Hello from Chiang Mai! I am all settled in my apartment now and have met my classmates! I arrived in Chiang Mai Wednesday afternoon and the USAC staff picked me up at the airport and brought me to my apartment, which is a 15 minute walk from classes and a 5 minute walk from the student apartments where the other USAC students are living. My apartment is wonderful, so close to the market for buying food and it has a great view of Doi Suthep (the mountain in Chiang Mai), which I love!
I grabbed some pad thai on the street on Wednesday night and it was cooked right in front of me and only cost 30 baht (equivalent of $1.00!). Thailand is going to spoil me when it comes to the cost of things! Everything here is so much more reasonable than back in the U.S. We have been taking red trucks (taxis) around town as a group and it costs 30 baht to go pretty much anywhere in the city! With the weather being so warm (90 degrees + 100% humidity), these taxis are coming in handy when getting around the city.
On Thursday, we had orientation and I met up with Dr. Isaac Castellano (a visiting professor from Boise State), who is also living in my apartment building with his family! After going on a campus tour in a shuttle bus with a recorded script that we listened to (a little different than our campus tours at Boise State:)), we got to know the other USAC students and heard from the USAC staff for a few hours. We learned about Thai culture, culture shock, temple dress codes, etc. It was an informative morning at Chiang Mai University! We then went to the mall to do some shopping and get some clothes, SIM cards (only $15 for unlimited data and calls while in Thailand), and we picked up our uniforms. Yep, I have to wear a uniform every day to class! Every student in Thailand from pre-school through college has to wear a uniform, so at least it will make getting ready in the morning very easy. :)
We have a fun weekend planned with trips to the temple on Doi Suthep and Bhubing Palace, as well as exploring the Old City! Stay tuned for more adventures in Chiang Mai :)