ASEAN in the modern world

ASEAN in the modern world

ASEAN in the modern world focused as the title states on the ASEAN community in nowadays world. ASEAN like the EU is a compound of states, which get more and more important in the current world. Therefore the teacher lectured us with his in-depth political experience on this matter and made us work with it. Thus, student presentations were held during class on a regular basis. It was one of the most challenging courses, majorly due to the teacher’s really high expectations. Anyhow, it was an interesting topic, which is why I do not regret having had this course.

Teacher Proficiency: Excellent

English: Fluent

Homework: Moderate

Graduation Method: 1 Mid-Term Examination, 1 Final Examination, 4 Minor Presentations, 1 Quiz, Participation

General Psychology

General Psychology

Since I am really interested in psychology this was a natural choice for me. Then it became even better, the teacher was a middle-aged U.S. citizen, who’s previous profession has been being a project manager. Although psychology is one of my hobbies, he did not manage to catch my interest. This is why. This course only covers a pretty basic content of psychology as most of the class never had it before. I , in comparison, already had a in-depth class of educational science during my general qualification for university entrance, which is why I was already aware of the content taught. Anyway, the teacher really tried to adapt his method to the students, in order to get them interested in the topics. Though I was already aware of the topics, I really enjoyed going to his class. Therefore, if you never had any educational science, you should consider participating in his class!

Teacher Proficiency: Excellent

English: Native

Homework: None

Graduation Method: 1 Mid-Term Examination, 1 Final Examination

Advertising

Advertising

As the title already says, this course was all about advertising, and therefore about marketing. The class was held by the same teacher that also led “Business Policy”, which was good, as he proofed that he has in depth knowledge of the business world. During the upcoming semester the course’s main assignment was (again) a group project. Within this project, the group was supposed to find 3 examples of companies that are struggling with advertisement related topics. Further, we were supposed not only find and define the problem, but also to provide the company with a strategic plan on how to improve the advertisement related problem. When the assignment was finished, each and every group was expected to present their results in class. Apart from that, the teacher would also use the Class’s time in order to lecture us about the exam relevant material.  All in all, it was a very interesting and fun to do course.

Teacher Proficiency: Good

English: Good

Homework: Moderate

Graduation Method: 1 Mid-Term Examination, 1 Final Examination, 1 Report, 1 Presentation

Business Policy

Business Policy

This one actually was a really interesting and challenging course during my semester at Siam. It was taught by a Thai who not that long ago finished his studies at the London Business School. Therefore his expectation have been high from the beginning on. He wanted us to use his lesson for working on our group project, which’s quality and process would be rated during each lesson. Each’s groups assignement was to analyze a multinational enterprise and work on recommendations and valuable future business models for it. As he expected a lot already during the lessons, it was really an exhausting, challenging but nonetheless an interesting course. Apart from that, he sometimes gave little presentations on the content that would be tested during the examinations. After all, I was glad that I took this course.

Teacher Proficiency: Good

English: Good

Homework: Moderate

Graduation Method: 1 Mid-Term Examination, 1 Final Examination, 1 Report.

Comparative Management of Multinational Enterprises

Comparative Management of Multinational Enterprises

This course started out to be the most promising and interesting one of the entire semester. It was taught by the university’s vice president, a 85 year old U.S. citizen, who seemed to be a fan of the republican party. Further, he has been a multiple-time CEO and teacher at a university in the U.S. During the first lesson he told us what to expect in the upcoming semester. He handed us out the Syllabus for the course, which turned out to be existential for passing the class. The hand-out consisted of about 200 technical terms of the business world. The next semester would be spent explaining these 200 words each and every lesson. Due to my Dutch university background I knew all of them from the beginning on, which made participating in this course for 3 months excruciating. Literally, the one thing that the class had done in the semester was going through the list of technical terms over and over and over and over. Well, apart from the one time where we made a game where he picked two teams to compete against each other in defining said technical terms. Furthermore, we had to hand in a report in which we had to compare two major companies with each other. Out of the grade for achieved in the report and the grade for the final examination the final grade would then be calculated. Unfortunately, I only achieved a B for this course, due to not achieving the maximum amount in my report. When I asked him why I did not achieve a maximum, he literally replied “Your report was above my head and interest”….

Teacher’s proficiency: Below average

English: Fluent

Homework: None

Grading Method: 1 Report + 1 Final Examination

Seminar on International Business

Hey folks,

as the semester is almost over I wanted to give you an overview of the several courses I took at Siam University. Therefore I will upload a brief description about each of the courses I had during this semester in the upcoming days.

Let me start with this:

Seminar on International Business

Considering its name, this course is the one nearest to my original studies in the Netherlands. This course was led by the dean himself, a very funny, interested and talkative man. This course simply has no language barrier, as the teacher is really fluent in English and knows how to talk to and interest his students. During the course, the dean will mainly look at current business related topics and discuss them during class. These group discussions are his most liked and mainly used style of teaching. Therefore it is quite important to always pay attention and be present in class, as the examination will be based on the discussions on the current events. Further, he was of the opinion that we students learn the most from talking to each other and exchanging knowledge, which is why he never gave any homework. I really liked having this course during my semester in Bangkok, as it was the most practical and interesting one, due to the focus on current major business related topics.

In the following I will give you a short overview on the course:

Teacher’s Proficiency: Good

English: Good

Learning Pace: Good

Homework: None

Grading Method: 1 Interim Examination, 1 Final Examination, 1 Quiz

Boattour – Bangkok Style

Hey guys,

today I would like to tell you about the boat tour I took on Bangkoks famous river the Chao Praya. Everybody, who is ever been to Bangkok should know this majestic river, dividing the city into two parts. Therefore everybody should have crossed the river at least once.

I began that day with a little “window”-shopping (Pun intended) at Chatuchak. Since I finished early (I am not that big of a shopping kind of guy) I decided to go on a boat tour to see Bangkok from the river perspective. Therefore I started doing the impossible. Getting a cab at Chatuchak that is willing to drive further than a kilometer. Many, many cabs either did not know a place to grab a boat at (Who would’ve thought of that?!) or wanted to have around THB 800 (~20€) for the ride. So it took a lot of patience and the willingness to pay extra for the highway to get to the next pier.

Obviously I have not been brought to the next pier, but somewhere downtown, where even the driver got lost and started asking me for the direction to the pier. After cornering streets and asking a bunch of people the cab-driver finally got me to the pier. When I got out of the cab I directly recognized my location and that I (again) payed way too much for the ride, as it could’ve been done in about a 1/3 of the time and price. I was let out at the Grand Palace….

Nevertheless, I did not let that affect my upcoming boat tour. So I put my smile back on and headed towards the pier. Before I entered the pier, I noticed the many food stands placed in front of the pier. When I got further in, the food stands vanished and merchandise shops appeared. I passed them and got to the area where boat tickets are being sold.

As I read on the internet, there were many boat owners trying to talk one into much less interesting and insanely more expensive private boat tours. So I passed all of their offers and did what the internet told me to. Not only did I read not to take the private boat owners tours, but also that one should pass on guided boat tours from locals. Apparently, they aren’t well guided (very bad or no English) and are quite short with only few places to see and photograph. So I did what I was advised to do. I waited for the regular boat that drives up and down the river all day long, letting people out at the several piers. When I finally embarked (there is no such thing as a schedule) I paid around THB 15 (~0.5€) for a ride up to the final destination.

The boat had plenty of room and opened side, which made it easy to take pictures, but also very easy to get wet once the boat took on some speed. Anyhow, the ride was exciting and joyous. I rode with the boat until I had to get out at the final destination, even though I almost did not make it. The thing with this commercial boats is that they give an estimated 15 seconds at a pier for the people to get off. Regardless whether or not everybody got off, it will go on to the next speed. Even though the last couple of lines had a strong sarcastic note, this is not a joke. If you are on such a boat, plan your exit properly beforehand. Otherwise, you will not get off.

Now having exited at the final destination, I explored the area. It took me about one corner until I saw a giant festival. I tried to understand what the people were doing, and I might have figured it out. Actually I think it was just 2 teams building pyramids and competing at athletic sculptures. I watched for a while, until it was time to meet with some friends.

Therefore I got back to the pier and got on a boat. The amazing thing is that these boats even stop at the major locations. So it indeed is a really fast, convenient and cheap way to get around. Thus, I got out at Khao San road, where the people were already waiting.

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Tiger Temple

Hey folks,

I would like to continue telling you about my first outside-of-Bangkok experience that started with the floating market and the bridge over the river Kwai.

After our group had finished the World War 2 museum, we got back to our car and finally drove off to the day’s highlight, the famous Tiger Temple.

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It was about an hour drive to the temple area, which looked rather like a Lion’s savanna than a Tiger’s jungle. We got the instructions on where to go from the tour-guide and immediately after took off, as time was limited und the urge to see tigers big!

I instantly headed the way towards the Tiger Canyon, where many and big tigers were supposed to be located at. On my way, I encountered several buffalos (at least I think they were buffalos… :D) walking freely around the entire area. After a short while, I arrived at the Tiger Canyon. And I have to admit, it looked awesome on the first sight. There were around 15 really big Tigers lying around in the canyon, having the choice of lying in the sun or preferring the shadowy part.

The supervisors in front of the Canyon told us to please get in line and have our cameras ready. So, we got in the queue. One of the volunteers took me by the hand, whilst another took my camera and made photos. The one volunteer then proceeded to walk me from Tiger to Tiger, telling me to lay or sit down next to him and stroke his head or fur in general. The Tigers were really calm playing along with the tourists, and were glad to provide them with pictures. After having finished my round, I was spoken to by the supervising volunteer around the Tiger Temple. He was an animal loving, British tiger fanatic to say least. He then offered me to join the play time of the Tigers. I gladly accepted!

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This extra playing time costed me THB 500 (~15€), but was worth every Cent! In this scenario, it was us people to be encaged. The Tigers then were released from their leashes and guided to the playing area at their pond. This extra playing time that I witnessed, was the ultimate proof that these tigers have not been drugged. Those huge cats suddenly went from sleepy to exhausting themselves in a matter of seconds. It was astonishing to see the tigers jump 5m high, swimming with each other and fooling around. It really showed, that regardless of their size, they are just big kittens.

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After witnessing the stunning play time of the tigers, we had the opportunity to walk the tigers whilst they were guided towards their night’s lodging. It was indeed like walking a dog, a really big dog in that case. I was handed a leash by a monk and then were on my own handling the huge animal. It was nothing more than a regular dog leash, so without effort the tiger could have overpowered me. But he didn’t. Which is good for me.

After all those fun time at the Tiger Temple, it was time to go back to Bangkok, since we still had a 2 hour drive in front of us.

Floating Market & Bridge over the River Kwai – The first out-of-Bangkok experience

Hey folks,

let me tell you about the most awesome day in Bangkok so far. Well actually not Bangkok, but Thailand. A few days ago I went to one of the travel Shops and looked out to find a nice day trip. There were several to choose from, but the one that caught my eye was a specific one. The tour would be to start the day with a trip to the famous floating markets, a short detour to the Bridge of the Kwai (which has apparently a really famous movie made of) to the highlight of the trip, the Tiger Temple!

The trip started the next morning at 7 o’clock at Khao San road. I was there early, so to have the opportunity to eat something, since I did not know how long the drive was going to be. Naturally, the Thai pick-up driver was a little late. After we picked up the rest of the tour, we were on the road for about 1 ½ hours until we arrived at the floating markets.

The tour guide showed us the way to the lady to whom we would have to pay THB 300 (~10€) in order to take the boat tour around the floating markets. Earlier the floating markets was a food market for locals, but this changed since back then. Nowadays the floating markets have become more commercial. The locals are rather selling merchandise, electronics and souvenirs than food as they used to be.

After embarking the boat, the captain started the tour with 6 people sitting on his longboat. He cornered around the surprisingly big market, only being interrupted in his doing by local shop owner who dragged us alongside their shop with a long stick. After the tour ended, we disembarked and found ourselves in front of a bunch of plates with each participants picture put on it. Naturally most of us bought it for the cheap price of THB 200.

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After the floating markets, the group went on to the bridge over the river Kwai and the consecutive World War 2 museum. The Minibus stopped next to the museum and the guide showed us the way to the bridge. I once went back and forth the giant metal bridge, but had to admit that every other major bridge I have seen so far has astonished me a lot more. Well at least it was exciting due to the poor maintenance of the bridge’s footway. 😀

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Having explored the famous bridge, I headed on towards the museum. The museum was apart from the massive antique train in front rather minimalistic. Either there was no exhibit and solely writing, or they had thrown a bunch of guns on top of each other, not bothering to write something about. Or they only explained. Therefore, I was soon fed up with the museum and headed towards the café next to the bus and ordered myself a beer. I was already looking forward to where we would stop next!

The Grand Palace

The following entry is about the utmost famous two attractions here in Bangkok. It is about the Grand Palace and the lying Buddha located in Wat Pho. Both of the attractions are located near Khao San. Those two are the really must see locations in Bangkok, so be sure you manage to go there. They both are located next two each other, so it is suitable to do both in an one day trip.

When yo arrive at either Wat Pho or The Grand Palace, you will find yourself on a sideway full with local stands trying to sell you souvenirs. They are most likely way more expensive than anywhere else in Bangkok, so if you do not find anything that you haven’t encountered anywhere else so far, restrain yourself from buying there. When I was there I encountered one guy walking around with a big python, offering tourists to lay the snake on their shoulders and make photos with it. As I never had a snake around my neck and really like those animals, he somehow managed to lore me into making a snake-photo. 😀 For everybody who also never had a snake around their necks, it is great feeling having this 3 Meter long, heavy animal on your shoulders. You’ll feel every movement of the snake whilst touching its silk-like skin.

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I then decided to start the day with the grand palace, as this has the shortest opening hours. So I walked there, on which way I was approached by several Thais, os of them probably Tuk-Tuk drivers, telling me that the Grand Palace is closed for the next 1 ½ hours as there is a big ceremony going on. Be aware, this is the typical scam. Those people try to make tourists believe that the palace is closed for now or even the day and offering them to take them elsewhere great. The place where you will be taken at is nothing else than some jewelry or carpet store, at which you won’t have much fun. Anyhow, don’t let them fool you, the Grand Palace is open every day from 8:30 to 15:30. So you just ignore those scammers and walk into the door. There you will find a path which will lead you the ticket counter, so you can buy the ticket for the Grand Palace itself. The entrance fee is quite expensive though.  It costs you 500 Baht (12.5€) to get into the area. You will find a walk-around with several monuments and statues fully golden and shiny decorated with gems. The several building, statues and monuments you see there are really, really impressive. Definitely worth a visit. After a while you will encounter a building in which the famous Emerald Buddha is located. The story behind that one is quite funny. Even though the Buddha itself is really old, people started to care about it just recently. This is why. When the Buddha was build, it was covered in gypsum so as to protect the emerald inside. Apparently, people were not aware that there was emerald hidden inside, so they were not impressed with a Buddha made out of gypsum. Therefore, people did not bother to go and look at it for very long time. Anyhow, after a while, the gypsum started to fall off from the emerald Buddha, revealing its true inside. This was when people started to admire the emerald Buddha, and going there in large groups. Anyhow, from what I have heard about it, I expected there to be a big, big emerald Buddha. Unfortunately, the emerald is just 65cm tall, so relatively small. Additionally it is located on top of a giant golden monument, decorated with lots of gems. Sadly, this causes to distract from the Buddha itself. When you are finished with the first set of buildings, monuments and statues in the so-called front-garden, you’ll follow a path which leads you towards the grand palace itself. In front of the palace you will find royal guards, like they are in London. Anyhow, I have to admit, they are moving much more than the original ones in London. 😀 But it still looks good! The Grand Palace itself is massive. It is a huge building with a typical Asian shaped roof, all in all a beautiful building. Unfortunately, one is not able to go inside the palace, which is what I really was hoping for. Anyhow, it was impressive to see all those attractions nevertheless. So this is definitely a recommendation from me.

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The second attraction in the area is even more impressive in my opinion. It is called Wat Pho and is located next to the Grand Palace. You will pay about 150 Baht (4€) to get into this magnificent temple area. Wat Pho itself is a big temple area, full with lots of religious temples and monuments, that all look really impressive. Anyhow, the focus when going there is set on the huge lying Buddha. It is a 46m x 8m x 16m golden Buddha, on which you walk around. The feet of the Buddha are engraved with religious symbols. As this is, as I believe, the biggest Buddha worldwide, you should really pay that one a visit.

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