What is the exact location and contact information of the SSG facility?
The address of the USILACS SSG facility is: 1/36-37 Mueang Hid Road, T. Nai Wiang, A. Muenag, Phrae 54000 Thailand
The local telephone numbers are: Office Land Line: +66 054 060 132 24-Hour Office Mobile: +66 090 330 5801
Which Degree Programs are eligible for SSG?
The SSG focuses on education, and is designed to provide advanced teaching and education skills such as the 120-Hour TESOL with Internship, Class Management, etc. Therefore, the only Degree Programs that qualify for SSG are:
- Fundamentals and Methodology of Education
- Clerical and Moral Education
- TESOL Fundamentals and Methodology
- Principles and Methods of Language Education
What type of visa do I need to attend the SSG?
Just a standard tourist visa is all that is required to attend the SSG. SSG is an acronym for “Student-Led Study Group”. You are not paying for any education or attending school at the facility in Thailand. You are USILACS online students, enrolled online at USILACS Miami, Florida USA. You are using a facility which has been lovingly provided, by a local Thai company, free-of-charge, to USILACS students who wish to visit Thailand, interact with local Thai children, learn and experience some wonderful Thai culture, and lastly to interact with fellow USILACS students.
Are my travel expenses included in the tuition?
No, traveling costs to and from the SSG are not included in your tuition; however, when you are taking part in SSG activities, transportation is included.
What if we need help speaking Thai when were there?
Our staff can speak both English and Thai, and they stand ready to assist you whenever needed. We will also supply you with phone numbers of certain staff that can translate for you by phone when you are attempting to communicate with a non-English speaking Thai.
How do I check-in at to the hotel?
When you arrive Phrae, simply contact the Phoomthai Garden Hotel for free pick up from the airport or the bus station. Their phone number is: 054-627-359. Tell the operator that you are with the USILACS group and you have reservations. When you arrive at the hotel allow them to photocopy your passport, check you in, and they will give you your room key. No need to pay, USILACS has already paid for your room. For students attending alone, you will be assigned a roommate by USILACS, and the hotel will assign you to the proper room.
What is the facility like?
Our 10,850 sq. ft. (1,008 sq. M) is a multi-story building in Phrae, Thailand. On the first floor, there is a lobby, Classroom # 1, two bathrooms, an indoor recreation/snack area. On the second floor, Classroom # 2, two bathrooms, an indoor recreation/snack area. On the third floor, Classroom # 3, two bathrooms, an indoor recreation/snack area. Each classroom has a capacity of up to 14 students. The facility high-speed internet, and all classrooms are air-conditioned with large screen monitors and white boards.
Is it mandatory to attend all SSG activities and events?
Yes and no. Attendance and participation in all SSG educational activities, including Thai school TESOL and class management courses are mandatory; however, students have the option to opt-in or opt-out of any of the recreation activities.
What are the prerequisite to attend the SSG?
The only prerequisite to attend the SSG is that you are an enrolled USILACS student. However, the SSG program is a two step program. Step One: You are required to complete and pass 25 online courses with exams. Step Two: You attend the SSG facility in Phrae Thailand, where you will work with fellow students to complete the remaining 15 courses required for graduation (approximately 2-courses per day, with Saturdays and Sundays open for recreation or for the more important things).
Is there homework expected while attending the SSG?
It is strongly recommenced you study all reference materials, and watch all videos, and take extensive notes prior to that course being covered in the SSG. Failure to perform adequate homework ALWAYS results in lower grades.
If I am already an enrolled online student, can I still attend the SSG?
Yes, any student who has not yet graduated and has fully paid their online tuition, can enroll in the SSG for only $500.
What are the bedrooms like at the hotel?
All bedrooms are fully air-conditioned and have high-speed WiFi available. The Phoomthai Garden Hotel enjoys a 3-star rating. We have reserved an entire floor at this hotel for all the SSG students. You and one fellow student will be sharing a room with two twin beds that is western style with all the amenities.
Is housekeeping and laundry provided?
Yes, full housekeeping service is provided by the Hotel. Laundry service which includes washing, drying and ironing of your clothes is available at a very reasonable price, from the Phoomthai Hotel & Resort as well as other nearby shops. Costs for laundry services are the responsibility of the student.
What if I want to stay at another local hotel?
If you choose to make independent housing or food arrangements, there are many local hotels within a short taxi ride. We will be happy to provide you a rooming list upon request. Price range from $10 USD to $100 USD per night. However, your tuition is not based upon hotel occupancy, it is based upon education; the SSG is a service provided to students; therefore, no adjustment to tuition will be made if you choose to make your own housing arrangements.
What if I want my non-enrolled spouse, friends, or children to share my room and enjoy food service and SSG entertainment activities?
Non-enrolled family members are not allowed to attend or participate in any SSG classes or Thai school activities; however, they are allowed to share your bedroom, enjoy all SSG food service, and attend all SSG entertainment activities for an additional charge of only $400.00 per person.
Is there anywhere locally that I can rent a car or motorcycles?
The Phoomthai Garden Hotel has several very nice pedal bikes available for their guests use free of charge. Most of our students utilize this from of transportation while attending the SSG; however, for those who want to venture further, there are local businesses where you can rent cars and motorcycles.
What meals are provided?
A breakfast buffet is provided every morning by Phoomthai Garden Hotel. While at the SSG facility your lunch will consists of fresh fruit, fresh green salad, soup, and sandwiches, your dinner will feature fresh fruit, a fresh green salad, steamed vegetables, and one of a wide variety of savory (non spicy) Thai dishes with rice where applicable. Lunches and dinners will be provided to all students Monday thru Friday. The SSG facility is closed on Saturday and Sunday; however, many students use these days to explore Phrae and discover all those delightful little coffee shops and local restaurants. You can also purchase food and drinks from local stores, shops, and restaurants within a five-minute walk.
What about hose with food allergies or on special diets?
IF YOU ARE ALLERGIC TO SHELLFISH OR PEANUTS BE WARNED!
Thai cooking makes extensive use of these two ingredients.
It is your responsibility to inquire before you consume.
We have made a huge effort to offer a wide variety of fresh lunch and dinner items which offer the widest selection possible. If you have food allergies or are on a special diet, we suggest that if you cannot eat the food served at the SSG, possibly consider utilizing local grocery stores, or many cook to order restaurants in the area.
Is the SSG facility safe and secure?
Our facility is located on a quiet business street, in one of the safest areas of Phrae. It is a very stable neighborhood where most students enjoy night time strolls or bike rides.
Will I be able to attend meetings or go out in the field with a local group?
Midweek is Friday at 6:30 and Sunday is at 2:00. The local hall can only hold up to 30 guests. We will have sign-up sheets at the SSG, and a local bus will deliver the group to the hall and back for less than $1.00 each way. Since the SSG facility is closed on Saturdays and Sundays, we reserve these days for recreation and the going out in the field. Due to the size of the local group, and the need to have each non-Thai SSG student accompanied by a Thai speaker, there is also a limitation of around 20. As with the meetings, we have a sign up sheet at the SSG, and buses available for your transport.
I teach English online. What can I do for internet or how do I find a location to teach, especially when sharing a hotel room?
Many of our friends teach online at night. The SSG facility closes at 6:00. In addition, we cannot allow any students use our facilities or Internet to teach “work” without being in violation of local laws and regulations. From a legal prospective USILACS is basically breaking Thai labor laws by facilitating employment in Thailand to a person without proper work permits. Phrae has excellent 4G internet service; therefore, we recommend that if you need to work online, purchase a high-speed internet sim for use in a phone, tablet, or in a laptop Internet stick.