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Final Report About My Study At “Suan Dusit University” In Bangkok, Thailand

Thai school (Picture by Sebastian Kristandl)
Thai school (Picture by Sebastian Kristandl)

Through my studies back in Thailand at “Suan Dusit University” I discovered many differences in regards to the education system, culture, teaching methods and teaching strategies. The experience I have gained is very important for my future life as a teacher because I think that studying and teaching in another country will make you much more open-minded and aware of certain issues.

I also learned about different teaching methods and school systems which can help me to handle difficult situations when I have to teach in a new school. In addition, I was able to improve my English skills and I even learned Thai. Overall, with “Thai Studies” I was facing a unique opportunity, which allowed me to combine work and travel, which I suggest to every other student. My study took place at “Suan Dusit University” in Bangkok, Thailand. Although I lived pretty far away from the city center, my home was close to the University. Every day I took the bus to get there. Compared to the “Pädagogische Hochschule Steiermark”, “Suan Dusit” is a huge college building with a big amount of students.

The study started at the 6. of February and ended at the beginning of June with a presentation about a comparison between Austria and Thailand in front of a committee. I decided to study in Thailand because I was willing to learn new things. Things you can’t learn here in Austria. Like mentioned above, I gained experience in teaching strategies, culture, and language. And the “school placement topic” gave me a certain insight into daily Thai school life which you can only discover when you are a student in Thailand and not a traveler who is here only for holidays.

I chose Bangkok because it felt right to me and in hindsight, it was definitely the best decision to go there. I also went there to learn about the culture, religion, and people. Although it’s totally different than here in Austria, it’s fun to see how the people spend their life in that big city. My study contained five subjects which are as follows:

My study contained five subjects which are as follows:
– School Placement – Tutorial
– Excursions – Thai Culture
– Thai Language

For the school placement, I spent approximately one month at the “Demonstration School”. These kind of schools are like elite elementary schools in Thailand. I could learn a lot from the teachers. Especially from the foreign teachers, who used certain teaching strategies I never heard of before.

The culture program was very nice. I traveled and gained a lot of experience. In Bangkok, you will find many things to do. You will probably not get bored because of its huge amount of activities. I spent most of my free time with friends from University or foreign friends. It’s important to adapt oneself to Thai culture and know many people and have some friends
because if you go only on your own it’s not that easy in Bangkok and you can get bored easily. Luckily I knew many people and we did many activities together, like:
– to go to the cinema
– playing BB-Gun
– traveling to the beach
– going to a fancy pool party on a
skyscraper
– visiting a waterfall
– playing football every week
– going to the gym – going to a fancy high-class club or rooftop bar
and Much more…!!!

Studying in Thailand is totally different than here. Students and teachers are not that picky according to be on time. Many people are not right on time but it seems that Thais are fine with that. Lateness is something common there. In Thailand, there are six grades in primary education and three grades in lower secondary education as well as in upper secondary education. That means I had to do my internship which children who are older than ten years. In the classroom, teachers use microphones and speakers, which is totally different. The microphone and speaker technique they use is very common and popular in the country. They don’t make an effort to decrease the volume – they are more willing to dominate the noise level by talking into the microphone. Obviously, the noise level increases heavily, which can be pure stress for your ears.

I was pretty shocked when I saw the first time a child got beaten on their hand or their bottom. It seemed that no one worried about that. Not even the child itself. So it was not a big deal and I got used to it very fast, although that style is very old fashioned in my eyes. On the other hand, I saw that teachers treat the kids very politely and kindly. They don’t put them into embarrassing situations or ask them questions they don’t know. Fun is a very important teaching method. It seems to me, that everybody here is learning while having fun. It’s a big part of the culture, which is also placed in the school system.

Unfortunately the communication between the teachers at the university is not that good. But overall they did their best to give us a good education. You better don’t feel upset when the schedule gets changed many times, appointments get postponed last-minute and teachers or students just don’t show up or are very late for a meeting. In Thailand, everything gets slower and people don’t make themselves too much stress. Things are easy going there. People don’t worry too much about pressure or stress. They are very spontaneous and pretty good at “living in the moment”. They don’t think too much about the past or future. If something bad is going to happen, they just smile. They solve problems differently than we do here in Austria and I have a massive respect of their calmness! These people are gifted with patience!

I totally recommend to study abroad in Bangkok, but if you are not cool with those things above, you should better not go there. I had a very good time because I’m a spontaneous and patient person who likes to live in the moment. I don’t think too much as well. That’s why I had a great time and Thai behavior was normal to me. Thai people don’t plan things. They
just do it. If you need everything planned and fixed according to university and your life, I don’t suggest to go there. It’s very hard to plan something because every plan gets changed many times as well. And if you are a person who likes to ask many questions, you’re not the right one. Thais don’t ask that many questions and they don’t like when too many questions are asked. Lucky me, because I don’t like people who are questioning everything. Finally, I don’t recommend to study abroad if you are in a relationship – something like that can crack easily.

In conclusion, I can say that I had a great time and it made a new person out of me. Thailand is a beautiful country and Bangkok is an amazing city. I would go back and do the same again. After my study, I’m planning to go back to work there as I have enough dealings and relationships to make this happen.

Sebastian Kristandl

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