- Attendance at all orientation sessions
- 25 UC quarter units per semester; five courses of 5 UC quarter units each. Independent study (internship or research) may count as one of your courses.
- MyEAP Study List registration
- Special Study Project form if you do a research project or internship for academic credit
The semester consists of 16 weeks of instruction and one week of exams. Classes typically meet for three hours once a week or one and a half hours twice a week (except Thai language classes). Instruction combines lecture, discussion, student presentations, and field trips.
Courses are 3.0 Thammasat University units each which equal 5.0 UC quarter units.
courses cover aspects of economic theory and practice, including Thai, Asian, and developing economies; economic theory; econometrics; human resources; international and comparative economics; finance and banking; marketing; and quantitative economics. Courses require a strong math background.
provides courses in marketing, finance, and accounting. Some courses require a strong math background.
courses are offered in literature, history, society and culture, religion, politics, and economics. Emphasis is on current issues, dialogue among students, and field trips to cultural and historical sites when relevant. In addition, the Thai student body organizes a rural development camp where students help build classrooms, community houses, and public wells in rural villages.
British and American Studies
courses are designed for non-Western students who are not native English speakers. These courses are popular with international students, but most are more basic than what would generally be appropriate for UC students; many are lower division, so choose carefully if you expect a course to be accepted toward major or general education requirements.
Politics and International Relations
courses integrate theoretical approaches with case studies and current issues as well as practical skills. Courses examine a diverse range of academic questions essential to the study of politics and international relations.
Courses in Journalism (Mass Media Studies) taught in English are open at the Rangsit campus, which is on the outskirts of Bangkok approximately one hour from the Tha Prachan campus that houses the programs noted above.
Thai language study is recommended. Language classes are taught at the beginning and intermediate levels; classes meet for five hours a week in a combination of lectures, tutorials, and preparation in the Resource Center. Teaching methods include formal language instruction, discussions, group projects, and conversation exercises.
The economics department also offers broad foundation courses (mostly lower division) in the humanities and social sciences.
Courses in the Southeast Asian Studies program in the Faculty of Liberal Arts are not open to UCEAP students. The program operates on the traditional Thai academic calendar of June through February and requires advanced Thai language proficiency.
Course Numbers and Division
- 100-level courses are lower division—these are not usually appropriate for UC students and are not recommended except for beginning Thai language courses
- 200-level courses are usually lower division but may be upper division depending on their content
- 300- and 400-level courses are upper division (recommended for UC students); class size tends to be small
You will do a preregistration with your Thammasat University application. Instructions are in your Predeparture Checklist. Final registration takes place after arrival.
Independent study, called a UCEAP Special Study Project, can enrich your experience in Thailand with research or an internship. Independent study may count as one of your five courses.
Special Study Projects are under the general direction of the UCEAP Liaison Officer and the supervision of a local faculty member or other qualified professional on-site. They 5 UC quarter units though units may vary depending on the type and amount of work involved.
Prior to Departure
- Explore possible research topics or internships and consult appropriate UC campus faculty members for advice.
- Write a preliminary proposal. Instructions are in the UCEAP Predeparture Checklist. Students who submit completed proposals by the deadline will be given priority for placement.
On-Site in Thailand
Complete a Special Study Project
form and a formal research proposal or plan of study in consultation with the UCEAP Liaison Officer and the host university faculty member or other designated supervisor. At this time, you will refine your topic or possibly shift it to better fit the resources available. Remember to be respectful and professional in your relations with your supervisors.
Attendance, Exams, and 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. Grading is especially rigorous in the economics and business courses.
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.
Fall grades are usually available in March.
Spring grades are usually available in September.
Early grades are not possible.
Extending UCEAP Participation
Official Start Date & Mandatory Orientation
Official UCEAP Start Date
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.
Fall, spring, and year students will attend three different orientations in Bangkok.
The first general orientation is for all international students and covers such topics as health and safety, living in Thailand, academic culture and expectations, money matters, etc.
The second orientation is specific to the Thammasat academic department to which you are admitted.
The UCEAP Study Center organizes the third orientation that covers UCEAP requirements and regulations, including MyEAP Study List registration. While learning important details, you will also have the opportunity to explore the culture and learn local traditions.
Travel to Your Host Country
Fall, spring, and year participants must obtain a nonimmigrant ED visa from the Royal Thai Consulate General prior to entering Thailand.
The UCEAP student budget does not include funds for the purchase of clothing abroad.
Understanding Your Finances
Your MyEAP Account & Budget
Participating in extracurricular cultural and social activities while on UCEAP is an excellent way to meet people, improve your language skills, and integrate more fully into the community. Join sports, musical, theater, or arts groups; volunteer at local organizations; attend lectures and receptions held in academic and community circles; and get the most out of your time abroad. Opportunities are not limited to those mentioned in this guide.
"I joined the Boxing Club on campus to be part of the campus life and because I wanted to do something I wouldn’t
do back home to learn more about Thai culture." - UCEAP Student
Volunteer Activities & International Organizations
There are several volunteer organizations and NGOs, particularly centered around environmental and public health issues, that operate in Thailand. This is a great opportunity to get involved and give back to your host community. The UCEAP Liaison Officer can help arrange volunteer and internship opportunities at local schools, international corporations, finance companies, and government agencies for semester and year-long students.
"Try to buddy up with Thai students as soon as you get here. Some are shy because they feel like their English is poor (which it isn’t), and some are really outgoing and love to make friends with foreigners. You’ll learn to speak Thai a little better, discover the best places to eat, and make AMAZING friends." - UCEAP Student
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.
If you feel sick or have a medical emergency, seek medical attention and contact the Liaison Officer immediately. The Liaison Officer can recommend a clinic to visit, advise on the necessary medical insurance claim forms to complete, and make arrangements with your professors if extended absence from class is required.
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.
Notify Professor Thanet Makjamroen, UCEAP's official representative in Thailand, of any problems you encounter.
Traffic & Transportation Safety
You will be required to respond to welfare check-ins through SMS. Professor Thanet Makjamroen, UCEAP's official representative in Thailand, will be sending you regular updates in case of any local emergency.
UCEAP Contingency Planning
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.
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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
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conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.