Page last updated: 19 October, 2008
Ramkhamhaeng University Institute of International Studies (IIS-RU)
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Life as an International Student at IIS-RU

By Sonam "Camel" Phuntsho from Bhutan.

Sonam studied the Bachelor or Arts program in Mass Communication, majoring in Multimedia Journalism (graduated in 2007). He wrote this report for a course project. Photos by Sonam and his team fellows, Juthamas "Nat" Tanarattaphan, and Charm Pisithpunth.

SonamIt all began when I decided to come to Thailand for a degree. I was tempted to pursue a degree from Thailand as well. Get away from the cold weather of Bhutan, avoid the great pressure in local universities, experience a different life, have fun and get a prestigious degree.

First few days

Coming from a cold country, the first few days in Bangkok had been very exciting, but a drastic change. Perhaps many people would think that getting away from the watching eyes of your parents would be the best encounter ever in your life, but the tendency of you missing someone you love will be there. Luckily, I brought photos of my family and my friends.

International Student Orientation

SonamI am glad that I had attended the Student Orientation Program offered at IIS-RU. It was there that I got to know many friends and learn many things about Thai culture. Eventually, I got to know how to get about in IIS-RU.

The Struggle

The great struggle of my life began when the term started. For the first weeks, I could hardly understand what the lecturers were teaching. It were not the theories or concepts that I could not understand, but it was their English. Despite the fact that I had been studying English as my first language for more than 12 years, I simply could not understand their American accent. To make things worse, some lecturers scribble what makes their handwriting illegible. Even if you could make out what it was, do go through the notes back at home because you are bound to misread the handwritings.

The Thais

SonamThais are well known in the world for their friendliness, and no doubt about that, especially the elderly. They have never failed to make me laugh. They love to offer their help to anyone. My friend told me, once he went shopping and had bought lots of stuffs. He laid down everything on the floor, waiting for another friend when a helpful old man came to him and offered to carry the things for him. The helpful old man was so old that my friend thought perhaps he should be the one to help him instead.

The Weather

Perhaps any student from the cold countries would say that they are going enjoy the warm weather in Bangkok. However, I would say it is not going to be very true. It would be very nice if you are on a few weeks tour, but not for months as a student.

Life now in IIS-RU, in my second year

Life in IIS-RU can never be any better now. I am living in harmony with my housemates. We joke together, play together and eat together.

Life is not perfect

SonamAs the saying goes, nothing is perfect. Life can be great in a whole new world, but there are definitely things around to upset you. This may not be an eternal truth, but I discovered something about local students with almost all of my Asian friends are experiencing the same problem as me. Thai students tend to leave their used cookeries and utensils all over the kitchen for weeks. Even for months, to the stage that the utensils get mouldy. I was very fed up with my housemates initially and certainly did make a lot of noise. However, this has never hindered the good relationship between my housemates and me, simply because they now do their dishes when I tell them to.

Grab the chance

If you have a chance to come to Bangkok for further studies, grab the chance. It is a wonderful experience. You are not just getting a degree here, but learn to be independent and have fun. You will love the social life in IIS-RU if you are a person who likes to joke and stay out late at night. And you will brush up your cooking skills, if you are going to stay in a self-catering accommodation.

I strongly recommend you to study at the Institute of International Studies at Ramkhamhaeng University. I am looking forward to seeing you there, and certainly to help you with the first steps. So are most fellow students as well, therefore no reason to fear too much homesickness!

Take care, and hope to see you soon!

Sonam Phuntsho

Institute of International Studies (IIS-RU), Ramkhamhaeng University, RU Printing Press Building 7th floor, Huamark, Bangkapi, Bangkok 10240
international phone +66 2310 8895 to 9, phone from Thailand 0-2310-8895 to 9, fax 0-2310-8897.


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