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THAIS Guide

http://www.stanford.edu/group/thais/thaisguide.html

1. Welcome note

Dear all new Thai students.  We gladly welcome you to our warm community here at Stanford. It is exciting to see a new wave of Thai club members who will help propel our club into the successful future.  Due to the unfamiliar culture, it may be difficult for one to adjust oneself to this new place.  Here we provide a brief guide to student life based on our own experience. It addresses the questions we had when we just arrived here.  Along with the guides from other sources such as the I-center and your own department, we truly hope this guide will ease your transition into the life at Stanford to some degree.  The guide also serves as our first message to all new Thai students.  The club's welcome schedule is outlined here as well.  Hope you enjoy student life and everything Stanford has to offer!

 

2. General Information

2.1 Mailing List

Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive announces and get in touch with other Thai students.  Once you have the access to Axess, please visit these websites to join the mailing lists

https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/suoptions/thais/

  • This is the official mailing list of Thai – American Intercultural Society.  We use this mailing list for official announcement, so please be considerate about posting in this mailing list

https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/listinfo/thaischat

  • This is an unofficial mailing list, so please feel free to use this mailing list for chitchat with THAIS members

https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/suoptions/thaidinner/

  • This list is specific for organizing dinner with THAIS members 

https://mailman.stanford.edu/mailman/suoptions/thais_soccer/

  • This list is for organizing soccer practice or other sport related matters

 

2.2 Community

http://www.facebook.com/thais#!/group.php?gid=129371450420878&ref=ts

Feel free to add yourself to this group and use it to chat, share photos, etc. with THAIS members

 

2.3 Useful websites

THAIS website: http://www.stanford.edu/group/thais/
This THAIS guide in your hand and other information is also available on our website.

A market place for Stanford community (good place to find cheap bikes, computers, cars, and etc) as well as jobs.
http://supost.com/

Stanford Bulletin: contains the university and department degree requirements, including course description
http://www.stanford.edu/dept/registrar/bulletin/

Stanford Course rank: provides (unofficial) students evaluation for each class
http://courserank.stanford.edu/CourseRank/home

Stanford Course evaluation: provides official students evaluation for each class (need Axess to login)
http://registrar.stanford.edu/students/courses/evals.htm

Stanford University Libraries: to optimally utilize the library services, also participate in the tour at various libraries on campus during the first few weeks of class.
http://www-sul.stanford.edu/

Stanford's Weather Forecast
http://www.weather.com/weather/local/94305
  

3. Transportation

3.1 Bicycle

You could either walk or bike around campus, since Stanford is the second largest university in the world, perhaps, you might want to own a bike.  But be very careful with bike theft, and be sure to have a good lock for your bike.  Also, once you own a bike, it might be a good idea to register your bike (you will receive a free front light when you register your bike).  For more information, please visit http://transportation.stanford.edu/alt_transportation/BikingAtStanford.shtml

3.1.1   Target and Wal-Mart (San Antonio shopping center)

  • Cheap bikes, but the bikes may not last very long....

3.1.2 The Campus Bike Shop (in Tresidder)

  • Good bike, but come with expensive price tag, also provide bike rental

3.1.3 Keep checking Department of Public Safety website (http://www.stanford.edu/group/SUDPS/), they will sell abandoned bikes for a very cheap price.

3.1.4 Cardinal Bike Shop (near the corner of El Camino and Stanford Ave.)

  • Good bike, but can be expensive

3.1.5 http://sfbay.craigslist.org/

  • provide secondhand bike in the area

3.1.6 www.amazon.com

3.1.7 www.ebay.com

3.2 How to buy a car?

3.2.1 New car: Check out the dealers on Stevens Creek avenue or various virtual dealers on the web

3.2.2 Used car: checkout http://sfbay.craigslist.org/ or http://www.autotrader.com/.  In addition, during weekends, walk along El Camino Real, between Galvez St. and Serra St., you will find many used car parked along the road, for sale from private sellers.  If you know which model you want, you can go and talk to dealers directly. Find them from the make's site. Rule of thumb, you can bargain about $1,000-2,000 off the dealer asking price (but not from a private seller). http://www.kbb.com/ provides good price reference as well as a good car buying basics guide.

Useful websites for checking the price of a used car:
http://www.edmunds.com/ and http://kbb.com/

Useful website for checking condition of a used car: http://carfax.com/

3.3 Getting a license
True, you can drive with an International license in USA. In fact, you can even buy an insurance to cover your new car with it. But the difference is the price. US license will get you cheaper insurance especially when you hold it more than 3 years. Pass the written test and the road test and you're in. Interested? Book your test at the DMV (closest: Mountain View) - see http://www.dmv.gov/.

3.4 Public transportation
- Marguerite: Stanford university FREE shuttle service. (http://transportation.stanford.edu/marguerite/MargueriteShuttle.shtml)
- Caltrain: running from SF to Gilroy, the nearest station is located off from University Ave. (before downtown Palo Alto) or California Avenue (close to Escondido Village), visit http://www.caltrain.com/)
- VTA Buses: means of transportation around the nearby cities
http://www.vta.org/schedules/schedules_bycity.html
- Airport shuttles
http://www.supershuttle.com/
South and East Bay Airport Shuttle (to SFO and San Jose): 1800-548-4664
Bay Porter Express (to SFO): 1877-467-1800 
- Free services from P'P' with cars!

4 Eating & Entertaining

4.1 Dining

On-campus (http://www.stanford.edu/dept/rde/shaa/retail_all.htm)
Lunch:
- Terman Engineering building's basement (reasonably priced sandwiches and Japanese food)
- Jordan hall's Thai Cafe (basement of building 420 of main quad) (seems to be Vietnamese noodle and delicious curry-on-rice), very popular among Stanford students
- Tree House (close to Tresidder), popular Mexican food (try their Burritos)
- Tresidder Union (pricier but more choices)
- Jamba Juice (located on the first floor of Tresidder Union), fruit smoothie, must try!
- Packard electrical engineering building (expensive American lunch but quality) and other departmental cafes.

Dinner:
- Tresidder Pizza
- CoHo - Stanford's famous coffee house, first floor Tresidder union (sandwiches)
- Tree House (Mexican food and value-for-money burgers)

Bar: CoHo and Tree House sell beer at night to over-21s. 

Off-campus
Checkout www.yelp.com for where to eat. Also, join our thaidinner list for recommendations.

4.2 Groceries & Shopping

- Oriental: 99 Ranch (http://www.bayarea99ranch.com/), a Chinese supermarket. There are around 6 of them in the bay area.  The closest one is in Cupertino: 10983 N Wolfe Road, Cupertino, CA 95014
- Oriental: Marina Supermarket in Cupertino (http://www.yelp.com/biz/marina-food-cupertino), also give coupon for diary product
- Safeway (http://www.safeway.com/): Our stomachs rely on this! There are several of them around. The closest one might be on El Camino past Stanford Shopping Center: 525 El Camino, Menlo Park, CA 94025
- Target, Walmart have almost everything you can think of with a reasonable price.
They are in San Antonio Shopping Center (San Antonio and El Camino).
- Stanford Shopping Center: There are Macy's, Nordstrom, etc. Luxurious.
- Marguerite Shopping Express shuttles running on weekend will go to some of these places.

4.3 Entertaining

Some of us here usually gather for some fun every Friday evening (and perhaps Saturday). Let us know your contact and watch your emails for upcoming events. These activities include (but not limited to):

- Movies at theatres (AMC/Shoreline), or rented movies (free from Green Library).
- Sports: snooker, soccer, fitness, swimming, tennis, golf, etc.
- Music practice (at Rains/Lyman music rooms)

5. Banking

Stanford Federal Credit Union (SFCU), Wells Fargo, Bank of America (BOA), E-Trade, etc.
- SFCU and Wells Fargo are the most popular since they have an office on the second floor at the Tresidder.  SFCU also offer credit card to international student who does not have Social Security Number (SSN), which many other major banks will not; however, the service of SFCU may not be as professional as other major banks.
- Try going to the Tresidder at the beginning of the autumn quarter and see what they have to offer and avoid the queue.
- Bank of America (BOA) has an ATM machine on campus but its office is a bit far (near Stanford Shopping Center)

 

6. Others and FAQ

Tip: shop for things out-of-state saves you 8% CA tax! Also check http://www.mysimon.com/ for price comparisons.

6.1 Telephone and cable TV: if you have not done it on the first few days then call 5-HELP or visit http://www.stanford.edu/services/cabletv/atv/

6.2 Textbooks: amazon.com and bigwords.com finds the cheapest from other sites for you. Stanford Bookstore is convenient but probably the last place for bargains. Get them airmailed from Bangkok is also quite cheap but you need to be 7-10 days without the book.

6.3 Computers: last year Dell proved to be the PC market benchmark for competitiveness in price, desktop or laptop. Several people are impressed with ubid.com. Getting a Mac? Stanford Bookstore has many very good deals. Want a Handheld? I use CNET.com or Yahoo Shopping to compare and select the most competitive price on line. All the good stuff is there: Palm, Handspring, Sony. If you want everything NOW, go to Fry's Electronics.

6.4  In-room connection: visit Residential Computing website http://rescomp.stanford.edu/.

6.5  Temple: in Fremont and Berkeley.  Participate in the traditional Thai ceremony during major Buddhist festivals.

6.6  Calling cards*

Some calling card websites

www.thaitel.com
www.callthai.net
www.therichcom.com
www.skype.com
www.voipdiscount.com

6.7  Airplane tickets*
Check out various online agencies, e.g. http://www.angeltravel.com/, http://www.travelocity.com/, www.dktravel.com, and www.thaifly.com.  To avoid frauds, do not pay with cash. You might want to check out the on-campus travel agency, on the second floor of Tresidder union next to Wells Fargo bank.

6.8  Tipping
It is a general customs in the US to tip for the service you have received.  In CA, the tip is around 15-20% before tax.  Rules of Thumb for tipping in the restaurant is to tip twice the tax.

* Disclaimer: THAIS do not receive any advertisement fees from the links mentioned in this website.  THAIS also do not hold responsibility for any transactions, payments, or purchasing that readers see from this website.