How two students got bitten by the study abroad bug… And went back for more
You might know what it’s like when you fall in love… Those feelings inside, they just make you crave for more. That’s why Tanja Mäser and Paul Möller are now back in Bangkok.
They finished their study abroad year in the capital of Thailand four years ago, but at that time had no idea they would be going back. Another year or degree abroad was on the cards, but the destination clearly unknown. But such was the first experience in Bangkok and Thailand, that they decided to have more of it. Now they have kicked off another stint in Siam University, this time with their MBA studies.
“We experienced all the thousand faces of Bangkok and we somehow love this dirty and noisy city. Returning felt like getting to our second home”, Tanja says.
Back in 2011, they knew close to nothing about the city. They had heard some vacation stories, seen some videos and documentaries plus read a blog post here and there. But the visit in Thailand was the very first one for both of them.
“It was simply an experience we will cherish in our lives. Living in Bangkok was an enrichment in many regards. We had ups and downs but we would do this trip ever and ever again”, Tanja says.
The experience of a lifetime
Love for Asian food, desire to jump into unknown and affordable prices played a part in their first decision to go to Bangkok.
Also, their International Business studies required going abroad and they definitely wanted to go together.
“We decided to organize everything on our own. We did some research and came across Asia Exchange. “We made a quick decision and applied for the International Business Program”, they explain.
The program lasted two semesters, and Tanja and Paul got the ride of their lifetime during their stay. Despite having to get used to the whole different way of life.
“You cannot really prepare for Asian lifestyle. Especially for Germans being punctual and accurate as hell, living in Thailand can be pretty challenging sometimes, they say.
Sometimes it could have been the small daily things, such as public transport being late, problems with the internet connection or lack of information in supermarket products.
At other times, it might have been the somewhat basic English skills of the locals.
“Living in Thailand is completely different from being here on vacation for 2 or 3 weeks. We had some challenging times, but we made a once in a lifetime experience that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives. We have seen places other people can only imagine of, and we made great friendships. What this rushing city did the most to us, was to calm down and get us back to the basics of life.”
Tanja and Paul have switched their attention to the field of real estate, and MBA studies are just about to begin.
They wanted to go abroad again but realized that suitable study abroad programs were quite limited and the programs offered by their home university were quite expensive.
“Finally we realized we could do a full MBA degree for a reasonable price where we had been studying abroad before, Siam University. We checked if our home university would be ok with this and applied to the MBA program.”
“We couldn’t help but recommend it!”
This time, it won’t be only two of them in Bangkok, since Tanja’s sister Franziska will join the International Business program at Siam University for the whole academic year.
The recommendation part was a piece of cake, as it’s often said. Their home university (European University Viadrina) recognizes many courses, tuition fees and living expenses are low, and so are the travel costs to other Asian destinations.
“And last but not least, Bangkok is unique. Either you hate it or you love it. For us it was the latter, so we could not help but recommend her to join us”, they say.
For Franziska on the other hand, it was clear from the very beginning, that she wanted to spend her mandatory study abroad period in Asia.
“Asian lifestyle and the economic development is highly interesting in my eyes, so I am looking forward to experiencing South-East Asia first-hand. I was also told that the conditions for studying are very good at Siam University.”
Franziska already had the chance to get to know the university when she visited Tanja and Paul for three weeks in 2012.
“When I visited the university there was occasionally kind of an open house day, and I had the opportunity to talk to some professors and to see some campus life. Those things convinced me to apply.”
She looks forward to attending a lot of courses in order to profile herself in her Business Studies Bachelor program.
“I also want to get to know the different cultures and aim for learning the Thai language,” she says.
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.