Profile: Ivy Dall '23
Major/minor: IGS Major, Legal Studies and Climate Justice, Science, and Policy minors
Study abroad program: Development Studies and Internship in Chiang Mai (MSID), Spring 2022Reason you chose this program: I chose this program because I was looking for a program that wasn't going to be centered in the classroom, where I could have truly hands-on experiences in the culture, learn from and with locals and explore a new country.
Favorite classes: My favorite class was my class in entrepreneurship and sustainable food systems, which was taken as part of our international development focus. In this class, we traveled all throughout Thailand visiting coffee, cocoa, and dairy farms and learning about sustainability, entrepreneurship, and food systems across Thailand. These experiences were unique and really allowed me to see these subjects through a much different lens.
How did you incorporate your Brandeis areas of study into your study abroad experience? As an IGS major, I have taken a lot of classes that have prepared me well to spend time abroad. I thought that it might be out of my comfort zone to pursue classes in sustainability when they were not always part of my primary major. Though, I felt that CJSP prepared me exceptionally well for these classes, as I was able to bring my knowledge of climate change and environmental policy and activism in the USA and use them to deepen my understanding of these issues in Thailand.
Housing situation: I lived in an apartment, about a 5-minute walk from our school's campus, with the other students in my program.
What were some parts of your identity that you thought about while considering study abroad that other students may want to talk to you about? As someone who has a lot of dietary restrictions, I was nervous before going abroad if I was going to be able to accommodate those things. It took some adjustment at first, but within the first few weeks, I was able to find places in the area that were both gluten-free and could accommodate being vegetarian as well. And the food was SO good!
Favorite memory: My favorite memory is experiencing Songkran, the Thai new year celebration. Everyone takes the week off from work and school to celebrate the new year, usually with water games. Some people spend it at the beach, whereas others spray water at one another on the street. It's such a joyful time, and I feel so lucky to have been able to experience it.
Greatest challenge: My greatest challenge was learning Thai, it is such a beautiful but difficult language to learn. Though I struggled at times, everyone around me was so patient and kind and was so excited that I was even trying to learn Thai! It was incredibly uplifting and made my experience learning the language so much better!
What you know now that you didn't know before: I know so much about Thai culture and history, that I would never have known before. Especially about meaningful daily interactions, such as "Wai" ( Bowing) to your teachers, never sitting with your legs outstretched, and how genuinely kind everyone is. I also learned a lot about myself and my capacity to learn and be open to new things, even when it can feel overwhelming at times.
Fact about Thailand that you think people would be surprised to learn: Thailand is one of the only "Developing Nations" that was never colonized!
“These experiences were unique and really allowed me to see these subjects through a much different lens.”
Ivy Dall '23