T Nation

Studying Abroad: Thailand, Norway, or Australia

I’m going to study abroad spring of 2010 and have narrowed it down to Bangkok, Oslo, or Sydney. I am from Houston and am really looking for a full experience either way- outdoor activities, social scene, hot ass girls, you name it. For those of you who have been to one of these places (or countries) would you recommend it or not? Keep in mind I would be spending roughly 5-6 months there, which is plenty of time to fully immerse myself in the culture, language, etc. Thanks for the input!

Well, I’ve spent plenty of time in both Bangkok and Sydeny, superb places.

What is it you wish to study?, and what is your budget like? and what specifically do you want out of the experience?

Obviouly BKK is the cheapest of those options. As a farang you’ll either love it or hate it, depending on your tastes.

Sydney is a great city too, huge social scene, but potentially expensive. Fairly good access to decent beaches for surf etc.

Well I am studying business and all three places have great business schools…the program is actually set up through my university. Academics really won’t be the issue. My budget is fairly flexible, although of course cheaper is better. As far as what I want- I think it would be interesting to get into muy thai while in Thailand. Also wondering though how the women fare there compared to Australia. What is city life like Thailand?

[quote]Screwston Tex wrote:
What is city life like Thailand?[/quote]

I spent two nights in Bangkok after spending 4 months in Pattaya. Bangkok sucked balls. Every foreigner I knew who has been there said one night was enough.

I certainly wouldn’t want to live there. That’s just me, though.

[quote]Screwston Tex wrote:
Well I am studying business and all three places have great business schools…the program is actually set up through my university. Academics really won’t be the issue. My budget is fairly flexible, although of course cheaper is better. As far as what I want- I think it would be interesting to get into muy thai while in Thailand. Also wondering though how the women fare there compared to Australia. What is city life like Thailand?[/quote]

I’ll be honest about Bangkok, it can get on one’s tits fairly quickly. It’s is heavily polluted, lacks any real character or colonial history (as opposed to other cities in SE Asia) and the Thai’s can be very unfreindly compared to the rest of the country. Still, it a chaotic assault on the senses, which can be quite exciting if you go in with an open mind. There is fucking ton’s of nightlife, superb food from all regions of Asia and just generally a buzzing ambiance.

Regarding Muay Thai, yes, you have to learn it if your going to spend an extended period of time in the country. I didn’t train in Bangkok, just in Pattaya and on Koh Samui, so couldnt reccomend you a good school off hand, have a read through this journal, this lad has been hitting up loads of camps/schools round the country, find one in BKK that takes your fancy:

http://fightpassport.com/category/muay-thai-training-journals/

As for the women, errr, I highly suggest a read of Chris Shugart’s ‘Thailand Trilogy’ which chronicaled his adventures, to give you some idea of how it works out there.
And if you fancy some western ass, get yourself to Kao Sahn road.

In Sydney if you get yourself to the backpacker hangouts, as in BKK, it is EFFORTLESS to pull English and Irish girls, there all bright-eyed, fresh of the plane, eager to start there ‘travelling’ (extended holiday), just get em wet by giving them some spiel about all the cool things there is to do and what an awesome time there gonna have and your laughing. With the actual AUSTRALIAN girls you’ll have to try a’bit harder, like with most women in any big city, they can be a tad pretentious - get dressed up and say your in town on business and you might manage it, as soon as they find out your a student or a backpacker they’ll make there excuses and GTFO.

Urghh…the above makes me sound like an utter deviant… like I’m some sort of sex tourist.
So with that in mind, whatever choice you make, make sure you study hard, try as many new things/activities as possible, force yourself to speak to as many different people as possible from all walks and you’ll have a had a worthy experience.

Best of luck.

Good job getting out of Texas. I’m currently finishing semester in Hong Kong, and incredibly glad I did. Studying abroad kicks ass.

Wherever you go, try to learn the language. I still kick myself for not trying to learn Thai.

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Why not Sweden? Tuition is free, you can probably get the same free “student welfare” that Swedish students get if you apply for it. There’s lots of American students where I live. PM me if you want to know more.

[quote]AHA wrote:
Why not Sweden? Tuition is free, you can probably get the same free “student welfare” that Swedish students get if you apply for it. There’s lots of American students where I live. PM me if you want to know more.[/quote]

Who the fuck wants to be around American students in Sweden?

AHA, I would love to go to Sweden but this particular exchange program doesn’t offer a Swedish business school and I have to do it through this program. However, if I chose Oslo trust me when I say I would be coming to Sweden ALL THE TIME (the aforementioned hot ass girls).

I live in Sydney, I reckon it’s pretty awesome. Oslo could be cool too, it just depends what 6 months you’re going for. If you’re in Oslo for the Northern Hemisphere winter, I think it will be shit.

Booze is also crazy expensive in Norway due to big time taxes. Sydney’s got nice weather, lots of cute girls, semi-friendly people and a nice harbour. There’s lots to do outdoors in and around Sydney, def more than bangkok/oslo.

On the downside, it’s the same language - so you won’t really enrich yourself or learn as much. Rent can be expensive too. Def don’t go to bangkok is all I can say. What uni would you go to in Sydney?

Australia (Sydney), University of New South Wales is where I would study.

[quote]Screwston Tex wrote:
AHA, I would love to go to Sweden but this particular exchange program doesn’t offer a Swedish business school and I have to do it through this program. However, if I chose Oslo trust me when I say I would be coming to Sweden ALL THE TIME (the aforementioned hot ass girls).[/quote]

There’s lots of Swedes in Oslo, doing all the crappy jobs that stuck-up Norwegians don’t want to do, like gutting fishes for 12 hours a day. It’s not far to the border either, and it’s a good idea to go over and buy your food in Sweden since it’s like 50% cheaper. Beer is like 100% cheaper in Sweden. Just a tip :slight_smile:

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
Screwston Tex wrote:
What is city life like Thailand?

Bangkok sucked balls. Every foreigner I knew who has been there said one night was enough.[/quote]

Well, it does make a hard man humble. There’s not much between despair and ecstasy. :stuck_out_tongue:

AHA, do most people fly or take trains or what to Sweden? Any other general tips and such? Have you been to Oslo? Things to stay away from, things to do in scandinavia, other countries to see nearby, etc. thanks for the advice.

I agree. I heard it also causes tough guys to tumble, and you can’t be too careful about your company. Go figure.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
rrjc5488 wrote:
Screwston Tex wrote:
What is city life like Thailand?

Bangkok sucked balls. Every foreigner I knew who has been there said one night was enough.

Well, it does make a hard man humble. There’s not much between despair and ecstasy. :P[/quote]

[quote]Screwston Tex wrote:
Well I am studying business and all three places have great business schools…the program is actually set up through my university. Academics really won’t be the issue. My budget is fairly flexible, although of course cheaper is better. As far as what I want- I think it would be interesting to get into muy thai while in Thailand. Also wondering though how the women fare there compared to Australia. What is city life like Thailand?[/quote]

Bangkok is chaos compared to Sydney. Chalk and cheese. You may love it, you may hate it. It’s hot, sweaty, polluted, and noisy. The women? haha. Let’s just say you’ll be getting a lot of attention, and most of the time it’s because of your wallet and foreign status, rather than your good looks and charm. You’ll definitely get more action in Bangkok. You get a lot of scum in Bangkok. Shady Thais, sex toursits etc. You are viewed as a walking wallet at times. Food is good and cheap. Beer is good. Nighlife is fun. And it’'s cheap to head to some of the islands in the south for a weekend trip or whatever. Another negative is the language barrier. Although a lot of Thais can speak at least some English.

Sydney is pretty cool. Nice climate. Decent beaches. Good night life. Some decent looking women. You can just blend in and not get hassled, as you do in Bankok. But, it is much more expensive than Bangkok, and not as exciting or adventurous. Plus, culturally it’s far more similar to America than Thailand is.

So you are likely to have an average to an amazing time in Sydney. But in Bangkok you are likely to have a terrible time, or an amazing time. But, Bangkok will certainly be an experience.

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
AHA wrote:
Why not Sweden? Tuition is free, you can probably get the same free “student welfare” that Swedish students get if you apply for it. There’s lots of American students where I live. PM me if you want to know more.

Who the fuck wants to be around American students in Sweden?[/quote]

Fucking A.

I swear the Swedes have some fucking genetics. On average they have to be the best looking country in the world. Man, woman or beast, they have an unusually high number of good looking people.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
I agree. I heard it also causes tough guys to tumble, and you can’t be too careful about your company. Go figure.
[/quote]

But on the upside, you’ll find a god in every golden cloister. And if you’re lucky, then the god’s a she.