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Sarah Jacob: Student Report from 2019 Alternative Summer Break to Thailand

Two people walk in the distance at the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.My name is Sarah Jacob. I am a fifth-year engineering major, studying electrical engineering at UT. On the third day of our time in Thailand, we attended a Thai cooking class. This class was an incredible look into culture of Thailand as expressed through food. Since we were in the Northern part of Thailand, the food was not terribly spicy. The food in that area tends to focus on the juxtaposition of sour and sweet flavors. The ingredients combined in the cooking class created an incredible culinary experience. The cooking class got me thinking about how the different components of the trip combined to create an incredible cultural experience.

Sarah Jacob sitting on the floor.

Sarah Jacob in the Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple.

Recipe Ingredients
8 days
10 students
Shared air conditioned hotel rooms
2 incredible guides
1 walking market
4 trips to 7/11
5 elephants
7 servings of pad thai
3 Thai massages
3 days of community service
1 slice of durian
1 river cruise
countless beautiful Buddhist Temples

1. Arrive at the Chiang Mai airport with the ten students and meet the incredible two tour guides and go to the (thankfully) air-conditioned hotel.
2. Learn about the culture and history of Chiang Mai and go to an outdoor market to buy souvenirs to bring home!
3. Stock up on snacks and supplies from one of the many 7/11 convenience stores.
4. Build a protective barrier for three days for an orphanage in the Chiang Mai area.
5. Bake for two days in 103 degree temperatures.
6. Get three Thai massages over the course of the trip to relax.
7. Attend a cooking class and eat the food you make! I am a very bad cook, so it was exciting to realize how easy it is to make good food that is actually edible.
8. Visit an elephant sanctuary and see elephants up close. They are actually very hairy).
9. Eat more pad thai.
10. Try durian, it was an interesting experience.
11. Go on a river cruise.
12. Visit many beautiful Thai temples.

All these ingredients combined created a one-of-a-kind experience that I will continually revisit in my mind. If you have an opportunity to go on a Global Experience with the Tickle College of Engineering, I would highly recommend going!

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