I have been studying in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, which is the oldest and one of the best and most respected universities in Thailand. However, I feel that Chulalongkorn in general is just well branded and it didn’t really meet with my expectations. The quality of teaching wasn’t that good and I feel that the lack of good teaching methods was the reason for the endless useless group projects that provided nothing new for anyone. Also, Chula is the school for rich Thai kids who have a lot of pressure from their parents and therefore they are after good grades. That means that there isn’t the same kind of questioning of teachers or the freedom to focus on the things that interest you. Teacher’s opinions matter more and the subjects of group projects are chosen to please the teacher.
At school we had to wear uniforms that are said to represent the respect towards the education and are needed to create social cohesion. However, the uniform rules were different for example for first and third year students and postgraduates didn’t have to wear the uniform at all. Therefore, in my opinion the uniform is just one way to maintain the hierarchical community between students as well. People will know your current place in a society by just looking at your uniform. And I hated mine.
At school it was pretty easy to create the schedule that allowed people to travel a lot. Almost all my friends, including me, had only three days of school and the rest of the week was for exploring and traveling and trying to find places from off the beaten track, places where tourists don’t go or don’t know about.
I have heard from many people that they hate Bangkok and there is not much to do or see. I agree that if only visiting the city for few days you’ll get to see the expensive tourist attractions, traffic jams, huge shopping malls and annoying street vendors and tuk tuk drivers. However, when actually living there and getting deeper knowledge about the people and the culture is something that made me to fell in love with the city. I love how things don’t work as they do in Europe and how you never get what you expect. That creates patience and acceptance and forces you to focus on things that really matter.