Student Journeys


It feels almost surreal to sit here and write about my momentous visit to Bangkok. I still cannot fathom that I happened to be one of the few fortunate students who got to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity. This experience was truly magical, it is one that I know will have a lasting impact on me and I sincerely wish that every student had the chance to do something like this too. This module was a source of excitement from the very beginning, we were immersed into boundless knowledge of Thai culture and etiquette as well as their political stance and monarchy. I was a touch apprehensive at the start because I was one of the only Psychology students amidst pupils from political disciplines, I was not sure where I stood but this trip was such that it catered to everyone’s educational backgrounds. I came to comprehend that my discipline was actually tremendously valuable in the grand scheme of things.

In the weeks leading up to our fieldtrip, we met with various lecturers that gave us insight into their specialties. This really allowed me to gain perspective on some potential challenges that I might face in Bangkok and how I could go about overcoming them. We participated in many open discussions exploring concepts such as innovation in cross-cultural contexts and global dimensions of education. I genuinely enjoyed these class discussions because they were incredibly interactive, and I was able to have an active part in my learning by proposing my opinions and receiving direct feedback. A few weeks before our depart to Bangkok, we were introduced to a lecturer from Kasetsart University. She thoroughly taught us everything we needed to know about Bangkok so that we were fully prepared, she gave us vital insight about the transport system, basic societal etiquette, famous landmarks and more. Looking back on it, I really appreciate that she educated us so much because when I arrived in Bangkok, I almost felt at home. Finally, we left for our 9-day trip to Bangkok. It is impossible to summarise such an incredible trip into just a few short sentences, but our trip broadly consisted of visiting numerous eminent temples as well as meeting the most hospitable Thai students and lecturers. Such great care was taken of us, I don’t think I could ever be able to recompense their generosity. Some interesting things that I noted was that Thai students have to wear uniform to university; this gave me a sense of unity and oneness amongst them that perhaps we lack in the UK. They also tend not to have open class discussions and are accustomed to just listening to their lecturers; I think they really cherished that we bought a different style of learning to them consisting of asking open questions and seeking one another’s opinions. Some of the Thai students accompanied us on our many trips to the famous temples, they answered all of our questions with no hesitation and made sure that we were safe and content. On a less educational note, the food in Bangkok was exceptional! Our group of 20 UK students who were only mere strangers knew each other in ways we never expected towards the end of the trip; we all made friends for life! I am so grateful to Farhang for offering me this incredible opportunity.

Laraib Akram

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