This issue’s theme is SPACE which stands for Shape, Pursue, Achieve, Collaborate and Empower—words that best describe the good things that students can imbibe in MUIC. Such a nurturing environment can only result in the balanced development of students—intelligent individuals imbued with a set of ethical values and a willingness to contribute to society’s progress. In the following pages you will see examples of how MUIC students are becoming the embodiment of these qualities.
By Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, M.D.
In Thai, there is a saying, “There is not a knife whose blade cannot be made razor sharp by the whetstone (“ไม่มีมีดด้ามไหน ที่ลับแล้วไม่คม”).” This proverb implies that every individual has the potential for improvement and can achieve greatness when given the right tools and guidance in the right environment.
At MUIC, we firmly believe that the right educational experience can play a pivotal role in equipping students with the knowledge, attitude, skills, values, and strength of character to overcome life’s many challenges and that a truly uplifting education can take an individual beyond just achieving academic success.
That belief is fully highlighted in the MUIC 2023 Open Days theme, SPACE; to shape, to pursue, to achieve, to collaborate, and to empower. With contributions from all units at MUIC, we aim to illustrate the activities inside and outside the classrooms that will shape students into the best version of themselves and empower them to pursue and achieve their goals, academic and otherwise . Every student here has unique aspirations and passions. By providing them with the necessary resources, guidance, support, and constructive challenges, we can encourage them to explore their interests, develop relevant skills, and set achievable goals. A nurturing environment will also instill in them a sense of purpose, the skills for collaboration, and the opportunity for personal growth that is at the heart of any meaningful educational experience.
And just as a blacksmith hones a knife’s blade to perfection by using a whetstone, MUIC with its dedicated teachers and staff, its innovative curriculum, and its nurturing learning environment can provide the ecosystem for students, with practice and perseverance, to refine their skills, abilities, and characters. The outcome would be an individual who is more enriched, more engaged, more enabled, and more empowered to cut through any challenges and change the trajectory of their own lives, as well as the lives of others. Such is the transformative power of education.
One of MUIC’s Missions states: “Shaping Futures.” To train and develop the new generation of students for them to be an effective member of the 21st Century workforce and at the same time be of service to others.
Mahidol University International College’s (MUIC) brand of higher education can be summed up with the acronym S.P.A.C.E. The letter “S” stands for Shape, as in shaping the students’ future. On the other hand, “P” means Pursue, with MUIC supporting its students wholeheartedly every step of the way as they pursue their dreams. Next, “A” stands for Achieve; MUIC tries its best to develop achievers. Meanwhile, “C” means Collaborate, with each MUIC student trained to be not only an innovator but a good team player as well. And lastly, “E” stands for Empower. Every MUIC student realizes his full potential, empowering him or her, yet at the same time, imbuing in them a deep sense of social responsibility, to empower also other people the way they themselves were empowered.
“Most of [my students] would come to my class expecting to memorize everything step by step. Instead of simply giving them the answers, I provide them with a structure so that they themselves can arrive at the right answer.
“Do I use the carrot more than the stick? I hardly use the stick. Because my class is already tough and challenging for [my students]. I try my best to make the lessons more approachable for them.
“Every day I have the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life.”
Faculty Member, Business Administration Division
Around 35 Communication Design students participated in the MUIC-PepsiCo Design Workshop in February and March 2023. A joint project of the Communication Design and Pepsico, the workshop gave the students the opportunity to apply the theories they have learned inside the classroom into real-world situations under the guidance of the PepsiCo design team.
“[I had one ajarn who brought his own lunch to the classroom so that he can spend more time in critiquing our work.] Our other ajarns are also very passionate and put their best into teaching. One of them also scheduled Zoom meetings in the evenings to provide feedback/consultation for those who didn’t get it in class. I could feel that they really wanted to help us get through struggles and it inspired me not to give up in the face of challenges.”
The THM Ambassadors is a group of smart, talented and active Travel and Service Business Entrepreneurship students who assist in the Tourism and Hospitality Management (THM) Division’s activities. They are given specialized training (project proposals, marketing strategies, digital communication, events management, etc.) in order for them to successfully carry out their tasks. The skills they develop can prove to be very useful in their future jobs.
“Being a THM Ambassador will really help me develop skills that will be needed in the future. Ultimately, in this competitive world, having experience can really determine one’s success or failure in life.” – Ms. Rushita Jain, THM Ambassador 2022
“Being a THM Ambassador helps me meet new people. I feel like we are talking in the same language since we have the same interests. Also, creating activities, communicating, and managing to enhance our division will help me gain more experience for my future career.” – Ms. Pusanisa Morsrijai, THM Ambassador 2023
The Preparation Center for Languages and Mathematics (PC) is MUIC’s pathway for students who need to meet the college’s requirements for English and mathematics (through its English Program or EP and Mathematical Foundations Program or MP, respectively). PC offers four levels where students can improve their English and mathematics skills through classroom lectures and assigned readings along with other educational activities like research such as preparing presentations and short videos, supported by modern learning facilities. After passing PC courses, students are prepared to go on to university.
Dreams remain dreams if you don’t pursue them. At MUIC, students are given wings to fly and soar, so to speak. MUIC is a fertile ground where students’ dreams are cultivated and nourished in order that they sprout and bloom.
Ms. Supisara Premkamommas (Marketing, Class of 2004) is a business administration graduate whose heart has always been in the arts. Her passion for painting, craft and design, remained strong, using her artistic skills to create custom jewelry that she sold to help supplement her tuition. Both her friends and professors helped her learn more about art, opening doors of opportunity. After graduation, she worked in an advertising agency where she became a group account director after 15 years. Then she resigned and opened her own art studio and became the full-time artist she had always dreamed about. “Lower income, different social status, new world but a happier and more peaceful world. Finally found my place,” she said.
One of the highlights of Ms. Pinda Viriyapongsri’s student life was being selected by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs to go and give a speech during the United Nations General Assembly’s 77th Session late last year. She has been involved with activities related to the United Nations for several years now including participating in several Model United Nations conferences, which provided her with a rather concrete understanding of the UN as a whole and the mandates of its various entities. She had also volunteered to be a translator as a part of the United Nations Volunteer Online Program. In MUIC, she serves as the President of the MUN Club and and is one of the IRGA Ambassadors. “I think the reason why I was offered this opportunity [to speak in the UNGA] was that I kept looking for ways to improve my skills and expose myself to new experiences, opportunities, and ideas,” Pinda said.
For Ms. Aimboon Wiratsin (Physics, Class of 2021), her dream of becoming an entrepreneur started while she was still a sophomore. “I wanted to create something of my own, something that I could be proud of and that would make a difference in people’s lives.”
Her first attempt was a café that was soon overwhelmed by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it did not deter her. She next opened an organic restaurant, Arelom DD Organic Bistro, in Khaosan Road, “focusing on healthy eating and offering high-quality, organic food at an affordable price.” It was challenging, but Ms. Aimboon’s persistence paid off. “I hope that my story will inspire others to never give up on their dreams, no matter how difficult the road may be.”
Mr. Dhup Bhukdee (majored in Biological Science Class of 2021) is enjoying the career paths he has pursued ever since he was a student. He’s currently a data scientist at The Gang Technology Co., Ltd., a researcher for his research mentor, has enrolled at Chulalongkorn Medical School CU-MEDi, and had his research paper published in the latest issue of Molecular Cancer Research Journal.
Pursuing all these has not been easy, but Dhup said he received a big boost from his mentors, classmates and friends from MUIC. “I’m lucky that I met the right mentors at MUIC and was at the right time where the interest in computational biology just started in the college. I found friends with different interests who helped me in widening my perspective. So overall, MUIC provided me with unique experiences.”
Success begets success. Here at MUIC, students are trained to be achievers. Their accomplishments while they are students would serve as stepping stones to more and bigger accomplishments in the world outside the academe.
Despite stiff competition from other competing teams, Excelsior Consulting from Mahidol University International College (MUIC) won the grand prize in the final round of the HSBC Case Competition 2023 held on April 29, 2023 at HSBC Bank Lumpini Head Office, Bangkok. HSBC Thailand Business Case Competition 2023 is an annual competition for undergraduates to showcase their knowledge and critical evaluating skills to gain practical experience in real-world business scenarios. The winning team was composed of the following: Ms. Narinya Yingcharoenthana (International Business major, Tourism and Hospitality Management minor), Ms. Aileen Liu (Finance major, Marketing minor), Ms. Yanisa Sirisomboonchok (Finance major, Economics minor), and Mr. Peerawat Mongkolnimit (International Business major, Marketing minor).
This definitely smells of victory! Five Food Science and Technology students won in three categories in the recently held “The Ajinomoto Young Chef Thailand Project.” Team รากหญ้าฆ่าไม่ตาย (RaakYaKaMaiTai) won 1st Prize in the Yum category (receiving a scholarship grant worth 50,000 Baht as prize), 1st Runner-up in the Soup category (scholarship grant worth 30,000 Baht as prize) and 2nd Runner-up in the Fried Food category (scholarship grant worth 20,000 Baht as prize). The awarding ceremony was held on March 24, 2023 at the head office of Ajinomoto Thailand in Bangkok. The student winners were Ms. Waruntorn Karnjanaprapin, Mr. Phatchara Mingmuangthai, Ms. Tunyachanok Saetian, Mr. Pongsakorn Boontawee and Ms.Chanoknan Thongkrua.
Aspiring directors and actors can also get their first exposure at MUIC’s Media and Communications Program. The International Thai Film Festival 2022 gave its Best Thai Short Film Direction Award to “Strokes,” a short film by (and also the senior thesis project) of Mr. Napon Angsnaraks, who was its director, scriptwriter and lead actor, and Mr. Wish Sutthatothon, its producer.
The Tourism and Hospitality Management Division has been ranked 101-150 on the QS World University Rankings for 2023 by Subject (Hospitality and Leisure Management).
As part of strengthening its relations with its partner universities abroad, MUIC represented by its Dean, Prof. Chulathida Chomchai, M.D., and Associate Dean for International Affairs, Asst. Prof. Dr. Alexander Nanni, hosted a meet-and-greet event with 104 representatives from 58 of its more than 100 partner universities. The guests were entertained by several Thai dance numbers, were given a tour of the facilities, had a hearty lunch of Thai cuisine and participated in a Thai floral arrangement workshop. Such activities can indeed draw partners closer together and have a truly harmonious joint activities.
Track No. 1: Dual-Degree Program with Flinders University, Australia in a 2+2 arrangement, in which the student will receive B.Sc. in Forensic and Analytical Science.
Track No. 2: B.Sc. (Chemistry) + M.Sc. (Pharmacology) degrees in 4+1 arrangement with Faculty of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital.
A cumulative GPA of 3.4 can earn a Biological Sciences student the opportunity to enroll in the Veterinary Medicine program of the University of Edinburgh, UK.
Travel and Service Business Entrepreneurship students can avail of the opportunity to study under the 4+1 and dual degree programs through MUIC’s partnership with the School of Hotel and Tourism Management, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, one of the top institutions in hospitality education.
This special tripartite program is a partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Queensland (Australia), two leading institutions in hospitality education. Students in this program will spend one year studying in three different cities, developing a more international outlook.
This exclusive program creates a great opportunity for MUIC students to seamlessly continue their graduate study at the University of Bristol in the following disciplines:
Business and Economics (For all MUIC majors except Creative Technology, and Computer Engineering)
International Relations and Sociology (for students majoring in International Relations and Global Affairs and Intercultural Studies and Languages)
Film Arts and Humanities (for students majoring in Media and Communication and Intercultural Studies and Languages)
Other study opportunities with the University of Bristol include:
This progression offers a variety of choices for MUIC students to further their master’s degree study at the University of Sussex. MUIC students under this program will be eligible for the International Partnership Award of GBP 3,000 (fee discount on the announced tuition fee).
Dr. Chadchart Sittipunt, Governor of Bangkok, inspired and in some ways empowered MUIC students, faculty and staff when he gave his speech on the occasion of the college’s 37th anniversary. Noting the importance of being global citizens, he shared with the audience his thoughts on what a global citizen must possess: self-discipline, curiosity, a sense of priority, thirst for knowledge, willingness to challenge old beliefs, and empathy.
Ms. Duang-ramon Paaptanti has been working in Thailand and the Asia Pacific region for more than 10 years for several international humanitarian organizations including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). She is currently the Project Manager at United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) Thailand country office and is also a guest lecturer on the subject of international career development at the International Relations and Global Affairs Program at MUIC. Much as her work experience in these organizations are by themselves empowering to the beneficiaries of their projects, she gives credit to MUIC, her alma mater (Social Science, Class of 2005) for empowering her during her student days. “Being in Social Sciences at MUIC was absolutely empowering. To be given ‘a safe space to speak your mind’ is one way of empowerment. I had never felt any sense of discrimination of any kind either from the class or lecturers and that was almost two decades ago when I was a student at MUIC!”
Mahidol University International College’s (MUIC) Student Association, working with the Student Affairs Office came up with activities that inform and eventually empower students on contentious issues.
With the rising concerns about bullying in Thailand, the Student Association and Student Affairs Office organized a seminar and exhibition entitled “Beauty Not Bully” in May 2022 at Charinyarasami Hall, Aditayathorn Building and online via Zoom.
The two-day event featured a seminar that featured Dr. Varoth “Dr. Nat” Chotipitayasunondh, the spokesperson of the Department of Mental Health, Ministry of Health, and an exhibition of 12 models who also faced bullies in their lives.
The Student Association also organized an event called “IC Pride Month” to give recognition to the LGBT+ community in June 2022. Activities included a campaign called “Clothes No Gender” encouraging students to express themselves through their clothes without following gender stereotype, and a talk session called “Break Gender Wall” that featured social influencers as guest speakers.
The International Relations and Global Affairs Major (IRGA) under the Social Science Division, in collaboration with the Model United Nations (MUN) Club, held a roundtable discussion entitled: “Overcoming Injustice: Current Human Rights in Southeast Asia” at Charinyarasami Hall in Aditayathorn Building on January 26, 2023. The guest speakers were Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree, former Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Commission on Human Rights and Director, Pro Rights Foundation; Dr. Titipol Phakdeewanich, Founder, Human Rights Center, Ubon Ratchathani University; and Dr. Rossano Ramcharan, faculty member of IRGA and Cofounder, Asia Centre.
Through the guest speakers’ presentation and, later on, interaction, with the students, the latter learned much about the politicization of human rights in ASEAN, the importance of freedom of expression and on the need for protection of indigenous peoples’ intellectual property rights.