Tag Archives: Thailand

Pre-departure Excitement!

In the months and hours leading up to our orientation at the Wat Temple in Elk River, I became increasingly eager and nervous to 12733389_10206863612602982_3261109381562977513_nlearn more about our trip to Thailand and meet the strangers who will eventually feel like family to me  (or so I’ve heard from past students who have gone on this trip). During the drive from Minneapolis to Elk River, I found myself fidgeting with the radio and tapping my fingers on the steering wheel more often than usual as I worried about getting to the temple on time and what the other students would be like.  But during my time at the Wat Temple, I felt so at ease, and now I’m even more excited to go to Thailand! Being at the Wat Temple also made me realize that I need to be a lot more aware of Thai culture before we go, and I have a lot more to learn. Like, I had no idea that as a woman I cannot touch a monk, which I started to catch onto as the day went on. I also didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to point my feet towards a monk until Dr. Solheim pointed it out. I have a feeling that during this trip I will be having a lot of (good) learning moments like that, where I’m unknowingly doing or saying something improperly. Along those same lines, my main learning goals for this seminar are to become more aware of how my cultural background influences my perceptions of the world and to see the world using a different cultural lens.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and getting to know you better!

NT Blog 1


I had a wonderful time at the Wat Temple meeting everyone and getting exposed to the Thai culture.  I learned right away that it wasn’t the look of a temple that I had expected.  I need to be more open minded that not assume what things are going to be like based off of social media and the Thai lakorns that I’ve watched in the past. My experience at the Wat Temple helped me to understand the respect that people have for Monks.  We must be cautious of our space and not point our feet towards the monk.  It was nice knowing that there are still people who follow the old tradition even though they are in America where people tend to shift culture.

During the trip in Thailand, I hope to emerge myself in Thai culture and step back away from my judgments.  I want to learn about the Thai culture and traditions of how it differs from culture in America.  I am excited and I believe that this will be a wonderful experience.

Nina Thao
May 2, 2016

Blog Post One. :)

  1. Being at the Wat Temple during orientation was the first encounter that I had ever had with the Thai culture, other than eating Thai food or watching Thai movies. The Thai community members were very welcoming and it reminded me of my family. It was really interesting to see how respectful and mindful the Thai community acted towards the monk and to see how much the Buddhism religion influenced Thai culture and their ideas of morality.
  2. One learning goal that I have for myself in regards to this Learning Abroad seminar is to be open-minded and to be able to understand things through different perspectives. I feel like it is hardest to understand things that we aren’t accustomed to in our own cultures that sometimes we just disregard them instead of trying to appreciate them like the people who practice those cultures. So my goal is to appreciate things even though I may not be able to understand them.
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