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TUAA Scholarship Experience

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BC: The End

FC: Sponsored by: Thammasat Univesity Alumni Association, Usa., Angel Wings Foundation & Ocha Classic | TUAA Scholarship Experience Summer 2010

1: Five Thai Americans embarked on an amazing adventure of study and cultural exploration. Most of us with limited Thai, lived life in the shoes of a Thai college student, finding our way around town and becoming accustomed to life in a very different country....

2: DUAN | JO | TIGGER | MICHAEL | TANYA | Pictured with the Dean of the TU International School and Prof Tek

3: Welcoming the newest Thai-American students of Thammasat University

4: AHH! I can’t believe I am officially here in Bangkok, and with everyone!! It feels like a dream. Totally seems like a dream come true!!! And finally some amazing authentic THAI FOOD!!! The past couple days have been amazing and relaxing and we’ve just been exploringthe malls. hhaha. But tomorrow we are getting down to business and start our first class at 9am. Did I mention in order to get to Thammasat from where our dorms are, we have to take a boat across the river? AMAZING right? I feel so fortunate to be here in Bangkok and with such great, driven people. It’s unbelieveable here. Much ruhk, Nong Duan

5: Cons – room is either too cold or too hot Pros – go on a boat every time to get to class -michael

6: Today I learned something more valuable than I could ever imagine. This came straight from our Professor Akkharaphong Khamkhun The best time to study is when you are excreting. Why? Because you do not waste time getting out what has entered. You learn as you excrete. Super efficient advice yes? This is the wise one I speak of. -michael

7: Our Professor for Thai Society and Culture taught us a lot in a small amount of time. What stuck to me the most was how Thammasat University came to be. From being formed as a Law school to becoming The University of Moral and Political Science to the current Thammasat University, it has been the center of much of Thai’s politics. The Prime Minister use to also hold the title as Director for Thammasat. The school is known for being radical and free spirited. Much of the change in Thailand’s history has been partly from Thammasat. -michael

8: Every time we leave class, we come out questioning our own identity. Every time we leave class, our brains are whirring. -tigger

9: In Dr. Mano's Class, we dove right into the deep root story of Buddha, questioning the phenomenal occurrences, drawing parallels to other religions, and getting into theorist predictions to get all of our minds tinkering. -tanya

10: Professors taught us not to believe because society says to do so, but to question, examine and re-examine history, then make conclusions based on our own research. -tanya | What sets Thammasat apart from other schools is that it’s not afraid to teach us the truth. We’re learning about Buddhism, but not about how good it was and why we should believe in it, but instead look at it critically. Professor Mano revealed to us a different side of Buddhism that we had never known. -tigger

11: I thought Buddhism made perfect sense. The Middle Way was the answer in life. It didn’t force anyone to do anything. There was no god to worship. -tigger | In our first lecture with Professor Mano, we dove right into the deep root story of Buddha, questioning the phenomenal occurrences, drawing parallels to other religions, and getting into theorist predictions to get all of our minds tinkering and putting perspective on how hungry we were for knowledge. Finally, a professor with the answers to all questions I've pondered and never knew where to look and is now teaching ME. -tanya

12: The Ancient Capital

13: . | Today we had the amazing opportunity to visit so many historical sites.We took the 30 train to Ayutthaya and spent the rest of the day on boats and tuk tuks.We went to the historical museum of Ayutthaya, designed by my aunt ^^. then continued on to the renovated temple by the ruins, Afterward, we hit the main attraction of our trip, the ruins. The beauty and peace of the area was astounding, even though it made it difficult for us to imagine the hustle and bustle of one of the most important trading ports of the world during that time. -tigger | Ayutthaya

14: We also visited the Chinese Buddhist temple, which I still think was one of the most intricately designed temple ever built. I have never seen so many Buddha images in my life prior to Ayutthaya. One unique feature of this temple was the giant Buddha. When we arrived to its housing room, I immediately noticed temple workers dressed in white standing on the lap of the Buddha. They were holding a very long continuous yellow cloth, which was passed throughout the room for all the visitors to grasp. A short ceremonial prayer was said and the men in white pulled the yellow cloth. As long as you were under the cloth or touching it, you would receive blessings from the Buddha. -michael

15: After, we headed to the Golden Palace which housed the largest Buddha image in Ayutthaya. The image was so large that it appeared as if the surrounding walls had to be built around it. After, we had coconut juice and banana roti, which were delicious. Then we ventured off into the ruins of Ayutthaya. The ruins were the most magnificent things I had ever seen. I’ve been wanting to visit these ruins ever since I was a child. Being here was like living out a scene from a movie, and it was far better than anyone’s description. -michael

16: think good. do good. speak good. | I am thankful I did it because I was able to meditate (also being my first time trying) so all in all i came out a much stronger person. -duan | temple life. 4AM mediation. 6AM morning chanting. 8AM fluids for breakfast 1030AM only meal of the day 12PM clean up 1230PM walking meditation 130PM dhamma talk & meditation 3PM chores 7PM mediation 8PM sleep

17: 3 day Mediation Retreat @Wat Sankhathan in Nonthaburi w/Phrat Frank :) | We just ordained and undertook the 8 Precepts.I have to be honest, it has been challenging with the heat in this rural location. However, nong nongs have “Od ton” (endured) the situation at hand very well for being their first times. -tanya

18: To His Royal Majesty King humibol Adulyadej, you are in our prayers.. | Paying our respects to His Royal Majesty at Siriraj Hospital

19: Visiting the King's Non-profit of Natural Hazards and Disaster Relief | "Formed in response of the Indian Ocean Earthquake & Tsuamai that devastated Thailand in 2004

20: We have the honor for the next two days to get a special tour inside the world of Thai Government Housing Bank. | Real Estate Information Center Program

21: Today, I learned that in order to be successful in your career, you have to integrate the perspective of others. Doing so, you’d greatly enhance your knowledge. It is through your own eyes and the eyes of others, that will allow you to see the whole picture. -jo | I have never followed real estate but today, we took a very deep perspective into the subject all thanks to the director of the REIC and the Government Housing Bank, Mr. Samma.

22: Visiting the TU Rangsit Campus sharing experiences, inspirations and laughs with TU students. | Welcome dinner with TU Vice Rector Dr. Chulacheeb Chinwanno, Dr. Cattaleya, and TU Students (not pictured)

23: Graduation Dinner with TU Rector, Vice Rector, TUAA President (Na Kat), Dr. Cattaleya,, & Ajarn Teeyarut

24: we waited patiently to try "delicious" toast for over 20 minutes, and indeed, it was..

25: "We are what we eat?!" then.. we are very sweet! -tigger | we loved exploring the snacks around campus!

26: Mobile Eye doctor visit for Jo, our aspiring Optometrist! | This office operated in the most unique way that I had ever seen. Not only did it show me optometry from the Thai perspective, but it also pioneered something new: Optometry clinics on-the-go. -jo

27: TV Pool visit for Duan, Tigger and Michael who aspire working in media! | Tigger and Tanya got interviewed for a show! Pictured to the right with Khun Tim, owner of TV Pool

28: Today, I visited the Grand Palace for the first time and I must say, it was incredible. Being there made me appreciate the cultural heritage of our country even more. Aajarn Akkaraphong gave a great narrative going through each area of the palace and went as far as explaining the architecture. Some things he emphasized were cultural integration of different cultures (Chinese, Cambodian) seen in the architecture. -jo

30: It was honestly a dream that I still cant believe i was so fortunate to live. I can not thank TUAA enough for giving me and the bright, intelligent and such amazing four others such a life changing experience. -duan

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  • By: Tanya R.
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