Study Abroad: Business students organise Songkran Festival at Stamford International University, Thailand

Torrens Business students organise Songkran Festival at Stamford International University, Thailand

The Study Abroad program allows students to connect with Laureate International Universities around the world.

This immersive experience allows students to understand the culture, strategy and content from another perspective. Two second year APM College of Business and Communication, Bachelor of Business (Event Management) students, Chloe and Maddie have taken the opportunity to study abroad in Trimester 1 at Stamford International University in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We chose to study a trimester abroad at Stamford International University in Bangkok because of the amazing cultural diversity it offered on campus. It has already enriched our experiences and understanding of international business skills, as well as the importance of understanding different cultures when creating strategies and executing events. Plus, as best friends, we get to experience another country together, visit beautiful locations, and make lots of new friends.”

 

Stamford International University has been a pleasant surprise for the students. In Australia, Chloe and Maddie study business at The Rocks campus in Sydney, so the culture change, and the location is proving to be an excellent learning experience for them.

“Stamford has really surprised us. Not only are we participating in lecturers to learn the course content, we’re also required to plan multiple events around the University, and in Bangkok, as part of our assessments, to demonstrate our event management skills and capabilities. The biggest event we’ve organised and executed to date, is Songkran”.

 

Songkran is the Thai New Year Festival celebrated all over the beautiful country of Thailand. It is filled with many strange and fun traditions, which our students were lucky enough to experience first-hand. Some of these traditions included: visiting temples, offering food to Buddhist monks, and the most iconic – pouring water over Buddha statues and the hands of the young and elderly. Songkran is also very well known for its water festival. People line the streets all over Thailand and throw buckets of water on anyone and everyone who passes by. Specific areas in major cities are even closed off for huge water gun fights to take place.

Chloe and Maddie were given 15 days to organise and execute a small Songkran event on campus at Stamford University, with a group of local students from class. This event was celebrated on campus, so that all students would get the chance to participate and celebrate it together.

“After discussing the nitty gritty details of the event such as the location, decorations, games, food and budget, the event team went on a hunt around Bangkok to find the best deals on food and prizes to pull together a successful Songkran! We were thrown into the deep end and had to make deals, purchases and plans without knowing much about Thailand, Thai and Buddhist culture and not being able to speak a word of Thai (yikes!). Even though it was tricky, we felt like this was one of the best activities to be a part of thus far on our study abroad trip.”

The morning of the Songkran event on campus in Bangkok it rained (more like typhoon weather), which sent the event team into a panic. Chloe and Maddie recall it was their Event Management skills they had learned from classes in their first year at University at Torrens that had reinforced the necessity to always have a plan B when running events.

“The carnival, food stalls and Thai cultural performances were moved undercover and the event went on as planned. As the day continued the weather cleared up the heat came through, making the water fight all the more successful. Lecturers and students alike expressed their enjoyment during the event and were sad to see it end. The event brought everyone together and allowed international students, like us, to learn more about traditional Thai culture.”

Chloe and Maddie are now huge advocates for any student considering studying abroad at one of Laureate International Universities partner locations. Not only has it given the students the opportunity to experience international event management in real life, it has allowed them to extend their networks and cultural consideration when running future events.

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