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A combination of culture, people and atmosphere
Angelina studied abroad at Prince of Songkla University in Thailandfor two semesters between 2017 and 2018. Our planning officer, Sami, wheedled all the information regarding her exchange semesters out of her. Keep on reading if you want to find out why Phuket was the perfect choice for Angelina!
What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Angelina Fleischhammer and I live in Detmold, Germany.
Where did you spend your exchange semester?
At the Prince of Songkla University, which is located in the Kathu district of Phuket.
Why did you choose to study in Asia, and your destination in particular?
I wanted to experience a completely different world, as well as a completely different culture compared to the Western world. Also, I am very interested in the tourism industry, so Phuket was a perfect choice.
Tell us a little more about your study destination, what was it like to live and study there?
It was the perfect combination of culture, people, and atmosphere. I made new friends from all over the world and with Phuket’s relaxed and enjoyable flair I got the perfect exchange experience. Indeed, the location of the campus in the “heart” of Phuket is perfect, you can escape the crowded tourist hotspots and moreover, you will experience some real Thai culture. Overall, life in Phuket is very simple and laid-back, everyone here loves it.
Did the experience meet your expectations?
I purposely did not set any high expectations, since I knew that Thailand would be a completely different world I had nothing to compare with yet. Of course, I was hoping to meet nice people I would spend my semester abroad with. Especially the cultural experience and the possible culture shock made me curious about Thailand. The only real expectations I had, was to grow my personality and self-confidence with this experience abroad and in the end, I got more than I could have asked for.
What were the highlights of your exchange?
Definitely the amazing people, whom I made memories with during my time in Phuket. But also, the real Thai culture that I got to experience away from the tourist sides, the weekend trips and travel we did around Asia, and of course the Thai food.
How did you get the study place? What was the application procedure like?
The application procedure with Asia Exchange was really easy and simple. Their Student Support Service and service are excellent in cooperation with the Prince of Songkla University. Asia Exchange informed me very well about everything including checklists, visa, and insurance.
Which were the most interesting topics in your studies?
For sure “Intercultural communication”. It was very interesting to learn about the deeper Thai culture, there is much more behind the famous “Thai smile”.
What kind of accommodation did you have and how much was the monthly cost?
I spent my semesters at the “Fruit valley resort” on a hill in the jungle, sharing my room with Pauline from France, whom I got to know on the first day in Thailand. Nowadays we are best friends! Depending on the high and low season, the average cost of a shared room was 5250 Baht (135€). The rooms were very big and had their own bathroom. There was even a rooftop and balcony in our apartment!
What were your normal days like while living in Asia?
Usually, I had classes in the morning until noon and sometimes an afternoon class until 16:30. Most days I had lunch with a lot of students at a local Thai restaurant near the campus. In the afternoon I made a decision of what to do the rest of the day. Choices were, for example, doing homework, going to the beach, going to the gym, going for a run or sometimes just relaxing and sleeping.
Did you have a chance to travel during your stay?
I had a lot of chances for weekend trips during my semesters, including many islands around Phuket like Coral Island, Koh Samui or Koh Yao Yai. But also, destinations like Cambodia, Vietnam or Bangkok.
What kind of things did you learn about Asia during your stay?
I learned that one needs to have an open mind for the Asian culture and that being patient is very valuable. Asians are usually very friendly and have very respectful manners, which I really like. While living in Asia, you have an opportunity to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences in a totally different world and culture.
What kind of things did you learn about yourself?
That you need to be patient to get along with Asian people. Do not take things too seriously, just try to take it easy and make the best out of it. Most importantly, do not stress too much, people in Thailand do not rush and they will not accept you doing it. Appreciate the little things, because studying abroad can be frustrating sometimes. Not having high expectations enabled me the perfect study-abroad experience in Thailand.
In your opinion, why should people go to study in Asia?
You will learn a lot about yourself and many things that will be useful for your future life, but for that, you need to experience the Asian culture yourself. You will see different ways of living and you will experience a different way of studying, including wearing a school uniform. Experiencing Thailand as a student was for me the best way to get into the culture.
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Would you recommend this study program to other students?
Definitely yes, Prince of Songkla University will give you the perfect opportunity for a study abroad experience in Thailand. The course selection is wide, so you can set up own timetable matching your personal interests.
What are your greetings to Asia Exchange?
I am more than grateful that Asia Exchange enabled me this great opportunity and experience in Thailand. The Student Support Service Asia Exchange and the University provide is simply excellent. Thank you for making this happen!
A free word for any student considering going abroad
Feel free to ask me any questions, I am more than happy to respond!
Did this interview caught your attention and are you ready to have an abroad experience yourself?
Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities inAsia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tipsand new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to ourmonthly newsletter!If you have any questions about studyingabroad, feel free tocontact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
This article was written by our Planning Officer Sami.