On Wednesday 17 January 2024. Walailak University (WU), by Center for International Affairs (CIA), organized an orientation for new international students for the third semester of academic year 2023. The event, themed “Happy Learning and Life Balance”, took place today at Khaoluang Chamber, Cooperative Education Building.
Scheduled to occur regularly every semester, the international student orientation aims to equip students with essential information about WU as well as important information such as visa, 90-day reporting requirement, and student health insurance.
Around 30 students from seven countries - China, Russia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bhutan, Egypt, and Nigeria – participated in the orientation. This number comprises both full-time and exchange students at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Associate Professor Dr. Surin Maisrikrod, Vice President of WU, presided over the event and emphasized the university's commitment to internationalization, a key focus alongside quality teaching and research.
He said: “One of the key things that we’re trying to do in this university is to internationalize our university, meaning to connect ourselves with international communities as many communities, as many countries, as many universities as possible. We try our best to make sure that your stay here is a happy and enjoyable one.”
He highlighted Thasala's multinational and multicultural society, expressing WU's goal to serve as a hub for international activities, people, and education.
Dr. Surin emphasized the importance of English, particularly for students who would like to develop the proficiency. He mentioned that the School of Languages and General Education has established the “Chatterbox Café,” where students can gather and form a community of English enthusiasts, share stories, and practice the language.
He also stressed the importance of abroad experience, sharing his story of how an opportunity to be an exchange student changed his life. He encouraged students, saying, “Whatever length of time that you are spending here, it will be one of the best parts of your life...Having spent some time overseas, outside of your own village, outside of your own town, outside of your own city, outside of your country, is always a marvelous thing.”
Following the session at Khoaluang, the new students were provided with a campus tour of WU Library, Sports Complex, Tumpang Archeological Site, Walailak Botanic Park, and Walialak Hospital. They also visited NST landmarks, such as the City Pillar, City Hall, and Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan - the main Buddhist temple of NST.
Currently, WU has around 170 international students from 25 countries and approximately 60 international staff from 18 countries. The university has adopted the United Kingdom Professional Standards Framework or UKPSF to train its teachers, focusing more on student-center learning to enhance critical, analytical, and synthetical thinking. WU has 654 lecturers certified by Advance HE based on UKPSF, marking the highest number of HEA Fellowships in Thailand and Southeast Asia.