The Avans School of International Studies (ASIS) has set up a student exchange with Stamford University, based in Bangkok, Thailand. “The main lesson for students will be how to survive in a completely different culture for six months.”
ASIS already had partnership agreements in place with universities in a number of Asian countries but up to now there was no Thai exchange partner. Lecturer Fred Cahuzak considers it important that Avans students have the chance to study at Stamford University. “Thailand has a very pure culture. It’s the only country in the region that has never been colonised or occupied by one of the neighbouring superpowers. This sets Thailand apart. Our students should learn about intercultural differences and ways of dealing with them. Thailand is an ideal country for this.”
For students on the International Business and Management Studies programme, a semester of study abroad is compulsory. “The programme is still attracting more and more students. This means we need to make sure there are enough places abroad to study. This was a second reason for us to sign this agreement.”
Under the agreement, Thai students will also come and study at ASIS. “That is quite a step for an Asian partner school. Most are unable to send students over to the Netherlands”, Cahuzak says.
He has no concerns about their level of English. “Thai youngsters especially speak English very well.” Cahuzak does note that the level of education at the majority of the foreign partner institutions is lower than at Avans. “Having said that, the focus here is not so much on the classes that Dutch students will be taking there. The main lesson for them will be how to survive in a completely different culture for six months.”