“The exchange helps prove yourself, the way you work, and the way you study.”
Bangkok is a city of contrasts – a place where every day and every corner offers you something to explore. But how is the student life in the city of angels? We interviewed our Rangsit University International College student Robin to find out what he has to say.
What’s your name and where do you come from?
I’m Robin and I come from the southwest of Germany. More specifically, I live near the city of Freiburg, close to the borders of Switzerland and France.
Why did you choose to study in Asia and Rangsit University in particular?
I chose to study in Asia because I thought it would be a great challenge for myself and the cultural differences between Europe and Asia are pretty huge. It’s not like America, because Germany and America, I think, are pretty similar. Asian countries are something special and the mentality of the people is completely different. I thought about going to somewhere in Asia, and because I practice the sports muay thai [Thai boxing], I thought I would go to Thailand. I found the offer from Asia Exchange. Because of my study background in Germany, I can only take a break of 3 months from my studies. The summer semester here is three months, so I thought: yeah, it fits perfectly into my schedule, so let’s do that.
Tell us a little bit more about your study destination, what is it like to live and study in Bangkok?
I arrived here with the pickup service from Rangsit University and it was a good evening. I was hungry, so I went out to get something to eat, but it was pretty difficult to get food because nobody in the shops spoke English. It took a while to find a shop where I could eat. But you get used to it, you get to know the people around here and they get to know you, so it gets better and better and you start to see the differences in culture. Also, I hadn’t eaten with chopsticks before, so it was pretty difficult the first time. I really like to live here.
Which topics have been the most interesting in your studies?
I only have 3 courses, but the one I most like is the class “Current Issues in International Business”. It has basic knowledge but mixed that with deep insight into the business structures of different countries. It was close to my study background, so I got some ideas about what I could do in the future. It also helps you get into different mindsets about different countries and processes.
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What kind of things have you learned about Asia/Thailand during your stay?
There are some differences in the lecture style, differences in how you treat your elders, and how you respect them. It’s kind of different to my views, but you get used to it, it’s not that hard. If you get over the formalities after you meet each other, interaction becomes quite normal. In Germany, we discuss with our teachers and lecturers about something we think they did wrong, but here you have to keep it to yourself and be patient. The Thai people are more communal than Germans, they always try to help each other. You’ll never be lost if you make a few Thai friends, they will always be like “call me every time you have problems, if someone tries to trick you or anything, just call me and I will talk to him.”
Have you had a chance to travel during your stay?
Not outside of Thailand, but I did go to Phuket once. I traveled before I arrived in Thailand, as I have a single-entry visa. I visited Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. That was really cool, I loved it.
What kind of things have you learned about yourself?
I learned that it is still hard for me to get to know people by just going up and talking to them. I also learned that I can sometimes do it and it can be pretty easy at times, especially at the freshman camp. The kind of games there were really designed to help people get to know each other. I discovered that speaking English is not that difficult, but you really just have to be confident about it. I think that a lot of people here are missing that confidence, they know how to speak English, but they don’t want to because they are shy and don’t have the confidence to do so. I also think that I made a great decision to come here.
In your opinion, why should people go to study in Asia?
To discover yourself, to discover your weaknesses and strengths, and to get out of your comfort zone. A lot of situations that you will be confronted with are not at all comfortable and you have to really challenge yourself, you have to conquer your uncertainty, and try to reach new limits. It’s great to be more global, to meet new cultures, to think in a different way. The exchange helps prove yourself, the way you work, and the way you study.
Would you recommend Rangsit University to other students?
Yeah, definitely. I love the campus, it’s huge and you can do everything there. They have a gym, swimming pool, different sports facilities, everything! The lectures are pretty good, you make a lot of friends, meet a lot of cool guys who you can hang out with and who show you a lot of cool places.
Do you have some advice for any student considering going abroad?
The only words I have are: do it! I struggled myself if I should go abroad or not, but in the end, I am really glad that I chose to go. Be open to everything, try to make a lot of friends, enjoy your time here. You’re here to study, but also for an amazing experience, so just do it!
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia-Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
This interview was made by our International Relations Specialist Suvi!