Promoting diversity and multiculturalism are one of the aspirations of Naresuan University International College (NUIC). Cross-cultural understanding and internationalization were also the significant rationale for having activities/projects with foreign partners. In an effort to make it happen, a two-week cultural exchange program was successfully organized during June 15 – 29, 2019 with San Sebastian College-Recoletos, Manila, Philippines (SSCR). This is the third year of the cultural exchange, and there were 10 students and one administrator and one faculty member from SSCR.
The two-week cultural exchange program was loaded with culturally-oriented activities for the participants, including Thai boxing, Thai music, Thai dancing, Thai cooking, culture class, and Thai massage. There were also tours to historical places in Phitsanulok and nearby province. The places visited were Phitsanulok City, Phetchabun, Sappraiwan Elephant Sanctuary, and Sukhothai Historical Park. One of the highlights of the cultural exchange was the one-night stay in Natonchan Homestay in Sukhothai, where the participants had seen and experienced the authentic Thai villager’s culture and tradition.
Another highlight of the program was the cultural night, where students showcased what they have learned for two weeks. They presented special performances such as singing, and dancing. It was indeed a night to remember for the participants.
Furthermore, what made the program unique and successful was the “Buddy Program.” NUIC randomly paired up NUIC and SSCR students to be a part of the program. It was an amazing opportunity to meet new people from different parts of the world and promote cross-cultural understanding. The benefits of the program were as follows: perfect chance to improve English and understand the culture of another country, an opportunity to travel, an excellent background participant’s portfolio, and opportunity to make friends.
The cultural exchange between the two institutions was a huge success. The knowledge and benefits to the students were immeasurable.
As a part of the mutual agreement, NUIC students will go to the Philippines on July 14 27, 2019. NUIC buddies from Thailand, Malaysia and Laos are very excited to experience Filipino culture.