We constantly have students asking us about which semester to choose for their exchange. If you are a student coming from the Northern side of the planet, exchanging the cold weather to sun and tropical warmth can be a very tempting option and you get to return to a summer that´s just starting! Obviously, the best thing to do to avoid having to choose is doing two consecutive semesters, but as this isn’t possible for everyone, commonly there is a decision to be made here. Spring or fall? This time, we want to inform you about our popular study abroad destinations in Thailand, the seasonal differences, and the best things to do during each period.
The climate in our destinations, Bangkok and Phuket, is quite similar. It is warm all year round, with a tropical climate and pleasant temperatures mostly ranging between 25 – 34°C (77 – 93°F). The year is typically divided into two distinct seasons, dry and rainy, with transitional periods in between. The seasons are influenced by the tropical monsoon, which is characterized by prevailing winds that blow from the northeast for half the year, then reverse and blow from the southwest, producing a dry season and a wet season.
The dry or high season lasts from November through April, meaning the landscape is lush and generally, temperatures will range around 30°C in average and rainfall is scarce, with some rare exceptions. Most people prefer to come to these parts of Thailand during the period from November through April, when the weather is dry and pleasant, even though prices are at their peak and the typical tourist spots can be very crowded.
The rainy, or monsoon season is from July until October. During this time, it is wet and hot, but this shouldn´t really be a reason to avoid choosing the rainy season when choosing your semester abroad. Against the persistent prejudice of raining all-day-every-day during this season, it is not the case at all. In fact, many days are completely rain free and you can look forward to a lot of advantages, the low season has to offer:
- Fresh air and a prosperous flora
- Less tourism and a more relaxed atmosphere
- Cheaper prices and better conditions for bargaining
- Excellent conditions for white water rafting and jungle trips
- A number of annual festivals and events occur during low season, such as Songkran
Our savvy students at the Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in Phuket will learn to enjoy the positive aspects of a rainy day in Phuket very soon – empty beaches, the colourful flowers, in combination with an enjoyable cool down of the island. Hotels offer amazingly low rates, and what started out as a rainy day is very likely to turn into a sunny day within hours. Most of the time, the rain is only a short-lasting shower during the afternoon. From where you’d rather be. Photo by Justus Benz
Bangkok offers a bunch of cool activities on a rainy day and for sure, nobody will get bored in the city that never sleeps. Here are just a few proposals of the countless choices of things to do in Bangkok, which will definitely make you forget about the bad weather. If you are feeling energetic, check out some Muay Thai boxing training, or make a race with your friends at the Go-Kart race course, go shopping in one of the fabulous malls, or look for the nearest ice-rink or bowling alley. Siam Paragon has Asia’s largest aquarium in the basement and there are also plenty of good treats to be had: from delicious cake shops to luxury massages.
Luckily, it does not really matter which semester you will choose for studying in Thailand, as both semester periods will cover a part of each season. Furthermore, both seasons have their advantages to offer and will certainly become an unforgettable experience and most likely the best time of your life!
Read more about studying abroad in Thailand below!