BA Thai and Economics
Before coming to SOAS I had spent a year living in Thailand as a volunteer English teacher. I had received a provisional offer to study economics at another university upon my return to England but when I started my degree I felt that it wasn’t right for me. I had become passionate about Thailand and and wanted to learn the language better.
SOAS is unlike most other places in the UK. It definitely has a unique feeling to it, being a relatively small university, and has a much friendlier atmosphere than larger more impersonal universities. Almost everywhere you go at SOAS you bump into people you know and you also get to know your teachers a lot more than you do in other places. The great thing about SOAS is that it is full of people who are so passionate about such a wide variety of topics and whatever you are interested in you will find people who feel the same as you do.
At SOAS I have been able to study Thai up to a level where I now feel confident communicating with native Thai speakers. The small class sizes mean that you aren’t afraid to practice speaking in front of your other classmates and that you get close attention from the teachers who can tailor the class content to suit our interests. Studying the language I have also become interested in areas such as Thai film and literature.
Studying Economics at SOAS has really given me a unique perspective on the subject. SOAS teaches Economics from a more alternative view point which means that you learn things that usually get left out of courses at other universities. Consequently I have been able to focus my studies on the Economics of developing countries from a more international perspective.
One of the highlights of my course has been having the opportunity to study for one year at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand. It was really daunting at first but there is no better way to learn a language than to totally immerse yourself in it and you learn all about the society and culture that you’re living in.
Being at SOAS I have also been involved in running the Thai society and organising loads of events such as film showings and karaoke nights. It’s a great way of getting together with all the people who share your interests. There are so many different clubs and societies at SOAS that there is definitely something for everyone.
After I graduate I plan to go back to Thailand to work for a few years and then I definitely want return to SOAS to study for a master’s degree.