Students from the BA Special Educational Needs, Inclusion & Disability (SENDI) and BA English Language and Teaching (formerly TESOL & Linguistics) accompanied by Dr Julia Lindley-Baker, Dr Abigail Parrish and BGU's International Manager Wayne Dyble spent time with staff and students from Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabaht University (NRRU).
For the BGU students it was an opportunity to teach their Thai peers about British culture as well as conducting English language lessons. They visited the university's demonstration school and special educational needs unit, where the SENDI students were able to compare practice with that they have seen at home.
In addition to the academic side of the trip, the students were able to take part in traditional Thai new year celebrations during the Songkran festival. This included making donations to homes for the destitute and for elderly people where students talked to residents and joined in with singing and dancing led by members of the university. They also enjoyed a tour led by their hosts taking in some of the sights in Bangkok and around Nakhon Ratchasima.
Looking back on the trip after returning to BGU the students were very positive about their experiences:
“Absolutely amazing, a real eye opener to how lucky we really are! All made possible by the BG Foundation Fund.” Charlotte, SENDI Year 2
“Very inspirational. It was amazing and lovely to see how different the special educational needs work in different countries.” Emily SENDI Year 1
“I thoroughly enjoyed this incredible opportunity that has been made possible by BGU. It has been an opportunity that I will never forget and one that has had substantial educational benefits.” Lucie SENDI Year 1
“I never could have imagined the trip would have turned out like this. It has been a real life changing journey to experience another culture and appreciate the lives we live.” Dannielle SENDI Year 1
“Thai people are as warm as their country. The students respect the teachers and they are eager to learn and they appreciated us when we did our teaching practice. As a whole the Thailand trip made me realize that how appreciative learners of English can be.” Yasemin, English Language and Teaching Year 1
Dr Abigail Parrish added:
“It was fantastic to be able to give our students the opportunity to experience university life in such a different culture, and the opportunity to reconnect with Thai colleagues was invaluable for staff working on developing BGU’s international work
We hope that this will be the first of many opportunities for BGU students to visit NRRU, where Dr Nick Gee, BGU's head of the School of Teacher Development holds a visiting professorship”
You can keep up to date with all the international travels of our staff and students on our news page. If you’d like to join them on their adventures, visit our website, or contact our Enquiries Team to find out how to begin your journey.