Studying in Southeast Asia:
Last semester I spent on the other side of the world, more precisely in Bangkok, Thailand. It was my first time outside of Europe and also the first time I would be away from home for more than three weeks. This all sounded quite exciting at first glance, but now that I look back on it, I can honestly say that this past year was the best year of my life!
The preparations for studying abroad were not too bad, the most important thing was to find a suitable room. You don’t want to be too far away from the university, but you also don’t want to be away from the nightlife and other students, especially not in a city as big and chaotic as Bangkok. Fortunately, the university in Bangkok (Thammasat) recommended some buildings that were suitable. Partly because of this and some activities organized at the beginning of the academic year, I had gotten to know many exchange students in no time and within a month I was already in more than 15 group apps including one with almost 200 exchange students all staying in Bangkok. However, it did prove difficult to connect with the Thai students.
When the study (already in early August) began, I quickly found out that the difficulty of courses in Bangkok is not the same as ours. The lower level, in combination with choosing my subjects tactically, meant that I had a lot of free time and especially long weekends. The first month mainly consisted of getting to know new people and being a tourist in Bangkok itself. After this, we started taking trips on the weekends. Bangkok, in fact, is ideally located for exploring all of Thailand and hundreds of buses, trains and planes depart daily to all corners of the country. I ended up going to three islands, three national parks, Singapore and 10 days in northern Thailand before the final exam. Studying itself in Thailand looks a little different from ours. your grade consists of a much larger portion of assignments, participation and presentations, making the exams themselves a little less important.
My last exam was already in early December and the first classes in Nijmegen didn’t start again until early February. So at the end I decided to send my suitcase on the boat back to Holland and buy a backpack, with which I finished the last month and a half of my exchange in Laos and Vietnam.