MONASH University Malaysia's School of Arts students organised a six-day study trip to Bangkok recently.
The tour, entitled “In Search of Bangkok”, comprised 19 communication students and the communication programme co-ordinator Dr Yeoh Seng Guan.
“The aim of the study tour is to expose the students to some of the social, cultural and political realities of a neighbouring Asean country.
“The tour also allowed the students to hone their journalistic and writing skills in an unfamiliar environment,” Dr Yeoh said.
He added that the students would benefit immensely from such programmes. “Hands- on experience would better prepare students with the skills to face the challenges of the working environment, compared with the conventional sit-in classroom style of teaching,” he said.
The itinerary in Bangkok involved meeting volunteers from the Foundation for Women, a non-governmental organisation which fights human and drug trafficking.
The students travelled to Pommahakan, a city rich in cultural heritage and Klong Toey Slum, which is the oldest and largest slum in Bangkok. The students were also given an insight into the media policies of Thailand.
“The students faced great challenges when interviewing the indigenous people as the language was a barrier.
“However, I am grateful to my counterpart from Chulalongkorn University Ms Kanokrat Lertchoosakul who volunteered her students as tour guides and translators,” said Dr Yeoh.
Sarah Jane, a final year student who is on her first trip to Bangkok, said: “The trip was an eye opener as it exposed us to poverty at close quarters.
Final year student Tan Meng Yoe said: “I am glad that we were involved at all stages of the planning as it enabled us to learn to work as a team.
Puah Sze Ningsaid: “The tour gave us insights on what to expect in an actual working environment.”
Malina Shamsudinsaid: They used to work pass midnight to update their website.
“We would be back to the hotel late in the evening and hit the nearest internet café to update and upload. It was tiring but satisfying” she said.
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