22 City University students, of whom 21 were AIS students, took a four-week study tour in Bangkok, Thailand. The partnership institution in Thailand was the Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University. The students stayed at a hotel near the university.
As part of the tour, the students took the course, “Contemporary Thai Politics and Society in a Global World.” The course focused on the nexus between the Thai domestic politics and its foreign relations in the age of globalisation. It explored the dynamics and challenges that Thailand and other Asian countries been facing in the post-Cold War era, including the issues on democratisation, development, globalisation, human rights, and poverty. The course also included a historical overview of modern Thai and ASEAN history. Additionally, the course analysed current political issues and problems that have recently emerged in and possible prognoses of the potential political trajectory of ASEAN.
To complement the lectures, the students took field trips to numerous locations, including the United Nations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ayutthaya (the previous capital of Thailand), the Mercy Centre, the Museum of Counterfeit Goods, and the National Assembly. Some of them also took optional trips on the weekend, such as to Ko Kret.
After the tour, students expressed that they enjoyed the tour greatly, particularly the field trips, and learned a lot about Thailand and themselves. Many stated they became more independent during and developed critical thinking and social skills. Others stated the study tour enabled them to become more patient, gain an ability to ‘step out of their comfort zone’ and ‘broaden their horizons,’ and became more respectful of foreign cultures. They appreciated many aspects of Thai culture and made comparisons between their own culture and Thai culture.