Located in Bangkok (the capital of Thailand), close to beautiful and historic museums, Thammasat University is the second oldest university in Thailand. Thammasat University is a leader in social science especially in Law, Economics and Business Administration. As an international and elite university in Thailand, Thammasat provides diverse culture opportunities and lectures in English to all of the attending students.
The Internship Program
Unlike other exchange student programs, Thammasat University provides a summer internship program for two months in Thailand. In detail, the exchange students will join the program which aims for growing experts in International Cooperation and Development, also called the Regional Experts. During an internship, exchange students will have an opportunity to learn the local language, politics and economics of this developing country while at the same time being able to receive a scholarship from the University of Seoul (UOS).
The information provided above definitely gets students interested in the exchange program. Still, listening to real experiences and advice can be more useful for those potential exchange students. Therefore, The UOS Times interviewed two UOS students who have been to Thammasat University as exchange students.
Kyoung-hun An (Dept. of Chinese Language and Culture, ’09)
“Most of the students who are considering an exchange student may worry about getting along with local students or other western exchange students. In my case in Thammasat, however, I had lots of experiences with local friends. Since Thammasat is an international university where various ethnicities are studying together, Thammasat values diverse ethnicities and does well to help foreign students to adapt. Therefore, the Thammasat has constantly made programs that let every student from different countries enjoy and integrate with each other. As an example of those programs, I went to Pataya with local friends through this Thammasat international program.”
“What makes the Thammasat different from other universities was the internship program. In my opinion usually in Korea, it is hard to get an internship. Even if I got an offer, it is impossible to learn professional work in companies. In Thailand, however, as the Thammasat connects students and companies, I was able to receive various offers on internships. Also unlike in Korea, students, who are especially in Business Administration, can learn practical business skills and gain hands on experience.”
“However, the wet weather of Bangkok could be hard to stand. People usually say there are only three kinds of weather in Bangkok: HOT, HOTTER, the HOTTEST. Even though most of the buildings have air conditioners, it will be hot and so humid more than the weather of summer in Korea. Therefore, most of the people in Bangkok usually spend their time inside buildings, where air conditioners are operating for 24 hours a day. They call this kind of pattern as “shopping mall culture.” So if you prefer indoor activity rather than outdoor activity, the humid climate of Bangkok will not matter to you.”
Ji-yoon Choi (Dept. of Sports Science, ’12)
“In Thammasat, almost every lecture was given in English and most of the exchange students are from America. Therefore, Thammasat is the optimized place for learning English. Also, since Bangkok is the center of transportation, it is much easier to reach other countries for a trip. In my case, I went to four other countries by train or sleeping buses which cost so much less than I had expected.”
“The only inconvenience that I haver experienced in Thailand was local transportation, if I may say so. The subway system was underdeveloped in Thailand, unlike Korea’s metro. However, you can take a taxi instead which is much cheaper and more common than in Korea.”
Advice to Future Students of Thammasat University.
“Unlike the misconception of Thailand which is underdeveloped, Thammasat University has a high level education curriculum. Most local students of Thammasat are smart and open minded as they live up to school’s reputation. If you are worrying about language, that would be wasting of your time, because there are few difficulties because of languages barriers. However, just in case, I would recommend free e-learning Thai language program that you can learn basic Thai. Of course this is not a mandatory thing, but it will help you a little bit staying in Thailand.”
“It is obvious that Thailand is not a country that Korean students prefer for studying abroad. However, you can take the same or better quality lectures as you can have in the United States or other countries. Also you can eat delicious fruits and foreign cuisine anytime, anywhere you want, and they are much cheaper than in other countries.”