Do you want to visit a country with cheap cost of living or even free? Of course most of you will say “yes” because it will be beneficial if we can live in other country with low budget while getting new and memorable international experience there. There are many universities from all over countries that provide the opportunity for both study course or exchange program for free for students like us. Of course Thailand is one of them. Last July, Prince of Songkla University, Phuket, opened a study course program there for the chosen 10 people from all over ASEAN countries. One of the chosen student was a BNEC’s (BINUS English Club) member, Jufery. He is majoring in IT, and in his third year of study back then. This study course program is really useful because he got many things such as friends and new knowledge that can’t be got in Indonesia.
He knew about this chance by looking the information on Facebook and BNEC group. There were definitely some requirements that he needed to get chosen for the study course program. One of them was to make a video telling what you want people to know about your country. You need to know your country well because you’re going to be the ambassador of your own country. And of course, your English skill is needed.
Jufery said that the most memorable experience he got is the friendship created with the other participants. In this case, although they have just known each other, they got closer with each other in just one day. Besides, most of Thailand people are friendly so that it makes the people from the other country feel comfortable to visit there. Besides getting new friends, he also got knowledge about some business things related to the communication skill that is called Intercultural Communication. This communication technique is really needed when we have business in other country that has different culture, character, religion, and custom in some Asia or Western states. Thus, by learning, we could know more about how to interact with people who have different backgrounds and about perspective and point of view by foreigners. As we know that communication is the main key in any kind of relationships (as in business or making friends). Therefore, we need to have good communication so there will be no misunderstanding. For example, if we talk with the Japanese, we should not look at their eyes because if we look at their eyes, it means that we don’t give any respect to them especially if we talk with the person who has higher position. On the other hand, in Western, we should look at people’s eyes if we talk to them because without looking at their face, it will be impolite.
There is also another example he gave about intercultural communication in business. If we have business relationship with Asian people, they prefer to know and to understand each other first then they start to talk about business. In this case they enjoy having several talks after that they continue to discuss the main topic. On the other hand, Western people usually prefer to talk about business directly without knowing each other because they usually don’t really care about making friends in business. Therefore, the point is that we need to know and understand the background of the people we want to talk to so there will be no misconception. In this case, the thing that we think is right doesn’t mean it will be the same with the other’s thought.
Besides learning about intercultural communication, Jufery also learned other fun things there such as Thai language, Thai Culture, Thai food and even learned how to make one of Thai desserts. Thus, by joining this short course program we don't only get fun, but there are also many benefits and things we can learn from there. This study course program could make the young generation especially for the ASEAN people to be more ready to face the AFTA (ASEAN Free Trade Area) so that they will find less difficulties in adapting to the other country in Asia or even to understand the people from those different backgrounds anymore.