Mahidol University Review (1)

Mahidol University Review (1)


1 Academic information

1. 1 Mahidol University – College of Management (CMMU)

The Mahidol University is one of the top universities in Thailand and has entered the international ranking as number one in Thailand this year. It was founded in 1943 and named after the father of the reigning king. The university is renowned for its medical faculty. But the university has several other faculties.

The College of Management Mahidol University (CMMU) teaches students at Master’s level. This faculty is not far from the city center, in the northern part of Bangkok, and can be easily reached with the Sky Train (Sanam Pao) and the university’s own shuttle bus. Visit to get information about vocational training in Croatia.

The CMMU attaches great importance to interactivity and practical relevance. This is ensured by small classes (max. 30 students). In class, many cases are solved in groups. In addition, the university tries to position itself internationally by employing professors who come from the West or who have completed their masters or doctorates abroad.

In terms of infrastructure, the university has a small library, various computers and printers. There is also a food court and a kiosk on the ground floor. There you can get very cheap and good food.

The exchange students are competently looked after by an exchange office. Pananard Sarakosala (Nickname: Tum) and Chanistha (Nickname: Chani) were responsible for us. But from the coming semester onwards, Tum will no longer be at the CMMU. In the first week an orientation program was organized with the following content: administrative matters, campus tour, Thai culture and a two-day sightseeing tour in and around Bangkok. In addition, every exchange student is assigned a buddy. Any questions regarding university or life in Bangkok can be directed to the buddy.

Although Mahidol University is one of the most renowned universities in Thailand, the level is much lower than at renowned universities in Europe. If you are looking for an academic challenge, Mahidol University may not be the right choice.

1. 2 Courses attended

At the CMMU, each course is assessed with 6 ECTS, whereby a maximum of only 4 courses can be attended. Each course costs THB 32,000. The level of the courses is generally lower than at European universities. The biggest challenge is the group work with the Thai students, as they are a bit more chaotic, less punctual and less organized than most of the exchange students. In addition, most of them work 100% and therefore don’t have much time for university. It is particularly strenuous that they say yes to everything, but then always do something different; you often don’t know where you stand. Problems during work are not proactively communicated to you because they don’t want to lose face. So you have to keep pushing them.

The course catalog will be sent to you before the exchange semester. If possible, you should specify twice as many courses as you want than you really need. Because there can always be changes. Before the semester, you can then register online according to the first-come-first-serve principle.

During the semester there is an 80% attendance requirement, which must not be undercut if you want to complete the course. However, the compulsory attendance is not interpreted equally strictly by all lecturers. Of course, it does not apply to illness.

1. 2. 1 Cross Cultural Management

Content: CCM deals with various topics in the area of ​​cross cultural management: organizational culture, negotiation, international business ethics, HR management, cross culture mergers.

Course evaluation: The lecturer is Austrian and has been working in Thailand for a long time. Therefore, she can explain the topics well. The course also has a slightly scientific touch, as you have to read chapters from a book every now and then. During the 3h lecture there is usually a case in groups to solve in addition to a theoretical part. The course is recommended to get to know the Asian culture better.

Assignments: The effort is limited here. You have to write an essay and read a book chapter every now and then. There is no midterm exam, a photo journal must be submitted for this. A video interview project must be presented in a group work. At the end of the semester there is a written exam.

1. 2. 2 Franchise Management

Content: The course mainly deals with topics such as Strategic Management, Strategic Planning, Operation Management, Service & Support and Relationship Management in relation to franchise companies. This is brought closer to you with the help of many practical international and Thai examples.

Course evaluation: to me the content was new; but at a relatively low level, with a lot of work. The course lasts 3 hours per week, of which the last lecture was repeated in the first hour. Then, in addition to theory, some exercises were also solved in groups. If you haven’t had any experience with franchise management, this course is definitely recommended.

Assignments: Three essays have to be written, a case, a group project (40 pages) and a midterm and final exam in open book format. The latter two have the advantage that you have to take a mock exam two weeks beforehand in the form of one of the above-mentioned essays. Thus, the learning effort for the exams is very low, as most of it was already solved during the semester.

The professor gives you detailed feedback for all assignments.

1. 2. 3 Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management

Content: This course covers classic OB and HR topics.

Course evaluation: In terms of level, it is comparable to lectures at European universities. The lecturer is a Thai who publishes in various journals, so he has to read a journal almost every week. He talks a lot about practical experience, as he also works as a consultant. In the 3h course there is usually a theoretical part followed by group cases, which are also evaluated from time to time. Although the theory is known to a master’s student, the course is recommended. Especially because the OB and HR topic is dealt with with a strong Asian focus.

Assignments: During the semester there are several unannounced tests which contain an application question about previous lectures or journals. Therefore, you cannot go to the lecture unprepared. There are also two essays to be written and small cases that are evaluated. In addition, group work with video interviews must be submitted and presented. Instead of a midterm exam, there is a “take home case study”, this takes some time and is absolutely comparable in level with the local universities; also their grading. There is also a written exam at the end of the semester.

1. 2. 4 Soft Skills Development

Content: As the title suggests, the course deals with soft skills. These include love, trust, negotiation, happiness and so on, among others. The aim of the course is to deepen and improve your own soft skills.

Course evaluation: This course is arguably one of the craziest things you can experience in your university career. There are no tables or chairs in the classroom. The twenty or so students and the lecturer sit in a circle on the floor. The three hours of lectures per week offer a fun, relaxed and very special change from everyday university life. Although you never get bored in the course, from time to time you wonder whether the tuition fees for this course are really justified. If you want to get to know the university in a completely different way and can do without a high academic level, you should take this course.

Assignments: In the team you have to carry out two class activities (PowerPoint approx. 20 minutes each) and a larger group project (10-page report and 20-minute presentation). In addition, a weekly journal must be written, which is submitted on a total of four dates (total: 4 times 4 pages).

1. 2. 5 Strategic Marketing Management

Content: The course deals with classic marketing topics as you already know from the Bachelor: 4Ps, SWOT, research, e-business, strategic planning. The lecturer presents various examples in each lecture: Thai and international.

Course evaluation: The level of the course is relatively low; the marketing lecture in the Bachelor’s is more demanding. The lecturer is an American who loves himself and makes jokes all the time, which only he finds funny. The course is not recommended.

Assignments: There is a lot to do here, in addition to final and midterm exams. A group presentation on a topic of your choice, 2 essays and a computer simulation including a final presentation and report must be done.

2. Practical information

After the confirmation of acceptance at the CMMU, booking the flight and submitting the credit application, you still have to take care of the visa. This can be done by post. It is advisable to apply for a visa two to three weeks before departure. As a student, you get a non-immigration visa for 90 days, which you can order online. The following applies to Switzerland, compared to e. g. Germany or France, a special regulation. On the one hand, you can only apply for a single entry visa, but not a multiple entry visa. This single entry visa expires automatically if you leave Thailand (before the 90 days have expired). On the other hand, you only get a 15-day tourist visa if you leave Thailand by land. However, when entering via an international airport, the Swiss can also get a 30-day tourist visa. In Bangkok there is the possibility of extending the single entry visa or converting it into a multiple entry visa for a comparatively high fee (from 1900 baht). There is also the option of “extending” the visa free of charge for 15 or 30 days using the Visa Run (tourist visa). Before dealing with the visa, you should consider whether and to what extent you want to travel in Thailand or Southeast Asia in general. Depending on the curriculum, traveling (especially longer trips abroad) during the term can be a bit time-consuming and arduous, as most courses require 80% attendance and there are also a lot of group work.

2. 1. Bangkok

2. 1. 1 Social life

In Bangkok you can find everything you could want and much more. Even if you don’t have much time to travel during the exchange, you will never get bored in Bangkok.

Shopping centers where you can easily get lost, markets where haggling is the most normal thing in the world, catering options from free food to upscale 5-star cuisine, countless temples and palaces, rooftop bars, a pulsating nightlife and hundreds of leisure opportunities, such as 4D Cinema, surfing, amusement park and much more. The website bangkok. com provides competent information for all activities.

2. 1. 2 Money

In Thailand, payments are made in Thai Baht (THB), whereby CHF 1 corresponds to approx. THB 33 (autumn 2014). For a 4-month stay, you have to calculate around 8,000 to 10,000 CHF, depending on how often you travel during the semester. The majority of the amount are fixed costs for flight, accommodation and university. A course at the CMMU costs 32,000 THB, which is around 1,000 CHF. A return flight ticket should be available for CHF 1,000 without any problems. Most of my fellow students paid around 12,000 to 18,000 Baht per month for accommodation, which corresponds to around 400 to 500 CHF. Life itself is very cheap in Thailand and even if you treat yourself to a lot of luxury and travel now and then you can get by with an average of 1,000 THB per day.

2. 2 Accommodation

We lived in one of countless high-rise apartment buildings near the OnNut BTS station, a little east of the city center. The name of the building was U Delight OnNut Station and housed around 600 one-room apartments spread over 30 floors. For 15,000 THB per month, the building, which was built around 5 years ago, has a fitness room, swimming pool, sauna, security, 24-hour lobby, restaurant, laundry service, 7/11 etc. very inexpensive. Since a few other exchange students lived in the same building, it never got boring.

We generally recommend booking a hotel room for the first few nights and then looking for apartments on site or discussing where the other exchange students will be living in advance. After arriving we went to see a few apartment buildings and decided afterwards. Often there is an agency on the ground floor that is open during the day and rents out such apartments. It is not uncommon for the minimum contract duration to be six months, but this can also be traded down to four months for a small surcharge.

2. 3 Thailand & Southeast Asia

The main season for traveling in Thailand and the surrounding countries is December-February. The temperatures and humidity are more pleasant in the winter season. However, the prices for hotels and flights are somewhat higher due to the greater demand. The months of March to mid-June are very hot and humid, which is why this time is less recommended for traveling. The rainy season in Thailand generally lasts from June to October. However, the beginning and end of the rainy season vary from region to region. It is often cloudy during the rainy season. It can rain for two to three hours a day; Rain for days is the exception. The lush vegetation and low prices make traveling in the rainy season an alternative worth considering.

Bangkok is the ideal starting point to travel to Southeast Asia. For shorter trips within Thailand there are numerous long-distance bus stations that leave Bangkok every hour. Particularly noteworthy are the minibuses from the Victory Monument BTS station. The prices for such bus trips are generally very low and usually the cheapest travel option. The two airports Don Mueang (national) and Suvarnabhumi (international) are located a little outside of Bangkok and offer numerous connections in all directions.

3. Exchange experience

Regardless of the host country, an exchange semester is very valuable for both personal development and CV. Due to a lack of personally experienced comparisons with other exchange opportunities, it is difficult to draw a conclusive conclusion about exchange in Bangkok. However, there are clearly more arguments on the pro side than on the contra side. Thailand, the land of smiles, is known for its unobtrusive hospitality. Expats from the west have a high position in Thailand, a country with great power distance. At the same time, this submissiveness sometimes makes you very thoughtful. However, the Thais accept their position in society and are happy with it. Bangkok is a vibrant and crazy metropolis with always something going on. In addition to the lively nightlife with chic sky bars, cool bars and big clubs, Bangkok has great markets and a huge culinary offer. There is probably no leisure activity (fun park, zoo, water park, paintball, museums, shopping, shooting ranch, surfing, sport, etc. ) that you cannot pursue in this metropolis. Another plus point is that you can go on numerous cheap trips at home and abroad from Bangkok. Due to the extremely low price level in Thailand and the surrounding countries, a lot of trips are within budget. If you are looking for academic challenges and want to avoid intercultural difficulties as much as possible, you are definitely wrong at the CMMU. If you want to have a good time with interesting expats from all over the world in a wonderful, sunny country, should seriously consider the CMMU. The authors of this report can highly recommend the exchange at the CMMU and would choose this university again.

Mahidol University Review (1)