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15 posts categorized "Khon Kaen Global"

Finally Made It To Khon Kaen!

After countless hours of travel by plane and van, we have arrived to the study center in Khon Kaen! Everyone is exhausted, but overwhelmed and excited by how much there is to do and see in the city!

We woke up early this morning in Bangkok and drove through the countryside all the way to Khon Kaen in the Northeastern region, just in time for a brief orientation to the program. Staff hosted us for a lovely welcome dinner full of traditional Isaan regional food.


Students enjoying their first authentic Thai food for lunch!

Meet Your Session 1 Program Leader: Rachel Karpelowitz


Sa-wa-dee-ka (hello) students and parents!

I am beyond excited to be your Program Leader in Khon Kaen, Thailand this summer! I first studied abroad in Khon Kaen with CIEE during my senior year of college, and then returned as a Program Leader for a full year after graduation to lead the college study abroad programs in 2013-2014. I cannot wait to return to the city and country that I love and show all of you how amazing it is!

I am currently in graduate school studying to get my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Pacific University in Oregon, after receiving my BS in Psychology from the University of Oregon. I also work for a non-profit organization called ENGAGE, comprised of CIEE alums from the Khon Kaen programs, where I have stayed in contact with Thai communities and worked on international campaigns to raise awareness for human rights violations.

A little bit more about me...I play Ultimate Frisbee in my free time, and love Harry Potter, lighthouses, hiking, and playing board games!

I cannot wait to meet you all and keep you updated on our program adventures in Khon Kaen!

A day of Temples and cooking

Greetings from Khon Kaen!

Today was a great way to wrap up the weekend with a trip to the Ubol Rat Dam and temple in Khon Kaen province. The students conquered the heat by making the long climb to the top of the temple to witness nuns chanting and serene views of the reservoir. After a quick break and some awesome pictures, we headed to a Thai cooking class to learn how to make tom yum! Broken into teams, the students competed to see who could make the best tom yum, judged by our local Thai staff. Congratulations to Jackie, Angie, Sean, and Rhyan on your win!

Check out some pictures of the day below:


Our students at the base of the temple!


Taking in the views of the reservoir, thanks for the photo bomb Luca! 


Around the reservoir, there are spirit houses which people stop and pay respect to or honk their horns to as they drive by. 





Jackie catching some air half way up the stairway to enlightenment. 



Taking in the large Buddha statue at the top of the staircase.




View from the top! 



Our brave students, sweaty and tired, but they did it! 



Thai cooking class in Khon Kaen city with Ajaan Nid Noi, Ajaan Jeab,  Ajaan Joong, and Ajaan John. 



All the essentials for Tom Yum- ginger, cilantro, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, peppers, lime, greens, chicken, and some fish sauce. 



Students take a minute to watch the demonstration before trying on their own. 



Shree and Dziyana talk strategy for their own Tom Yum creation.



The competition was fierce, but here are our winners of the Tom Yum challenge- Jackie, Angie, Sean, and Rhyan!   

This week we are getting ready for our first trip to the village and we can't wait to share that with you!

Touring Khon Kaen

After a day of orientation sessions, students are settling into Khon Kaen. Check out some pictures of our adventures so far!


Students pose with Ajaan (teacher) Tic Toc who gave a lecture on Thai History and Social Structure. 



Emily and Alex take in the scene at the top of Khon Kaen's Nine Story Temple.



Today students visited Khon Kaen's most famous buddhist temple and climbed all 9 flights to the top!



Morgan and Emma pay respect to the Buddha image. 


Ajaan (teacher) Tony lead students on their tour of Khon Kaen.


Alex, Emily, Luca, and Jack experience Thai public transportation for the first time on the songtaew, a covered pick up truck with benches. Who needs a bus?




Joy and Thalia on the songtaew.

Welcome to Khon Kaen!

It's been an exciting few days in Thailand because the HSSA students have finally arrived in Khon Kaen! Program leaders picked the students up in Bangkok on Monday and the next day we left bright and early to drive the students up to Khon Kaen. It was a big day of driving but students spent the ride getting to know each other had their first experience ordering Thai food at lunch– lots of noodle soup and stir fried veggies and meats. 


Full bellies and big smiles at our welcome dinner.

The Thai eating experience didn't end at lunch. After students arrived in Khon Kaen, got a tour of our study center and settled into their dorm rooms, we all went out to eat at a scenic local hotel. We feasted on pineapple fried rice, green curry, stir-fried veggies, and fried fish. As the evening wrapped up, we toasted the arrival of the students and then headed back to the doors for bed. We were very proud of the students for pushing through their jet-lag and staying up until 9 p.m. – no easy feat! 

Today students are getting their orientation to the program and Khon Kaen. Our staff is covering everything from health and safety, Thai etiquette, and making the most of living near Khon Kaen University. There's a lot to learn and do but students are soaking it all in and we're excited to get the program rolling! 



Katherine and Jacqueline learning how "wai," which is the polite way to great people in Thailand. 


 Ajaans (Thai for teacher) John toasting the arrival of our students.