H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners

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H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
a publication of CanCham Thailand

                                                                Apr-May-Jun 2020 Issue

                                                            H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor
                                                          Canada’s Ambassador
                                                     to the Kingdom of Thailand

Sustainable Partner          Platinum Partners

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H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
2 Apr-May-Jun 2020
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
CanCham Board Members
& Advisors 2019-2020                                                        Director’s
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor                                                       MESSAGE
Canadian Ambassador to Thailand

Executive Board:
John Stevens, President
Derek van Pelt, Vice President
Caroline Kwan, Vice President      Dear CanCham Members:
Dan McKay, Treasurer
                                   I hope that everyone is doing well under the circumstances.
David Beckstead, Secretary

Board of Directors:                      vents & Activities - Under the current situation (COVID-19), all CanCham
John Casella                             events and activities from now until Sunday, May 31, 2020 have been post-
                                         poned or cancelled. Members can view our schedule of upcoming events
Lawrence Cordes
                                   on the website.
Surachit Chanovan
Ron Livingston                     Annual General Meeting - The CanCham constitution and the regulations of the
Dean Outerson                      Ministry of Commerce require CanCham to hold an annual general meeting. Due
Rajiv Parrab                       to the circumstances this year, the decision has been made to organize this year’s
Sunny Patel                        meeting virtually. The regulations require an actual meeting to be convened so
Natasak Rodjanapiches              we will have several members of the board together to run the online meeting.
                                   Those members who will be physically present are required to sign proxy forms
Embassy Representative             in order to form a quorum and vote your intentions at the meeting. Please submit
Sanjeev Chowdhury                  your proxy forms by Tuesday, April 7, 2020.

Advisors:                          Future CanCham - Since the beginning of 2020, we have been discussing with
Yvonne Chin                        several members ways to “raise Canada’s profile” in Thailand. We would like to
Dr. Jingjai Hanchanlash            bring Canadian products and services together, and present them to the Thai/
Joni Simpson                       International business community here. For example; weekly online articles on
Marisha Wojciechowska              “Canada First”, monthly travelling articles on Canada, and other Canadian relat-
Dr. Nahathai Thewphaingarm         ed features focusing on nature, green technology, agricultural technology, food
Lynn Tasten                        safety, etc. We encourage you to be a part of this initiative by being part of our
                                   marketing & communications committee helping us to lay out strategies to raise
Executive Director                 Canada’s profile in Thailand.
Jen Meckhayai
                                   Canadians in Thailand Facebook Group - For fellow Canadians in Thailand
                                   CanCham has created a closed Facebook group called “Canadians in Thailand |
                                   Canadiens en Thaïlande”. With the current situation, we hope that this Facebook
                                   group will be a strong platform of information sharing, discussion and unity among
                                   Canadians living in Thailand. With the strong Canadian spirit, we will get through
CanCham Thailand                   this hardship together.
139 Pan Road, Sethiwan Tower
9th floor, Bangkok 10500
Tel: +66(0) 2266-6085-6            Lastly, let me wish you the best of luck. Take care and stay safe.
Fax: +66(0) 2266-6087
Email: info@canchamthailand.org
Website: www.canchamthailand.org

                                                                                 Jen Meckhayai | Executive Director
Publication Design:
Publisher / Advertising
Finn Balslev, Marketing Director
Tel: +66(0) 2943-7166
MB: +66(0) 81 866 2577
Email: finn@scandmedia.com
Design: Disraporn Yatprom
Email: disraporn@scandmedia.com

                                                                                             Apr-May-Jun 2020      3
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
Introducing Ambassador
                          Sarah Taylor
Ambassador Taylor                r. Sarah Taylor hit the ground running after she   childhood was in Ottawa; the other half, in various
addressing the WIL 2020          was officially named Canada’s Ambassador to        countries around the world. Her father, James, nick-
conference.                      the Kingdoms of Thailand and Cambodia, and         named “Si” was also an ambassador and his last post
                          the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. In the first few    before he retired was as Canada’s ambassador to
                          weeks she was here she hosted the annual Canadian         Japan. He also served as Ambassador to NATO; Direc-
                          BBQ at her official residence, was a speaker at Can-      tor–General of European Affairs and Undersecretary
                          Cham Thailand’s Women in Leadership conference            of State for External Affairs and was the Chancellor
                          and was a panelist at the FCCT’s seminar on the           of McMaster University.
                          Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination
                          Against Women (CEDAW). And we get the feeling, she’s      Dr. Taylor says being the child of a diplomat affects
                          just getting started.                                     you to one extreme or the other: either it gets in your
                                                                                    blood and you want to travel the world or you say
                          Dr. Taylor brings with her over three decades of          “that’s it, I have done enough moving, I am staying in
                          experience dealing with Asia, including diplomatic        one place.” This is even reflected in her own family
                          assignments in Hong Kong, Beijing and Jakarta. She        where a sister is also in the foreign service, while
                          also served as Deputy Head of Mission in China from       the other three siblings have stayed home in Canada.
                          2011 to 2015.
                                                                                    In university, Ambassador Taylor became interested
                          The ambassador succeeded Donica Pottie, so after          in archaeology, anthropology and East Asian stud-
                          never having a woman as head of mission in Thailand       ies. When she was at university, there was a big
                          the Canadian embassy in Bangkok now has had two           re-opening to China in the aftermath of the Great
                          in a row.                                                 Proletarian Cultural Revolution as the universities
                                                                                    were re-established and China sent a large exhibition
                          Climbing Up the Ranks                                     of archeological finds to Canada and other countries.

                          Dr. Taylor was born in Ottawa, which is actually rare     So along with archaeology, the ambassador decided
                          for a member of Canada’s Foreign Service. Her father      to study Mandarin at the University of Toronto for her
                          was in the foreign service, so she grew up moving         undergraduate degree. After graduation, she went
                          around the world every three years or so. Half her        on an exchange program to Beijing University, which

4 Apr-May-Jun 2020
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
The ambassador recently      was an eye-opener for her. She continued with her          When the ambassador first joined the Foreign
hosted a meeting of          graduate studies at Cambridge University in the UK,        Service she spent a year in Ottawa on three short
CanCham’s board at the       starting with an M. Phil. and then earning a doctorate     assignments. The first was on women’s rights in the
embassy’s boardroom          in East Asian archaeology.                                 bureau of human rights (that was when the UN and
                                                                                        international organizations were starting to get more
                             Her initial interest was China, but as it was difficult    active on women’s rights in a global context leading
                             to do field work in China at the time, she gravitated to   up to the big Beijing Conference on Women in 1995.
                             do work on Japan and Korea. When she came close            Before that, women’s rights were handled within the
                             to finishing her doctorate, she started questioning        broader area of human rights; this was the first time
                             whether she wanted a career as an academic and             Canada’s foreign ministry had a stand-alone division
                             the academic job market was quite difficult as well.       for women’s rights).
                             So, she sat the Foreign Service exam in 1990, and
                             the rest is history.                                       She also worked on the China Desk, managing a trip
                                                                                        to Ottawa by the Dalai Lama (yes, she did get to meet
                                                                                        and talk with him), and then she worked on the Gulf
                                                                                        War Task Force, providing crisis management and
                                                                                        support to Canadians affected in the region.

                                                                                        Dr. Taylor feels she was fated to become our ambas-
                                                                                        sador. Reason being, after a one-year stint in Hong
                                                                                        Kong to brush up on her Mandarin, her first foreign
                                                                                        posting was to Beijing from 1992-95. In the last year of
                                                                                        her assignment her two fellow political officers were
                                                                                        Phil Calvert and Donica Pottie, her two predecessors
                                                                                        as Canada’s ambassador to Thailand. The three of
                                                                                        them have been friends to this day. Also, worth noting
                                                                                        was that Canada’s ambassador to China at the time
                                                                                        was Fred Bild who had previously served as – you
                                                                                        guessed it – Canada’s ambassador to Thailand.

                                                                                        Ambassador Taylor then returned to Ottawa to work
                                                                                        in the Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy’s office – a lot
                                                                                        was going on including formalizing the Ottawa Treaty
     Ambassador Taylor                                                                  on Landmines, and establishing diplomatic retains
  (seated); back row, left                                                              with North Korea. The ambassador says that at that
    to right: Khun Darin                                                                time we developed a lot of programming in areas that
 Dararuja, Khun Akapong                                                                 crossed over between foreign policy and development
Sungtet, and Khun Susan                                                                 assistance – the so-called human security agenda.
            Shu-Mei Hsu

                                                                                                                       Apr-May-Jun 2020       5
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
With the Cold War over, there were growing con-          Next she was named deputy head of mission in Beijing        The ambassador hosting
cerns about global issues like terrorism and trans-      from 2011-2015, the number two to the ambassador.           CanCham’s executive
national crime, and ways needed to be found to           This was at a period of high activity in the Canada-Chi-    board in her office
engage on those issues and find needed resources         na relationship with expanding trade and visits by the
for programs. Traditionally the people who spent         Governor General and the Prime Minister.
money on programing were development agencies,
not foreign ministries. Minister Axworthy identified     From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Taylor was back in Ottawa
that gap and set up human security programs that         where she served as Director General for North Asia
we still use today. For example, under these pro-        and Oceania, and as “Champion for Women” in Global
grams, since 2010 Canada has spent about CAN$16          Affairs Canada, Canada’s foreign ministry. She was
million in ASEAN to develop capacity to fight both       tasked with advancing equity for women and women’s
terrorism and crime.                                     leadership in the foreign ministry. Today, almost half
                                                         of our Canada’s ambassadors and heads of mission
From 1998-2000, the Ambassador was Deputy Direc-         abroad are now women.
tor of the Southeast Asian division working on ASEAN
and political relations with each member nation. It      Canada has long-standing employment equity leg-
was an interesting time in the aftermath of the fall     islation that recognises four groups that were, and
of Suharto and the Asian financial crisis.               sometime still are, underrepresented in the public
                                                         service. Global Affairs has a champion for each group
Next up, from 2000-2003, she was political counsellor    (women, visible minorities, persons with disabilities
in Jakarta, in Indonesia’s early democratic period.      and First Nations). Part of their goal is to close gaps
Following the Bali bombing, the focus of her work in     in representation and more generally to make Global
Indonesia shifted more towards counter-terrorism.        Affairs a more welcoming and diverse work environ-
In late 2003, she went back to Ottawa to headquarters    ment. Seen from the outside Canada does well on
and worked as Deputy Director and later Director of      gender equity, but internally the Ambassador says
the Development Policies and Institutions Division.      we still have some gaps: Global Affairs is still short of
This division worked closely with the then CIDA (Cana-   women in our senior rotational Foreign Service roles,
dian International Development Agency) and Finance       in senior management and in the IT sector.
Canada on coordination of Canada’s international
development policy and its role in the international     The Here and Now
financial institutions.
                                                         The ambassador has a number of objectives and
In 2006, she took a detour and joined the Privy          roles; a key one is to advance trade relations be-
Council Office (PCO), as director responsible for        tween Canada and Thailand. As such, the ambas-
strategic direction and the oversight of assess-         sador says part of Canada’s trade diversification
ments relating to the Asia Pacific region within the     strategy is pursuing an inclusive approach to trade
International Assessments secretariat. In 2008,          that seeks to ensure that all segments of society,
she was made Deputy Executive Director of the            both domestically and internationally, can take
secretariat and from 2010-2011 she was the acting        advantage of the opportunities that flow from trade
Executive Director.                                      and investment.

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H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
The ambassador               This approach is enhanced by an ongoing dialogue          Canada and Vietnam, even though Thailand is the
receiving a gift from        with a broad range of Canadians, including groups         wealthier country.
an admirer, Khun             often underrepresented in international trade, such
Vanida Kasemsiri at the      as women, SMEs and Indigenous people.                     And the ambassador notes that if Thailand joins
Canadian BBQ event held                                                                the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for
at her official residence.   The aim is to ensure that more Canadians benefit from     Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), or if Canada and
                             increased trade and investment by ensuring a more         ASEAN hammer out a free trade agreement, tariffs
                             diverse group engages in international trade, and         would go down significantly and trade between the
                             by including in our international trade agreements        two countries could increase considerably.
                             provisions on labour rights, the environment, SMEs,
                             gender equality, and Indigenous peoples.                  Canada is seen positively in Thailand but still doesn’t
                                                                                       have a high profile here – the ambassador says the
                             Ambassador Taylor believes that trade policies should     embassy has to make better use of social media, the
                             be responsive to the interests and opportunities of the   wave of the future. “You don’t need a huge presence,
                             many and not just the few. In doing so, more Canadians    you just need to be smart about it — but we really
                             can be better equipped to build their own prosperity      need to up our game when it comes to our social
                             and to contribute more to broader economic, social,       media presence.”
                             and environmental objectives.
                                                                                       The ambassador’s son, Cass, is in high school here
                             The ambassador says by applying a feminist perspec-       in Bangkok, while her husband, Patrick Kavanagh, is
                             tive to trade policy we can help ensure that Canada’s     a professional writer who worked with the IDRC for
                             free trade agreements do not perpetuate economic          many years. He has also published a novel, partly
                             barriers that often work against women.                   based on his experiences growing up in Newfound-
                                                                                       land called, Gaff Topsails. The ambassador’s daugh-
                             That’s why she says events such as the “Women             ter Mairi is currently finishing her final year of high
                             in Leadership” conference are so important. “By           school in Ottawa.
                             promoting and supporting women’s leadership in
                             business in Thailand, we are contributing not just to     We are lucky to have Dr Taylor as our ambassador
                             helping women succeed, but also to advancing the          in Thailand and she is backed by a superb team led
                             Thai economy and to sustainable prosperity for all.”      by superstar Senior Trade Commissioner Sanjeev
                             In house, the ambassador says the Bangkok mission         Chowdhury and his all-star team at the Trade Com-
                             must “walk our own talk” and look at hosting gen-         missioner’s Service. The ambassador also has great
                             der-balanced events, not “manels”, as well as pro-        help from her Executive Assistant Susan Shu-Mei Hsu,
                             moting career development and support for female          Social Secretary Darin Dararuja, and Khun Akapong
                             staff members and an inclusive workplace.                 Sungtet, her trusted chauffeur.

                             Ambassador Taylor is keen to increase the volume          CanCham Thailand looks forward to working with
                             of trade between the two countries as she sees            Ambassador Taylor and her team to help foster trade
                             lots of unexplored potential; she notes Canada and        relations between Canada and Thailand and to help
                             Thailand have a smaller trading relationship than         promote Canadian values.

                                                                                                                     Apr-May-Jun 2020       7
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
Pranapda Phornprapha fields a question from the audience                                          WIL 2020 Chairperson Caroline Kwan
                                                                                                  addresses the audience

WIL’s Vision for Impact
       n February 26th, before the coronavirus be-      in Canada’s foreign ministry, where among other
       came a pandemic, the Grand Hyatt Erawan          achievements she successfully lobbied to have the
       Hotel hosted CanCham Thailand’s fourth           first foreign-service building named after a woman.
Women in Leadership conference under the theme
“Vision for Impact.” The main program was followed      Next up was Caroline Kwan, the vice-president and
by three mentoring sessions led by the event’s three    Chair of WIL; quite simply if not for Caroline’s hard
featured speakers.                                      work and effort there wouldn’t be a WIL. Caroline
                                                        noted how Canada leads by example when it comes
Yvonne Chin, the Regional Director for the Canadian     to gender equality and women’s empowerment and
Commercial Cooperation & a WIL co-founder, was          she made a special call-out to the 23 WIL-inspired
the Master of Ceremonies and did a superb job of        students in the audience, asking them to pay it
keeping the event on track. Yvonne kicked things off    forward with the sponsorship they had received to
by asking CanCham President John Stevens to come        attend the event.
to the stage to introduce Canada’s new ambassador
to Thailand, Dr. Sarah Taylor. The ambassador dis-      Next was young Thai activist Ralyn “Lilly” Satidtana-
cussed her role as an advocate for women’s rights       sarn, who has been called the Thai Greta Thunberg.
before coming to Canada as she was mandated to          Lily started campaigning at age eight, and played
advance equity for women and women’s leadership         a vital role in the banning of single-use plastic bag

Lilly takes the microphone during a Q & A session with the audience                               Nopparat Aumpa (far right) discusses
                                                                                                  the influences in her life.

8 Apr-May-Jun 2020
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
There was no denying Lena Ng’s                     Joni Simpson, WE-Can Founder
            enthusiasm in telling her life story               & Co-Founder of WIL

handouts at major retailers in Thailand, which took        his family to Canada, where he was able to turn his
effect in January, 2020. Through a video the audience      fortunes around and eventually return to Thailand.
learned a little about Lilly’s life and worked and Lilly   The monk also told her father he would “leave a dog,
spoke about her inspirations and goals.                    and come back as a lion” – proved true,

The three keynote speakers followed in quick suc-          The three speakers were followed by a video pre-
cession each taking fifteen minutes. First up was          sentation on Chumrueng Panrintr, the first female
Singaporean Lena Ng, Chief Investment Officer for          village head in Ban Nong Takem Village. Spurred
the AMATA Corporation PCL whose presentation               on by the Mechai Viravaidya Foundation's School-
was entitled: “Lena 7.0 Transformation Journey.”           Based SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) Project,
She was followed by Nopparat Aumpa, SAVP/GM of             Chumrueng’ role along with the appointment of five
the Banyan Tree Bangkok whose topic was, “Yes, I           female assistant village heads has been a major step
Can, Yes, We Can”.                                         forward in improving gender equality in rural areas.

The third keynote speaker was Pranapda Phornpra-           The speakers were then joined on stage by Lilly
pha, Director of the Siam Motors Group and Founder         and Yvonne Chin conducted a lively Q & A with the
of the Dragonfly 360 who spoke on “Redefining Fem-         audience.
inism”. Khun Pranapada grew up in Canada and is a
Canadian citizen. Her father, Phornthep, fell on hard      Joni Simpson, WE-Can Founder & Co-Founder of WIL,
times when she was young, losing almost everything         was the final speaker on the day and she discussed
so he went to see a monk for advice, who told him          WE-Can, which provides a dedicated space for wom-
to move faraway to a cold country. He did, moving          en entrepreneurs who want to take their business

            MC Yvonne Chin directing the Q & A session with the three featured speakers

                                                                                        Apr-May-Jun 2020     9
H.E. Dr. Sarah Taylor Canada's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand - Sustainable Partner Platinum Partners
to the next level to connect, reflect and take action
on their objectives. Women entrepreneurs partici-
pating in WE-Can can benefit from networking, peer
learning and group coaching from experts from the
CanCham community

John Stevens wrapped up the event thanking the
sponsors and the speakers saying that Lily proved
that there is no age limit to inspiration, and that the
three keynotes informed, inspired and challenged
everyone in the audience. Lena Ng demonstrated
perseverance trough the highs and lows of life;
Nopparat Aumpa showed us that passion and com-
mitment can win the way as well as a determination
to never stop learning and Pranapda Phornprapha
taught the audience they need to empower them-
selves to lift themselves up for in only so doing can
they empower others.

The three featured speakers then broke off into their
mentoring sessions. Lena Ng’s monitoring session
was facilitated by Sunny Patel, MD, Trends Digital;
Nopparat Aumpa’s session was facilitated by Dean
Outerson, ambassador &writer-in-Residence, Sasin
School of Management; and Pranapda Phornpra-
pha’s session facilitated by Marisha Wojciechowska,
author of the My Globetrotter Book. Interestingly, two
of the speakers from last year’s event supermodel
model, TV host and actress Cindy Bishop and Rob
Candelino, CEO of Unilever Thailand, were both on
hand at this year’s event.

Summing up, Caroline Kwan said, “We celebrate our
speakers and special guests who have established
themselves as leaders in their industries or com-
munities, in worlds mostly dominated by men. They
have each, in their own way, influenced businesses,
cultures, and/or the environment. Their unique
stories and passions are inspirational and uplift-
ing. Their visions and strive for achievement have
made positive impact. Most importantly, they have
demonstrated that women empowerment is the most
formidable force for transformation and progress.”

  Speaker Bios
  Lena Ng is the Chief Investment           Nopporat Aumpa was appointed           Pranapda Phomprapha holds
  Officer for Amata Corporation             to her current position as SAVP/       numerous management positions
  PCL and oversees Smart Cities             General Manager for Banyan Tree        in her family business, Siam
  development, Urban Transformation,        Bangkok in early 2019. Ms. Aumpa       Motors Group, a diversified group of
  Strategic Investments and Mergers &       was also recently nominated as a       companies that has dominated the
  Acquisitions. She is the Chairperson      finalist for best General Manager      automobile and parts industry in
  of the Investment Committee for           Award by the Hotelier Awards Asia      Thailand for over 60 years with an
  China’s Belt & Road Initiative for        2018. In June 2019, she received       annual turnover of over 8 Billion USD.
  Greater Mekong Sub-region. She            the Best General Manager Award         Pranapda is in charge of Business
  is also the Chairperson/Director of       for large hotels (Banyan Tree Hotels   Development and is also President
  Amata Thai-Japanese Co. Ltd., the         and Resorts), received Thailand’s      of Siam Music Yamaha and Siam
  Joint-Venture company for Hotel           Best General Manager by CMO Asia       Nissan Sales. She is also heading up
  Nikko Chonburi development and            in 2019 and in January 2020 was        a mixed-use development real estate
  Director of Amata Global Pte Ltd.         recognized by the Golden Globe         project in the heart of Bangkok.
  in Singapore. Lena was honoured           Tigers Award as Thailand Best
  as a Young Global Leader by the           General Manager award recipient
  World Economic Forum in March             in January 2020. In the same month
  2014 and nominated as a Global            she also received AACSB’s 2020
  Agenda Council Member of the              Influential Leader award.
  World Economic Forum.

10 Apr-May-Jun 2020
Apr-May-Jun 2020   11
Engage Innovators and
Entrepreneurs in School
By Paul O’Neill

      s globalization and rapid advancements in      alities and needs of global economies and societies
      technology continue to transform civic space   (World Economic Forum, 2019). Often described
      and the world of work, education systems       as tinkering around the edges, schools continue to
have grown increasingly disconnected from the re-    recraft and revise the wooden wheels of the Carn-

12 Apr-May-Jun 2020
egie Unit based learning programs that dominate            Singapore American School for example has de-
the landscape with little ‘real’ impact. An obvious        veloped the Catalyst Program, an individualized ex-
signal is the declining mental health of students          tension to their Advanced Placement and Advanced
in schools and universities which can largely be           Topics-based high school curricula that opens the
attributed to the increased work expectations and          doors and windows to students to take a deep dive
the reduced reward of employment post-study. In            into something that they care deeply about. The
addition, the micro credentialing movement seeing          school now celebrates their students’ independent
dissatisfaction of the university product and a rise in    innovative projects proudly though their SAS Impact
students assembling their own degrees and valuable         Fellowship highlighting how well students respond
experiences to complete their profile.                     to these initiatives.

The world of work is changing rapidly through expo-        At the American School in Japan (ASIJ) where I was
nential advances in digital technologies. In particular,   the Director of Learning Innovation, we developed
the rise of smart machines and the decline of full-        the IMPACT program. IMPACT is a capstone-like
time employment are reshaping the ways in which            program which provides a personalized learning
people work and are creating significant uncer-            framework designed to empower students with
tainties about what readiness for further learning,        skills for self-efficacy and a passion for learning
career, and life will look like in 2040. (Knowledge-       that transcends school. Diverse possibilities within
works 2017). Yet, schools pay lip service to these         this experience are driven by the students’ interest
rapid advances. Slow on the uptake in schools is           in becoming self-guided, lifelong learners, giving
the intentional focus on the development of skills         them time and space in their schedule to dig deep
of an innovator's mindset. Curriculum continues to         into something they care about. A successful IMPACT
focus on linear knowledge-based and predetermined          experience provides a foundation for students as
courses rather than open ended, human centered             they continue to chart their path towards univer-
design thinking problems.                                  sity, summer opportunities, internships, and other
                                                           chances to pursue their future goals. Universities
Changing complex systems such as schools is dif-           are taking more notice of demonstrated soft skills
ficult. In well-established international schools, for     and real social entrepreneurship through this kind
example, change is almost glacial and whole-system         of self-directed portfolio based experience.
change is very challenging. What is emerging and
gaining some traction is the incubator spaces in           The following two stories emphasize how a student’s
schools or “schools within a school” and can be seen       passion and purpose can be legitimate deciders of
as designated spaces or bespoke programs. Schools          their future when they are recognized, cultivated
sometimes see this as a gaping hole in their offer-        and supported through a research and development
ings and a need that their students in turn, respond       process. This is what can happen when students are
to with great enthusiasm. While these efforts are          trusted and given agency and support.
admirable, they only reach a small group.

                                                                                      Apr-May-Jun 2020      13
Yusuke Ma is a horologist. In high school, his passion     now studying nutrition at Stanford University and
for watchmaking developed into a skill he eventu-          is a Research Assistant at the Stanford School of
ally taught himself. He didn’t know what to do with        Medicine, exploring the links between genetics and
this interest he had and joined the IMPACT program         nutrition. Sayuri said she could not have hoped nor
to expand his horizons and be coached through              wished for a better outcome and that this would
possibilities. This process simply inspired his own        never have happened had she not been encouraged
internal motivation to find a place for this interest in   to connect her passion for cooking to her interest in
his future. Yusuke developed a business confidence         science under the IMPACT program.
and began building his own professional learning
network. He connected with leading international           The International School of Beijing (ISB)’s Futures
watchmakers, including Edouard Meylan, the CEO of          Academy started as an idea to give students the
H. Moser & Cie; Romain Gauthier, Founder and CEO           ability to become the architects of their own learning.
of Manufacturing Romain Gauthier, and negotiated           ISB’s goal was to encourage students to experience
an internship at Watch Labo, a well-known watch-           a different form of education that is equally about
maker and jeweler in Japan as a repairer. His story        developing proficiency in academic standards as it
and actions throughout the program gained him a            is about learning to be creative problem solvers. As
place at Stern Business School at NYU where his            part of a broader movement with other schools in
ideas will grow to form some creative associated           Beijing and around the world, ISB has started to im-
business acumen potentially in the fashion industry.       plement both project and experience-based learning.

Sayuri Sekimutsu had completed all the science             What’s interesting and an ongoing challenge to
and math subjects in school and wanted more. She           schools like these is that the “Futures Academy”
was steered towards the IMPACT Program where               style models tend to work on a small scale. They
her passion for cooking and chemistry brought              gain traction with staff, students and families and
about the Molecular Gastronomy Challenge. This             produce quite progressive outcomes, showcasing
was a self-designed YouTube-based instructional            how far students can go when given agency over
channel where Sayuri did live experiments of food          their own work. Schools also tend to want more
based chemical phenomena. Questions such as:               and universities appreciate the point of difference
Why does lime neutralize chili? What happens when          that student-led learning provides as a real and
you caramelize sugar? guided her inquiry. She              significant addition to the old transcript based on
incorporated her instructional videos with student         subject area performance. However, when schools
interviews, and in a fun and playful way explained         try to scale this model, they often come unstuck. It is
complex chemical ideas that happen in every kitchen.       hard to scale change in an established school. What
Her videos and blogs were highly respected by the          is clear, however, is that the need to embrace and en-
Stanford University Admissions office and she is           gage learners in an innovation and entrepreneurial

14 Apr-May-Jun 2020
mindset in a process that encompasses the practice          this system has been around for a long time and
                       and development of the skills for the future is of          is therefore will be adequate for our needs today.
                       critical importance for schools to regain relevance         However, we see many of our tried and true systems
                       in this fast-paced world.                                   being challenged. Take democracy and the banking
                                                                                   system as two classic foundations of our society that
                       In Thailand, the new kid on the block, VERSO Interna-       are ostensibly broken and reeling to be reimagined.
                       tional School is striving to overcome the difficulties      Copyright Law being completely replaced by the
                       of an established school system. Opening in Bangkok         Creative Commons movement. Apps like Spotify,
                       in August 2020, VERSO will deliver an innovative            Uber and Airbnb are revolutionizing these industries.
                       American curriculum with an emphasis on learning            Schools too need to pay attention. Our feet need to
                       that is interdisciplinary, project-based and increas-       come out of our concrete boots about our percep-
                       ingly personalized. The school was designed in              tion of what schools need to be like to prepare our
                       partnership with IDEO, the global innovation and            kids for what will be an amazing future. This will
                       design firm in San Francisco and is turning the page        not happen by applying 19th century approaches to
                       in education. Designed with human-centered possi-           learning. What is clear in the research is that young
                       bilities at the heart of the learning program, VERSO        people learn best when actively engaged, creating,
                       is responding to critical change drivers around the         and solving problems they care about, and supported
                       nature of work and the pathways to universities by          by peers and mentors who appreciate and recognize
                       providing more student choice and a willingness             their accomplishments.
                       to engage the student’s voice in the design of their
                       learning program. Students will be encouraged to            So for anyone looking for a school that will pur-
                       recognize and embrace their interests and will be           posefully prepare their children for the future, the
                       given time and space as this is an important learning       question is not about “which university will students
                       process that could lead them into creating something        go to?”, because in 12 years’ time, the university
                       innovative and becoming an entrepreneur. And                landscape will be very different. The questions
                       while entrepreneurship may not be for everyone,             should be: What is your school doing differently now
                       the mindset and attitudes created through this hu-          that will actively prepare my child for an exciting
                       man-centered design process are foundational skills         future? What is the future focus you incorporate in
                       for any growing and developing professional pursuit.        your learning program? Who are you, as a school,
                                                                                   learning from to adequately prepare children for the
                       It is pertinent to note that the shift in education needs   future? The answers ought to be good.
                       to be away from a right answer “vending machine”
                       approach to learning (Daniel Pink) to a model that                                      Paul O’Neill, is the
                       engages students in learning that is applied and                                        Hub Director at VERSO
                       meaningful to them and to people in their world.                                        International School,
                       Prescribed curricula had a place sometime earlier                                       tasked with designing
                       in this century, however as the speed of change and                                     and implementing the
                       the reinvention of many of our societal systems and                                     school’s unique learning
                       processes go on, it is critical that schools learn to                                   experiences.
                       be more agile and adaptive to the world around us.
                       It is a trend to choose a school based on a trust that

                  Welcome to our Newest Members
Corporate                                             Young Professional                     WeCAN
Shangri-La Hotel Public Company Limited.              Amelie Desjadins                       Sara d’Anzeo
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu, New Road,
Bangrak, Bangkok, 10500                                                                      Rungtip (Tip) Malasithiwong
                                                      Individual                             Pauline Gwynn Mianmanus
Carlton Hotel Bangkok Co., Ltd.                       Lorna Wright                           Sirirojana Thaiyanan
491 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey Nua,                    Caroline Kwan
Wattana, Bangkok 10110                                                                       Thanida (May) Doltunyapornpakapob
                                                                                             Anna Frummerin
                                                                                             Pacharee (Nui) Pantoomano
                                                                                             Araya Santisan
                                                                                             Jennifer Sims

                                                                                                               Apr-May-Jun 2020      15
The winning Thai Stix team

How the Mekong Cup came to be
By Richard Meiklejohn

I think to put the Mekong Cup into perspective, one     Silom Road. A vision emerged – what if we connected
needs to understand the context of being overseas in    with the Bangkok guys and had a tournament – and
the mid-90s – email was just taking off, we plugged     to make it even better – let’s organize it during the
in our computers to telephone lines and waited          Stanley Cup Final at a destination where some un-
overnight for documents to be downloaded, and to        known pub would play the game for us!
watch sports – we had video tapes couriered to a
city and would hopefully be able to find a pub or an    Well, as good fortune would have it, I was transferred
Embassy that would play it for us – 2 weeks after       to Bangkok and, of course, was looking to join the
the game was finished, and we actually tried to avoid   weekend games with the guys in the city. From
reading the paper so we wouldn’t know who won the       there, it all came together. We decided on Phuket, a
game in advance!                                        tropical, international destination where everyone
                                                        could enjoy both a great holiday weekend, perhaps
For a group of Canadians – that game was hockey.        some golf, but better yet, play some ball hockey in
And in the tropics at the time, it was ball hockey.     the jungle – old-school style.
I lived in Kuala Lumpur and was working for
PricewaterhouseCoopers at the time – it was             We connected with some great guys from the
1994/95 – and a group of us started playing ball        Flying Farangs – a separate story – that play ice
hockey at an indiscriminate parking lot in KL –         hockey in Bangkok. I met Kevin Hall, who both
no boards or walls, some parking stall cement           played for the Flying Farangs, but also was a GM
blocks, pretty old school. We had a blast every         at the Amari Hotel that had a number of properties
weekend, play hard in 35 Celsius heat, and a few        in Thailand. The Amari had two old tennis courts
beers with good friends after. It does not get much     deep in the jungle behind their Patong resort – I
better for a group of Canucks and the odd Swede         recall doing a recon visit confirming the logistics,
or American.                                            the setup, etc, for a tournament while Kevin was in
                                                        Phuket. We both thought it would be tremendous
At the same time, there was a rumour of ball hock-      and the deal was done – we had our location for
ey being played elsewhere in SEA. Somehow we            the first ever Mekong Cup (named after the hearty
heard via fax or the telephone – later confirmed by     meandering river that traverses SEA) it became
a random traveller - that there actually was a group    our Montreal Forum, the Pacific Coliseum, the
of guys doing the same thing on the top of a rooftop    Gardens, the MSG…depending where you came
in Bangkok – we heard it was the AIA Building off       from in NA.

16 Apr-May-Jun 2020
Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and others
                                                                                    – and in our little world, it became the biggest ball
                                                                                    hockey tournament in Asia – and we all had our
                                                                                    chance to live out our hockey dreams with some
                                                                                    great friends. It gave all of us, wherever we were
                                                                                    from, a little piece of home while being far away from
                                                                                    family and friends…but most important, as young
                                                                                    men still wanting to be boys, it gave us memories
                                                                                    of competition and glory that we know is short lived,
                                                                                    but it has become a journey that we all cherish as a
                                                                                    moment in time that will live with us forever.

                                                                                    STIX & Stones clash in 26th Mekong Cup final

                                                                                    On the third weekend in February, before the coro-
                                                                                    navirus had become a pandemic, the 26th annual
                                                                                    Mekong Cup was held at Bangkok’s British Club. It
                                                                                    was the fourth straight year the two-day event was
                                                                                    staged there. For the first twenty-two years, it was
                          So many guys were instrumental in making this hap-        staged in Phuket at two venues, first, the Amari Coral
                          pen – both in KL and Bangkok – I was lucky enough         Beach and the Centara Karon resort.
                          to become the link having lived in both cities, but key
                          players and shout outs to others involved included        Six teams competed in a round-robin format, with
                          from KL Paddi Rice and John Keller, and in Bangkok,       the two squads with the best records getting a bye
                          Lorne Yawney and Luc Perron, and of course, Kevin         into the semi-finals. Bangkok’s Rolling Stones were
                          Hall. He was an unsung hero in this, always support-      victorious over the Hong Kong Hitmen 5-4 in one
                          ive and made the Amari and their staff treat us like      quarter final while Hanoi defeated the Cambodian
                          it really was the Stanley Cup final. As in everything     squad 6-2 in other quarter-final match-up. This let
                          good, it always takes a village.                          the Rolling Stones play Singapore in one semi-final,
                                                                                    beating them 5-4, while the Thai Stix team played
                          The foundation for all of this – without sounding too     Hanoi in the other, wining 8-2.
                          sappy – was that it was about friendship and the
                          camaraderie of fellow countrymen – but it reflected
                          the importance of friendship when you are far from
                          home – and the joy of playing a sport that we all loved
                          since we were kids – and having the opportunity to
                          compete hard, and boy did we compete hard.

                          So the first game was played between the Kuala
                          Lumpur Sharks whose motto was “cuts heal” and
                          the Bangkok team warmly known as the Thai Stix –
                          we all played on a natural high at the Amari Coral
                          Beach. I recall vividly how hard fought that game
                          was – there were no referees – it was called “gentle-
                          men’s hockey” – but as the day progressed and tied
                          two games to two late afternoon – the fifth game and
                          tie breaker amped up and we played hard slipping,
                          sliding and hitting on a court that was deteriorating
                          after every step. While never ever fun to end without
                          a win – after both teams huddled around dusk that
                          tropical evening there was major concerns about
                          guys getting injured (we had metal light poles on         The championship then came down to a battle of
                          the courts and tennis poles) – while everyone was         the two Bangkok squads and the younger Thai Stix
                          hesitant to give up the win, we all agreed that the       squad prevailed beating the Rolling Stones 6-3 in the
      Founder Richard     game should be called – so we ended up finishing          final. Mekong Cup founder Rich Meiklejohn was on
Meiklejohn handing the    in a draw due to darkness.                                hand to give out the Mekong Cup to Thai Stix captain
Mekong Cup to Thai Stix                                                             Devin Michael.
 captain Devin Michael    And as the evening fell upon us, cold beers, stories
                          and laughter took us late into the night. The night       CanCham member Yves Gaboriault organized the
                          before, carousing the night scene, we found an or-        event, but was unable to play due to injury. CanCham
                          nate blue speckled vase that while not known for its      President John Stevens was a member of the Rolling
                          beauty, is now very affectionately and sought after,      Stones squad organized by Geoff McIntyre. Referee
                          called the Mekong Cup.                                    Jeremy Hutchins did a great job of referring every
                                                                                    single game and Alex Manton was terrific with the
                          Little did we know that the tournament would go           time/scorekeeping. And former CanCham Presient
                          on for another 25 years with teams joining from           John Casella played a huge role in keeping the
                          Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Slovakia, Canada,           Mekong Cup going for years.

                                                                                                                 Apr-May-Jun 2020      17
Innovation: A Revolving Door
By Lindsay Wise

      he University of Victoria, located on beautiful       the typical stereotype of Canadians being very
      Vancouver Island annually welcomes over 180           friendly intrigued them. After a successful applica-
      incoming business exchange students from 40           tion process, they were off to Canada. After arriving,
different countries. The University of Victoria (UVic)      they were pleasantly surprised by the weather and
is one of Canada’s top-ranking universities, and the        through the months of September and October,
Peter B. Gustavson School of Business isrecognized          found it was comfortable to be outside with just
for its international expertise and entrepreneurial         a light sweater. After a short while they began to
excellence. The curriculum is practical and always          realize that friendly took on a whole new meaning
evolving to coincide with today’s demands in the            for them. Not only were people easy to approach,
business community. Our dynamic business world              had kind faces, but the concept of spatial awareness
requires us to continually innovate.                        was increasingly prevalent. In line ups, passing by a
                                                            stranger, taking the bus, a conversation with some-
A key to this success is to build a diverse team            one new; everyone consciously or sub-consciously
through gender, age, ethnicity, language, and nation-       considers the distance between one another, careful
ality. With diversity you gain a variety of perspectives,   not to over crowd, and cautious of whom they touch.
increased skill sets, creativity and productivity. To be    In Thailand, this is often not the case, where is little
an effective and cooperative team player, it is cru-        recognition related to spatial awareness.
cial to expand your cultural knowledge, awareness
and intellect. As young students what better way to         After getting settled in their quaint Airbnb in the
achieve this than taking part in an exchange pro-           heart of downtown Victoria, Kong and Claire ex-
gram. The complete immersion and comprehensive              plored many of the different eateries available,
period spent with a new culture is truly unrivalled.        their newfound favorite and one of the things they
There are many transferable skills attained that            miss most about Canada is breakfast food: delicious
increase your competitiveness when entering the             Eggs Benedict, bacon, waffles and pancakes. In fact,
labour pool.                                                it’s what I miss the most, too! As a Victoria native,
                                                            bussing at times can be a challenge. However, for
I can personally attest to this having completed two        Kong and Claire it was quite the upgrade comfort
exchanges and am currently on an internship with            wise and really makes you reconsider what we take
the Thai Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Addition-            for granted. Like many international students they
ally, I have had the pleasure to interview two Thai         had the joy of learning how to recycle and compost.
Mahidol University International College students
who recently completed an exchange semester                 The UVic campus is 403 stunning acres, with
at UVic. Niracha (Claire) Viboonudtakorn & Kong             many green spaces that Claire and Kong had the
Kornpat (seen below) are finishing their third year,        privilege to see through summer and fall months.
majoring in International Business Management.              With approximately 20,000 registered students, it
Victoria was highly recommended by a friend and             is not uncommon to have a class of 200+ students,

18 Apr-May-Jun 2020
Kong Kornpat behide
the lens, photographing
   the charm of Victoria

                           compared to a maximum of 40 at Mahidol, this can                new friends and new norms and rules that I had to
                           be an exciting new experience! Professors usually               comply with such as separating garbage and using
                           require students to prepare for lectures by assigning           reusable containers.”
                           readings from published material or textbooks and
                           throughout class encourage students to participate              It’s the little things about experiencing different
                           in order to ensure understanding and spark debate.              cultural norms, how each reacts to and absorbs
                                                                                           knowledge that creates an environment for effective
                           Kong and Claire returned to Thailand with a greater             innovation. Academia is rooted very deep in Thai
                           appreciation for cross-cultural education, integration          society; it only seems fitting if given the opportunity
                           and new awareness for Canadian Environmental So-                to take the leap and study abroad!
                           cial Governments. I asked if they would recommend
                           studying in Canada to which they both replied with
                           a big grin “very much”.

                           Kong now makes the effort to bring a reusable mug                                                      Lindsay Wise is a
                           wherever he goes. In Claire’s own words, “For me,                                                      Coop student from the
                           what I gained the most was improving my self-con-                                                      University of Victoria
                           fidence. I learnt a lot about how to live by myself                                                    on an internship with
                           without my parents, making new friends, cooking                                                        CanCham Thailand.
                           by myself, managing my daily life such as my
                           washing clothes and dishes. I learned to adapt with


                                                                                    We print and ship from Bangkok
                                                                                       Small print runs at attractive prices.
                                                                                       Anything from banners to books.
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                                                                      Tel: +66 2943 7166-8 Fax: +66 2943 7169 E-mail: patcharee.scandmedia@gmail.com

                                                                                                                                     Apr-May-Jun 2020                19
Life Beyond the Classroom
Henry Brosnahan, Bangkok Patana School Year 12 Student

Learning does not finish at the end of academic
lessons. At my school we enjoy a diverse range
of extra-curricular opportunities as our learning
continues far outside the walls of classrooms and
well beyond the regular school day. The number of
different clubs, sports and activities is truly amazing.

Balancing the need to complete tasks, revise for
tests and maintain good mental health can be a
struggle; but I cope with this stress through partic-
ipation in Extra-Curricular Activities (ECAs). A par-
ticular passion of mine is musical theatre and being
able to participate in the school musical production
is something which allows me to take my mind off
anything stressful.

I have enthusiastically joined ECAs, discovering my
passions and gaining incredible experiences along
the way. Music has always been a passion of mine
and the broad array of instruments available from
the violin to Thai Khim and the DJ deck is some-
thing students appreciate. I have been able to learn
so much about music and increase my technical
skills as well as form new friendships, deepening
my appreciation for working collaboratively and
discovering the aspects of music I especially enjoy.

Alongside the arts and music, we have an array of
sports activities. My fellow student, Clara Boucher,
is on the Cross Country, Volleyball and Tennis teams
and comments that “being able to participate in
sports helps me to take my mind off of everything.
It’s great because I can put basic skills we learn in
classrooms like social skills and teamwork into use
to make new friends.”

20 Apr-May-Jun 2020
Extra-Curricular Activities also include an inspiring
number of CAT (Community Action Team) clubs
dedicated to a variety of worthy causes, many strive
to ensure that people are educated about social,
political, economic and environmental issues. Oth-
ers work with an organisation or group in order to
raise funds to make a change. The focus of our clubs
range from advocating for human rights in Amnesty
to raising funds to sponsor a child’s education for a
year in the North of Thailand in One4One. This variety
allows us to make a significant contribution to our
world as global citizens. Through our involvement
in service opportunities we are able to be more
inclusive and informed.

The prominent Student Environmental Committee
(SEC) is a student-led group that has made signifi-
cant changes to my school. Everyone at school has
been able to help conserve the environment through
the SEC’s recycling bins, new wrappers and biode-
gradable cups. They inspired our school to become
more sustainable in our production of energy by
introducing solar panelling.

While it is important to focus on academic studies, it
is also crucial to take the time to enjoy your passions,
experience something new and join a group to make
a positive impact on our world. This shows that you
uphold the values of global citizenship and, more
importantly, it enriches your experience of school
with long lasting memories and strategies to cope
with stressful situations in the future.

                              Apr-May-Jun 2020       21
Best Fit Isn’t Synonymous with Second
Most When Selecting a University
                 By Dr. Shanell Leggins
                 University Counselor at
                 KIS International School Bangkok,

Families with children finishing high school soon             ban, or urban area?
will be looking at suitable universities for the next     –   Do I want to be far away? Or close enough to
step of their child’s education. But how to do you            travel home on the weekends?
find the university that is right for your child? With    –   What is the weather typically like during the
so many good universities around the world, where             academic year?
do you even start? At KIS International School stu-       –   What kinds of recreational opportunities and
dents are guided by a team of outstanding university          amenities are in the area?
counselors, but parents and students themselves           –   What is the transportation system for students
must play their part and they can follow these tips           who don’t have a car?
for a successful university admission, and indeed a       –   How safe is the surrounding area of the campus?
successful university experience.                         –   What is the relationship between the university
                                                              and surrounding community?
Finding your university match comes down to one           –   What are the local employment opportunities
simple question, does it have the characteristics you         for students looking for internships and part-
are looking for? There are a lot of factors to consider       time jobs? Recent grads looking for full-time
when researching universities; and naturally, each            positions?
student’s emphasis will be different. By identifying      –   Can I live off campus? Does the school provide
your needs early on, you can eliminate numerous               assistance with off campus housing?
schools and focus on the things that matter most.         –   If I want to stay on campus, is housing guaran-
The categories below each include a list of questions         teed/available all four years?
you may want to consider when researching univer-         –   What is the average cost of living and general
sities and striving to find your perfect fit.                 quality of life?

Academics                                                 Community
– Does the university have the major(s) I’m con-          – What is the social scene on campus?
   sidering?                                              – How do students spend their free time on cam-
– Does the university have other majors that in-             pus? Off campus?
   terest me (in case I change my mind)?                  – Is there housing on campus and how many stu-
– What is the academic reputation of the universi-           dents live on campus full-time?
   ty? What about the reputation of my major(s)?          – How many students stay on campus during the
– What are the professors like? What have they               weekends?
   accomplished?                                          – What percentage of students remain on campus
– What is the four-year (or six-year) graduation             during holiday breaks?
   rate?                                                  – What fun and engaging activities are available to
– What is the freshman-to-sophomore retention                students through the school? In the community?
   rate?                                                  – How friendly and welcoming are the students
– What is the average class size for introductory            and staff?
   courses? For advanced courses?                         – What is there to do when I’m not in class?
– What is the student-faculty ratio overall? In my        – How many students participate in extracurricular
   potential major?                                          activities?
– What accreditation(s) does the school hold? What        – Are there clubs, societies or pre-professional
   about my major?                                           organizations related to my major? Or intended
– What are the qualities of the academic facilities          career?
   (e.g., libraries, labs, etc.)?                         – Can students start their own clubs?
– What kind of research opportunities exist on            – What athletic conference and division is the
   campus?                                                   school?
– Can I study abroad?                                     – What are the student demographics?

Location                                                  Size
– Which countries would I consider living in?             – What is the overall student body population?
– Do I want to attend university in a rural, subur-       – What is the overall average class size? In the

24 Apr-May-Jun 2020
Best: Characteristics that Matter
                                                                 –   What kinds of work-study opportunities are there
                                                                     for students?

                                                                 Campus Support & Career Services
                                                                 – How will the school help me determine and
                                                                    achieve my career goals?
                                                                 – What is the postgraduate job placement rate (in
                                                                    positions related to students’ degrees)?
                                                                 – Is there a career services office? What does the
                                                                    career services office offer?
                                                                 – What kinds of experiential education opportuni-
                                                                    ties, such as internships, co-ops, and volunteer-
                                                                    ing, exist on and around campus?
                                                                 – Are career services available after graduation?
                                                                 – What academic services are available?
                                                                 – What kinds of writing support or other tutoring
                                                                    programs does the school offer?
                                                                 – What health and wellness services are available,
                                                                    such as mental health counseling and fitness

                                                                 Addressing these questions will help you reach your
                                                                 goal of finding your ideal university. Figuring out
                                                                 what’s important to you will help you narrow the field
                                                                 when choosing a university, and you may discover
                                                                 some options that weren’t initially on your radar.
                                                                 From there you can make a shortlist of universities
                                                                 to apply to. Consider a range of options and include
                                                                 universities you are likely to get accepted to as well
                                                                 as universities that are harder to get in to.
             academic program that interests me?
         –   What is the overall student-faculty ratio? In the   Once you have made a shortlist go and visit the
             academic program that interests me?                 university if you can. Actually setting foot at the
         –   Are most courses taught through lectures? Or        university will give you an instant feeling of whether
             are there opportunities for interaction and dis-    it may be the right fit. If you are not able to travel
             cussion?                                            to visit the universities, an alternative is to go to
         –   Are the courses taught by a professor or a teach-   university fairs. These are events where university
             er’s assistant?                                     representatives from universities in the US, the
                                                                 UK, Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and other
         Cost, Financial Aid, and Affordability                  countries come together to meet with students and
         – How much does the school cost?                        answer their questions. It’s a great opportunity to
         – How much is the cost of living?                       get direct information about a university that may
         – Are student loans available in this country?          be harder to find on a website. There are many of
         – What percentage of students receives financial        these fairs in Bangkok and they are worth attending.
            aid? How much on average?
         – What percentage of students graduate with debt?       Selecting a university because your friends are going
            How much on average?                                 there or because of its prestigious name or where
         – Are international students eligible for need-         it ranks on a list does not take into account who you
            based scholarships? Loans?                           are and who you will become. College is a match to
         – Is the school need-blind or need-aware in ad-         be made, not a prize to be won. Therefore, finding a
            mission?                                             good fit requires time and thoughtfulness.
         – How many years does it typically take students
            to graduate (each year is another year of tuition,   If you are interested in joining a school where stu-
            and oftentimes financial aid and scholarships        dents receive excellent career and university coun-
            does not extend beyond four years)?                  seling, resulting in great fit university acceptances
         – What kinds of university scholarships are avail-      all around the world, please contact KIS International
            able to students (awarded by academic achieve-       School, admissions@kis.ac.th or visit the website
            ment, through college departments, etc.)?            www.kis.ac.th.

                                                                                              Apr-May-Jun 2020      25
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