Natalie Schunk is a student at Grand Valley State University and an ISA Photo Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Bangkok, Thailand.
7 AM – Wake up at Green Park Home to get ready for class before having breakfast: rice soup with squid. It’s common to eat a dish with meat, rice, or noodles even this early in the morning.
8 AM – The van takes us straight from the dorm to Mahidol University. Classes are mixed with both International students and local Thai students, and the experience is truly special as you feel completely immersed in the educational environment.
9 AM – Walking around campus, every student can be seen in uniform. Initially, the idea of wearing a uniform was off-putting, but it feels nice to be able to easily identify as a student. It also means less laundry to clean.
10 AM – Inside the International College, there is lots of greenery as well as fish swimming in open-air spaces like this one. It allows to create a very unique and calming environment, nothing like the universities in America. Instead of lurching through a foot of snow to get to class, I am smelling flowers from the outside as I walk down the hall to get to class. It’s very therapeutic.
11 AM – Lunch at school cafeteria: Tom Yum soup with shrimp and rice. Meals here are usually no more than 40 baht, or 2 dollars USD. Amazing yet cheap food like this will be dearly missed when I return home.
12 PM – After getting out of class early (which often happens) I decide to take a walk to the music building section of campus, which is awe inspiring and magical. Beautiful statues, bamboo, wildlife, and students practicing their instruments are just a few of the things to be seen here.
1 PM – To catch the bus downtown, there is a bridge in front of the University to cross the other side. It is intricately painted and decorated; a very unique sight to see every day. To get to Bangkok, the bus goes over the river bridge and into the bustling city. Fare to get downtown is very cheap at only 21 baht.
2 PM – The 539 bus stops at Victory monument, one of the busiest sections of the city. There is so much to see here, including a fashion section, two 711s, McDonald’s, fruit stands, and electronics.
3 PM – I decide to take the BTS Skytrain to the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, conveniently attached to the skytrain station. It consists of nine floors of exhibition space, and definitely the largest gallery I have visited. If you enjoy the fine arts and going to art galleries, you will find that Bangkok is definitely the place to be.
4 PM – On the larger streets, vendors selling everything from sandals to durian fruit to fresh bakery items can be seen. I wander the streets taking in all of the sights and smells.
5 PM – Returning from downtown, I cross the overpass bridge going towards the park. Nearby, a shop specializing in mushrooms can be found. I was filled with joy to learn that this place is next to our dorm (mushrooms are one of my favorite foods, strangely.) They sell mushroom snacks, teas, tinctures, and mushroom ice cream!(?)
6 PM – Buddhamothon Park is gorgeous, huge, and a ten-minute walk from Green Park Home. I come here often, especially when the sun starts setting. It features beautiful scenery, paths for biking and running, and the tallest free-standing Buddha in Thailand.
7 PM – Arrive home at Green Park just as the sun is setting behind the trees. I feel extremely grateful to have this experience in Thailand, every single day. Tonight I order Pad Thai from a nearby restaurant to take home, and it is delicious. Our close-knit group of friends at Green Park gathers around the common area to eat together. After exploring all day I decide to stay in this evening to study and sleep.
The world awaits…discover it.
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