Study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand.

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1 Study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand. Name: Johannes Boers University: Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok Semester: Fall semester 2014/2015 A. General report 1. Host institution and exact dates of semester abroad In the first semester of 2014/2015 I did go on exchange to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. The semester abroad officially started on August 13 and ended on the 7 th of December. 2. Contact with home faculty, preparation and journey The home faculty informed me about all the options for studying abroad and we had a presentation about all the things we had to arrange beforehand. Furthermore, I asked some questions about some unclear issues and handed in the necessary forms for the Marco Polo grant. With my program coordinator I finalized my learning agreement and I was ready to go. The host institution provided very clear information. They gave me instructions how to enroll for the exchange semester, which visa to get and which housing options I could choose from. The university gave me a Thai buddy and when I travelled with 3 other students from Groningen to Bangkok our buddy's picked us up from the airport, which was really nice. We bought a uniform with them two days later, you need that uniform to go the classes at the university. Moreover, they showed us around the first couple of days. It was very nice to know some Thai students and they were very helpful! 3. Residence abroad Arrangements visa/ residence permit - kind of vaccinations and how to prepare the health check The host institution told me that I needed an non-immigrant ED visa. I looked on the internet and concluded that the easiest and best way was to go to the Thai consulate in Amsterdam and apply for my visa there. I chose the multiple entry visa, as you need that type of visa when you want to travel outside of Thailand during the semester. It did cost me 140 euro s and they returned my passport with visa by mail to my home in Groningen Because of earlier journeys I did not need many vaccinations. I went to a 'travel doctor' and he provided the necessary vaccinations and malaria pills for staying in Thailand and travelling through South East Asia.

2 Arrival and departure dates I arrived on the 6 th of August and returned to the Netherlands at January 22, I travelled for 8 weeks after the end of the semester and that's why returned in the end of January. Accommodation I stayed in Nonsi Residence, as most of the exchange students in my semester. It was a nice apartment residence about 4 km from the university. This is equal to a 10 to 15 minute taxi ride, of course depending on traffic, from the university campus. In total there were almost 150 exchange students and interns staying in Nonsi, which made it a great place to live. There was a nice pool, a small fitness place (not that great) and a restaurant with very good food in the garage. Reception and introduction On the first day of class we had an information meeting at the end of the day, were there was a presentation about the university, the upcoming semester, and Thailand in general. We received an information package. We had a welcome party of our faculty in the third week of the semester. There was a great buffet dinner at a hotel and people all students from different countries performed some act. The international office also organized a one day cultural trip. Student life, culture and leisure Bangkok is a great, vibrant city that never sleeps. There is always something to do and a lot to see. There are many nice clubs and bars and many beautiful temples. It's a fantastic city to live in. Language Most of the Thai people speak only very basic English, but I did not have many problems with communicating with the locals. You get quickly used to the way they speak. I learned a couple of Thai words and that was really appreciated by the locals. The teachers spoke reasonably good English. 4. Grant I received a Macro polo grant of 800 euro s in total. It was divided into one part for the flight (400 euro's) and a second part that consisted of 100,- a month. I got 70% beforehand, so 560 euro before I left for Bangkok and the other 30% when I returned in The Netherlands. The grant was enough to cover my flight of almost 700 euro's and some study expenses.

3 Overall information about expenses abroad (living, food, travelling, vaccinations etc.) Everything is quite cheap in Thailand. You can get a decent meal for as little as 1 euro. Taxi's also cost close to nothing, so it's very convenient to travel around the city. I travelled a lot, and that made life a bit expensive. Because I made many weekend trips during the semester and they involved quite some flying, it did cost quite a lot. But relative to Europe many things are really cheap. 5. Study (general) Introduction, general advice, etc. I had a great time studying at Chula! It was an interesting experience to study at a different university and I learned a lot. I had to wear a uniform, which I didn t mind and was actually quite nice. The university is situated at a gigantic campus in the middle of Bangkok. Dates of beginning and end of lecture series and examination period Beginning of lectures: August 13 Ending of lectures: November 23 Midterm exams: September 29- October 5 Final Exams: November 24- December 7 Remarks on the organization of the study program The university is really well organized. A couple of weeks after I was nominated to go to Bangkok I received a list of the courses I could choose from. I followed courses of the BBA program, and there were a lot of courses available for exchange students. I was able to find more than enough interesting courses. Study facilities/ International Office abroad The facilities of the faculty and university are very good, on there are multiple libraries and computer rooms. Personally, I didn't use them that much. I always studied in my apartment. The international office was very good as well. They were always available for questions and provided exchange students with good help.

4 Summary of subjects taken Production and Operations Management The course 'Production and Operations Management' gave me more knowledge about this subject, as it was not included in my economics track. Many topics were discussed like forecasting and capacity planning and many more. Entrepreneurship During this course we started with a business idea and during the course this was developed into a full business presentation. During lectures everything about the issues of entrepreneurship and the life of an entrepreneur were highlighted. The assignments were designed to uncover the process from an idea to a business presentation/plan. Current Issues in Finance This class was about many aspects of finance and was very interesting. The lecturer was not a professor, but a man with a lot of experience in the financial world. The field trip to a company (Cal-Comp electronics) was great and this course provided recent finance issues and a better understanding of finance. Managerial Accounting This course was given by a lecturer from the United States. During this course many aspects of managerial accounting were discussed. There were weekly homework assignments and quizzes at the beginning of class. 6. Other relevant info you want to share with our future exchange students. If you want to have an amazing exchange experience in a beautiful country and a good university, come to Chula! 7. Summary impression of the study period abroad and any advice/suggestions/tips for students or academic staff who will be involved with the host institution in the future. I had a great time studying abroad. I learned very much and it was a nice experience to follow courses in another county/continent. It was nice to get to know many Thai people and international students. My advice is to go to a residence/apartment where most exchange students will stay that semester, because that will give you the best experience!

5 B Specific report B1. Production and operations management 1. Host institution and study period Chulalongkorn University, the study period started at August 13 and ended the 7th of December. 2. Lectures and literature There was one weekly lecture of 3 hours and one field trip that started early in the morning and ended in the afternoon. There was a booklet provided with all the slides and exercises. There was a textbook used as well; Stevenson W.J. and Chuong, S.C., Operations Management, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, Overview of lecture program

6 4. Contents The course gives an introduction to the operations in manufacturing and service organizations; facility location; lay-out; production process; safety management; forecasting; operations planning and control; work measurement; quality management; inventory control management and just-in-time production. 5. Lecture-related activities There were a couple of small group assignments concerning a case about starting a coffee shop. There were practice problems and in class activities provided, however these were not mandatory to complete. 6. Relevance to Groningen study program I think this course is somewhat comparable to the course Operations and Logistics Management here in Groningen. 7. Study load Apart from the weekly lectures and the field trip, I spent a couple of hours on the assignments. Moreover, I had to study for the midterm and final exam. 8. Assessment in Groningen Lecturer: Assistant Professor Siri-on Setmanit, Ph.D. EC: 9

7 B2. Entrepreneurship 1. host institution and study period Chulalongkorn University, the study period started at August 13 and ended the 7th of December. 2. Lectures and literature One weekly lecture of 3 hours, in my case on Wednesday from 9:00-12:00. There were 3 field trips in Bangkok organized as well. There was no literature, the lecturer only used slides. 3. Overview of lecture program

8

9 4. Contents Characteristics of entrepreneur; analysis of entrepreneur s problems and opportunities; investigation of new business opportunities; business plan; concept of selecting business and type of investment; managing a young enterprise for profitability and growth.

10 5. Lecture-related activities The whole assessment of this course is based on assignments and presentations. We started with 2 individual assignments about a business opportunity and market discovery. Then we had to present our ideas in an elevator pitch. Afterwards, there were some group assignments and a final presentation where further elaborated on a chosen business idea. There was two other individual assignments, one journal where we had to write our own review on the lectures and field trip and an interview with an entrepreneur. 6. Relevance to Groningen study program The course entrepreneurship is not included in my regular study program, so it was nice opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurs. 7. Study load All the assignments did take quite some time to complete. However, with no exams that was quite logical. 8. Assessment in Groningen Lecturer: Pawin (Paul) Suthapong EC: 9

11 B3. Current Issues in Finance 1. host institution and study period Chulalongkorn University, the study period started at August 13 and ended the 7th of December. 2. Lectures and literature One weekly lecture of 3 hours and a lot of recent articles about finance. No textbook was used. We did go on a very interesting field trip to a company that produced, among others, hp printers. The field trip took almost the whole day and was very nice! 3. Overview of lecture program

12 4. Contents This is a class for the fourth year student to explore the real world of finance, investment and economic trends. No textbooks will be used. The class is heavily skewed towards the finance & investment world with emphasis in corporate governance, risk and business finance. Cases, news clippings will be used for discussion and students need to pre-read materials before attending class every week. 5. Lecture-related activities We had to make two assignments, one individual and a group assignment. We had to present the group assignment. The individual assignment was about a recent merger and acquisition and did not include a presentation. The group assignment had to be presented and my group discussed the Walton family. 6. Relevance to Groningen study program This course provided nice insights from a lecturer who had worked in the financial sector for many years. He shared his experience and this made it a very interesting course. It provided mostly insights in the Asian market, which is not that easy to get in Groningen. 7. Study load I had to spent quite some time on preparing the assignments and reading the articles before the weekly lectures. 8. Assessment in Groningen Lecturer: Ajarn Alan Kam EC: 9

13 B4. Managerial Accounting 1. host institution and study period Chulalongkorn University, the study period started at August 13 and ended the 7th of December. 2. Lectures and literature A weekly lecture of 3 hours. Textbook: Managerial accounting: An Asian perspective 3. Overview of lecture program

14 4. Contents Role of accounting on management; cost concepts and classifications; product costing; job costing; activity-based costing; full costing and variable costing; cost-volume-profit analysis; analysis of cost for decision making; standard costing and variance analysis; budgeting; responsibility accounting and performance evaluation. 5. Lecture-related activities Almost every class began with a quiz about last week's lecture that counted for your grade. There was homework as well that had to be handed in the day before class. Both the quiz and homework were discussed and afterwards a new topic introduced in the lecture. 6. Relevance to Groningen study program I think this course is comparable to the course management accounting at the FEB. 7. Study load The weekly homework's cost me a couple of hours a week and I had to study for both the exams. 8. Assessment in Groningen Lecturer: Dr. Jack C. Bailes EC: 9

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