Thailand: A Year Abroad in the Heart of Bangkok
The warm climate, good food, and traveling in a foreign country - these are the reasons why Smilla Hausser chose to spend a semester abroad in Thailand's capital. "Bangkok is a breathtaking metropolis that never sleeps. I love to travel and the fact that you can make so many international contacts," the student reports about her experiences in Southeast Asia. "You can especially notice the diversity of Bangkok when visiting Chinatown. Here, life pulsates. Around Yaowarat Road, full of neon signs in long-form Chinese, it feels like being in another world. Especially after dark, there are impressive sights."
Studying at Mahidol University
Smilla spent her year abroad at Mahidol University, one of the country's most prestigious public universities. She was particularly impressed with the lectures there: "We were often able to work on complex assignments together in teams. The contact with the lecturers was also very personal, so questions or comments could be asked and answered directly. Teamwork with fellow students quickly led to friendships. But above all, I was impressed by the campus with its size, good organization, the shuttles, and the different departments, basically the campus life there."
Mahidol University is among the most prestigious universities in Asia. Founded in 1943 as the country's first medical school, it was originally named the University of Medical Science. 1969, it became a full-fledged university and was renamed after Prince Mahidol Adulyadej. "Everyday life at the partner university consists of a lot of group work. Numerous rooms with the latest technology are available to students. The canteen offers very good and varied food," Smilla shares. She lived in a student dormitory near the university for four weeks and then moved into an apartment downtown. Its central location also made going out in the evening and meeting up with friends easy. "The staff at the partner university were very helpful, responded to emails within 24 hours, and assisted with visa matters," reports the soon-to-be graduate.
Tips for the semester abroad
"If you're keen on an Asian metropolis and are open to new things, I highly recommend Mahidol University. However, you must be aware of the sometimes basic hygiene standards and the pronounced poverty," describes Smilla about her experiences. For choosing the location and the partner university for the semester abroad, she advises getting acquainted with the culture beforehand and reading experience reports. The focus of the partner university should also be considered in the decision-making process. "Moreover, you should make an effort to connect with other students," is her concluding tip.
Internationalism at the FH Kufstein Tirol
Every full-time bachelor's degree program at the FH Kufstein Tirol includes a mandatory semester abroad. Part-time bachelor's degree programs facilitate the development of intercultural competencies through intensive one-week study trips. Smilla's bachelor's degree program in International Business Studies (full-time) program is unique: It involves studying abroad for an entire academic year. The eight months in the heart of Bangkok gave the young woman not only a detailed insight into Thai culture but also a deepening of her technical skills. The International Relations Office (IRO) of FH Kufstein Tirol is available to students to assist in planning their semester abroad – for both academic and administrative matters.