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Thailand Report: Mahidol UniversityUniversity that contributes to social development through interactive learning

   
 
  ▲ It is one of the buildings of Mahidol University.  

/Photography from The Dongguk Media Center

   The second report is from Thailand. The team visited Mahidol University, Salaya Campus. This school is famous for health care and medical studies. Mahidol University has continued to grow and diversify into a multidisciplinary institution today. In 2009, it became one of Thailand’s nine National Research Universities. Now it is the leading institution in three out of nine National Centers of Excellence based on its Faculty of Science. At Mahidol University, the team met officers of International Relations Division and students of Mahidol University International College (MUIC).

 

Ways to become the best university

   Mahidol University, a leading university in Thailand, has been ranked 1st and 2nd place over the recent years. Its history began from the establishment of Siriraj Hospital in 1888 by His Majesty King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) and followed by a conversion into the University of Medical Sciences in 1943. In 1969, H.M. King Bhumibol Adulyadej renamed Mahidol University in remembrance of his father, H.R.H Prince Mahidol of Songkla, who is widely regarded as the “Father of Modern Medicine and Public Health” in Thailand.

   Mahidol University, as a whole, has been ranked as the best university in Thailand. There is also Mahidol University International College (MUIC) in Salaya Campus which has been approved by the Mahidol University Council in 1966. It is an autonomous element of the institution but has benefited from the great facilities, programmes and faculties provided by the university. Almost 3,700 foreign students from all over the world, including Korea, study at MUIC where all classes are taught in English.


“True success will be together with people”

   Peungjai Tinsulanonda, the officer of International Relations Division, introduced many activities for international students, such as the “Buddy Program.” It is a kind of mentoring program for foreign students helping them to adjust to the life in Thailand. “At ‘International Night,’ we invite all international students and Thai students to come and have a party. They can enjoy international food and performances.” “International Night” is one of the most famous festivals in Mahidol university. She mentioned that these programs are very useful and valuable for everyone in school and the community related to the campus.

   She said that providing low-cost education is also one of the attractive elements for applying students. For students applying under MOU, some of the programs are free of charge in tuition. In some cases, students do need to pay for certain activities including the money spent on entertainment and social activities, it varies on student,s interests and overall budget. Fortunately, the cost of living expenses in Thailand is much lower than that of Korea. There are various facilities including tennis courts, gardens, laboratories and recycling center for common use of nearby communities. Peungjai said that students can work for internship with  companies and communities around the school. During the campus tour, we could find out why Mahidol University is one of Thailand’s top universities.

   Emphasizing the value of “real success,” Tinsulanonda stated, “True success will be together with people.” The development of the university on the international indices, such as employment rates, can reap the tangible results. However, it is difficult to expect substantial progress in the quality of education. That is why Mahidol University was praised as a presigious University because they focus on teaching students to contribute to the society.

 

   
 
  Sheng Yang Kao, Jim, a student from the Mahidol University International College, is having an interview with the reporters.  

/Photography from The Dongguk Media Center

»Interview  of  the  student

Q. Can you introduce yourself ?

A. Hi, my name is Sheng Yang Kao. You can call me Jim.

 

Q. Mahidol University International College is one of the best universities in Thailand, right?

A. Mahidol University is considered as the top university in Thailand. MUIC is specialized for international students, so we have a lot of foreign professors for efficiency of teaching. Interstate students have been willing to come to study here because we have the best international programs in Thailand.

 

Q. What is the most attractive feature of the school?

A. Since it is far from Bangkok, it is different from other universities in Thailand. This region posseses history, culture and  traditions related to Buddhism. Thus, alot of Buddhist temples and attractions surrounds the university.

 

Q. Is there any special program for international students?

A. We have traditional programs like “Buddy.” At the start of a semester, school brings everyone together to provide opportunities for students to get familiar with each other. Sophomores who joined Thai culture activities are assigned to take care of freshmen. I assume there are similar programs in Korea as well.

 

Q. How many clubs does the university have?

A. There are approximately 30 to 40 more clubs, such as a nature lovers club, a diving club, and a bike club. If you have enough people to join, it is not really hard to make a new club.

 

Q. Lastly, is there anything you want to say to Donggukians?

A. Our school is considered as one of the top universities in this country and we have all different types of programs. I hope you guys can take the chance to visit our university someday.

   
 
  ▲ Suchada Phrunthonkul, the head of Strategic International Collaboration Unit. of Mahidol University, is having an interview with the reporters.  

/Photography from The Dongguk Media Center

 »Interview  of  the  Director

Q. Hello, it is a pleasure to meet you. Please introduce yourself briefly.

A. Hello, my name is Suchada Phrunthonkul and I am the head of Strategic International Collaboration Unit.

 

Q. What are the special traits Mahidol University has?

A. First of all, I would like to tell you about the background of our university. In 1888, we started as a medical school. Since then, we developed  into one of the most prestigious universities, known for the high quality of research and education. We are famous not only for health care and medicine but also for all kinds of academic fields.

 

Q. Are there any special teaching methods? What is the goal of education the university has?

A. Besides conveying the knowledge, we also want students to know what is really needed in their future lives. Our education encourages students to go to the field and maintain strong relationship with the communities. In order to achieve the univsersal view of education, I believe, “True success is not in learning, but in its application to the benefit of mankind.”

 

Q. Is there any special program that is in progress for international students?

A. We have some activities that can help foreign students to learn Thai culture such as the Buddy program. We ask Thai students to be a “Buddy” for exchange students because MUIC has a lot of international students. Also, we set up a group training program for foreigners on how to adjust in Thailand and also introduce what we are going to do during the semester.

 

Q. How many foreign students are studying here?

A. We have 946 international students including 312 undergraduate students. As of Korean students, we have 61 undergraduate and seven postgraduate students.

 

Q. What are the facilities or programs for student welfare?

A. Of course we provide accommodation. We have a clinic on the campus which students can use for their health care. We usually require students to buy an insurance in case a student has a serious health problem or unpredictable accidents that could happen to students.

 

Q. Lastly, do you have anything to say to Donggukians who might be interested in studying  in Thailand?

A. Mahidol is No.1 university in Thailand. I am quite sure that international students who study in Mahidol University are very satisfied because we put a lot of efforts to facilitate and accommodate for students.

Khang Seok-jun  seokjun29@dongguk.edu

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