The week after our pizza dinner, we all met Thursday evening for our first orientation session. Meeting in the Hyde Hall Conference Center, we sat down with two professors and an exchange student to discuss the social, political, and economic aspects of Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Our meeting began with a presentation by Professor Peter Conclanis who talked to us about the history and the current social and political situation of Singapore. The second presentation was given by Muntip Liew, a Humphrey Fellow from Malaysia, who showed a Power Point presentation about Malaysian history and current economic boom that has occurred. Also she included some helpful tips for traveling in Malaysia. I found it interesting that people do not greet with a “how are you doing?” but rather with “have you eaten yet?” The final presentation for the evening came from Professor Kevin Hewison who discussed Thailand including some history and the current situation. One of the most interesting facts I learned from Prof. Hewison was the serious business of the sex trade in Thailand. Although a plethora of information was presented, it sparked great interest in all the places we will be traveling to. After the meeting, we were given an orientation guide as well as information from the Asian Survey on Singapore that we would discuss at our all day meeting on Saturday April 9th.