I Am UMass Abroad: Andrew Gundal
Andrew Gundal (Managerial Economics ‘21) is currently studying abroad at Mahidol University in Thailand this semester through CIS. In his first month abroad, he has relished numerous opportunities to explore the country and culture and is happy to report that his university returned to in-person classes on February 15.
Getting back to in-person classes has been great! It was a huge sigh of relief, as it felt like the world returned a little bit back to normal. In regards to safety measures, you have to check in and out of every building you enter with your student ID, they have dividers between every desk and table, and everyone obviously has to wear a mask 100% of the time while you are inside.
About half the students are still online, so the professors have to navigate a zoom lecture and in-person at the same time, so it ends up being a little more rewarding for the in-person students as group work and understanding the material is much easier, at least for me. Food is quite reasonable on campus, as lunch is usually around $1-2, which is about the same price as it is off campus. The campus is beautiful, with rivers and boardwalks all throughout. All of our classes are in English and the professors promote a "western style education" which really encourages students to ask questions and challenge ideas and concepts.
I would highly recommend Thailand to anyone. It is one of the safest places you can go (in general and with COVID), it's very reasonable, welcoming and beautiful. We have a great group of around 35 exchange students here from the US, Mexico, Europe, and Asia and it has been very easy to coordinate trips in Bangkok or other places throughout the country.