Why Bangkok, Thailand of all places?
First a few words about me and the background for a semester abroad in Bangkok. Since I had already completed a semester abroad in San Diego, California for my Bachelor’s degree, I wanted to take another chance to leave for my Master’s degree.
Since I had already been to Asia before and I fell in love with Bangkok, the decision to go to Bangkok for a semester abroad was made relatively quickly. Also since my semester abroad in California was very expensive, Bangkok was a good destination for a second semester abroad. Furthermore, I wanted to get out of the comfort zone and face a life in Asia. I decided to go as a free mover because my university didn’t have any good partner universities in Bangkok. So I started looking for a suitable agency that supports free movers and came across MicroEDU.
I am very happy that there is such an institution (free of charge!) And would like to thank MicroEDU once again for their support! Visit ehuacom.com to get information about scholarships in Germany.
I took a little time to write a detailed report, so a slightly longer experience report follows, which will hopefully help you with your decision.
The application process was easy thanks to MicroEDU. But of course with a little paperwork involved, but still feasible. You will need to collect all of the documents and send them to MicroEDU. MicroEDU will take care of submitting the application documents and communicating with the university for you.
I was able to take the DAAD test at my university, even for free, just talk to one of the English professors at your university and save you the money for the TOEFL, which is quite annoying. Furthermore, you should of course also take care of a visa, I was at the embassy in Stuttgart. This is not a real message as you imagine, but an office in an apartment. After 10 minutes I had my visa in my hands, but Stuttgart, like almost all other cities in Germany, only issues a single entry visa. If you have the opportunity, go to the embassy in Essen. This issues a multiple entry visa.
You should also deal with the subject of vaccinations. You should have all the usual vaccinations, hepatitis A and B and rabies. I am insured with the Barmer GK and after some back and forth and a lot of persuasion, my insurance took over all vaccinations. So don’t let yourself get rid of!
Finally, remember to apply for BAföG abroad or a scholarship, for example I received the Bavaria scholarship.
Since I am in my final semester in the master’s degree (I am studying human resource management and labor law), I only had to take two courses that will be credited to my home university. I chose:
Recommended for people who want to deal with the cultural differences of different nationalities and their effects on the business world. The course is led by an Austrian with excellent English. Unfortunately there were about 15 internationals and only four Thais in the course. Furthermore, the course was very complex.
There was also a not so nice incident in a group work with a Thai student colleague. She had done copy-paste on a paper and all group members were reprimanded for it. The lecturer didn’t really care that the other group members had nothing to do with it (they didn’t get any points for it). Accordingly, my grade on this course was my worst.
Human Resource Planning and Development:
The lecturer (Thai) was very nice and spoke very good and quite understandable English, which is not a matter of course for Thais. On the whole, the course is a lot of palaver, but if you want to continue your training in the personnel area or need a course that goes in that direction, this is quite good for you. What I liked a lot, there were only three of us internationals in the lecture, the rest were Thais. So the lecture was completely different and more appealing to me personally. The course is very complex, but manageable. This was the one I enjoyed most of my courses, but it was also due to the fact that there were great Thais in the lecture.
In general, I have not met any of my fellow students (internationals) who had received a grade lower than B. But if you don’t want to do so much and get very good grades, then I would definitely recommend other courses. These courses were very time-consuming and not so easy or the demands were higher in these courses compared to the other courses. You have to reckon with about 32,000 Baht, which corresponds to about 850 euros, per course.
As described in other testimonials before, the search for an apartment was not so easy in my opinion. I decided to look for an apartment on site, which I would recommend to everyone. I came to Bangkok two weeks before the start of the lectures and personally checked out all the condos in the area, which means I went to reception and asked. It was very difficult to find an apartment as most of them do not offer contracts for less than six months. With a little negotiation and a few contacts, I got a five-month contract. Another difficulty was the poor knowledge of English in the condos.
I stayed at the Casa Condo, which I highly recommend. However, make sure to get a room on the pool side, as there is a school on the other side, which is incredibly annoying after a while because of the noise. Every day some drums are unpacked and ceremonies are held. Most of the students either lived here or in the Capital Condo. The chapter is closer to the university, but also more expensive. Definitely negotiate the monthly rent.
Here is a comparison of the surrounding condos:
The Casa Condo costs between 13,000-15,000 Baht plus additional costs. Nice apartment with a balcony. There is no kitchen or washing machine in the apartments. However, there are washing facilities and dryers on the ground floor. There is a nice pool on the fifth floor with a small gym (with pool view). There is also a jacuzzi and sauna.
The Capitel Condo is priced at around 15,000-17,000 Baht plus additional costs. Nice, modern apartments with kitchen, washing machine and balcony. The pool is on the rooftop and there is also a gym.
The Chewathai Ratchaprarop costs around 20,000 Baht for two people (shared apartments). Also with pool and gym.
In my opinion, the area (Din Daeng) in which the CMMU and the condos are located is a bit outside. Also, none of the condos are directly on the BTS or MRT (20 minutes walk). So if you have few courses and are not instructed to live near the university, I would live somewhere else, e. g. Sukhumvit, Klong Toei etc.
Notes / tips
- Grab app, like Uber in Thailand, is the best and most helpful app. Made my life a lot easier for me. You don’t always have to deal with taxi drivers because the price is fixed and can be linked to the credit card. Furthermore, the driver knows exactly where to go.
- Line App, the WhatsApp in Thailand
- Superrich has the best exchange rates
- Foodpanda, delivers food straight to your home with a wide variety of dining options
- Tesco Lotus, also delivers your purchases to your home
- Learn Thai: The university offers a Thai course (free of charge). Definitely take the chance. It is very helpful to speak a few words of Thai, because many Thais can only speak poor or no English. One of the reasons for this is that Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been colonized.
- Travel: Bangkok is the linchpin in Asia. Nowhere can you travel as cheaply as here. All the surrounding countries can be reached easily and in a short time.
- And not to forget Thailand itself, the beautiful north – Chiang Mai is beautiful and of course the south of Thailand with its island paradises.
- I avoided all tourist places, ie I was not in Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Samui etc. , but on many small islands in the very south of Thailand. There you can still find the origin of Thailand, which has not yet been besieged by mass tourism.
- The rainy season is exhausting in Bangkok, from November the weather will be good
- Traffic: Bangkok is a metropolis with an incredibly high volume of traffic, my means of transport has always been the scooter
- Octave is my favorite sky bar. Incredible views and happy hour from 5pm to 7pm.
- Another topic, a very important and limiting aspect for me: Vegetarians / vegans in Bangkok. I am a vegetarian and it has always been very difficult for me to eat. Thais cannot or do not understand the term vegetarian. And so I often got dishes with meat, even though I said no meat. Especially in the Din Daeng area where the CMMU is and where I lived, there are not many vegetarian options as not many Westerners live here. May be great for some, but it was exhausting for me. In other parts of the city such as Sukhumvit etc. there are great restaurants and vegetarian-friendly options.
Bangkok – you either love the city or you hate it. Bangkok is crazy, loud, dirty, chaotic, poor, rich. Here all opposites exist side by side. A semester abroad in the capital of Thailand is everything – especially not boring. Thailand has so much to offer, a definite GO from me!