Thailand is a weird and wonderful place. I have heard many stories from many people about how this unique country can exist in today’s stringent society. My experiences in Thailand did not counter these stories, however I was fortunate enough to see the other side of Thai society.
Bangkok is the capital of Thailand, with a population of almost 6.5 million people. As a tourist you only really see one side of the city. Thanks to the BUiLD program I was able to see Thailand from a completely different angle. As a student studying at KMUTT (one of Thailand’s top universities) I had a better insight into the daily lives of the modern Thai people, not just what you see on international advertisements. It was interesting to discover that their lives don’t differ all that much from mine. My Thai buddy moved closer to his university to cut on travel time, like I did. He walks or rides his bike to uni and has a very active social life, like my own. Not only that but he also enjoys everything he’s doing and takes everything as a new experience from which he may learn.
While it might seem ignorant to say that I didn’t expect this from student of other nations I feel as though not many people actually believe this of other nations. This trip helped me learn more about Science and Engineering, but more importantly fully opened my eyes to the way the world works. Everyone is more or less the same, we have the same goals and ambitions, the same drives and the same enjoyment of what we do. The only difference is WHERE we are doing it. If my Thai buddies were to pack up and move to Sydney, they would not be any different to any of us.
I made many friends on this trip, both Australian and Thai and I learnt a lot about both our cultures. To say that this trip to Thailand was invaluable to me is a complete understatement. Words cannot describe my experiences and what I learnt, although I will say that the friends I made, and the things I discovered, I will carry with me for life.
Robert Fleck 11702988