Vol. XI No. 19
Friday 9 May -15 May 2003

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by Parisa Santithi


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Burapha University opens a new language center in Sriracha

GIS students present boxes for Camillian Centre children during Songkran

AFT-ERC treats children from Ban Jing Jai to a day at Pattaya Park

Sauber Club opens kindergarten in Wanginsah

The Asian University enjoys 5th year of English Summer Camps

Burapha University opens a new language center in Sriracha

Songklod Kaewvisit

A new language center opened on the fourth floor of Tuk.com in Sriracha on Wednesday April 30. Chonburi Deputy Governor Preecha Kamolbutr officially opened the center, run by the Burapha University’s Social Science and Human resource faculty.

Chonburi Deputy Governor Preecha Kamolbutr and District Officer Prachuap Chuntong visited the new center to see its new spacious and clean classrooms.

Jira Wattanachaisaeng, Language Center manager said, "This new facility will teach English, Chinese, Japanese Korean and Thai to begin and other languages in the future. All lecturers are native speakers and the courses are based on the latest in education curricula."

"For English there are 3 levels, a general course, technical language and a course for children. Chinese, Japanese and Korean each have courses from beginners level that focus on basic communication as well Thai for foreign nationals," said Jira.

Jira explained that the center was opened in Tuk.com because of its convenient location and because it is close to many international industries.

The center is part of the University’s efforts to bring the Thai workforce up to speed on foreign languages enabling the community and the nation to compete more effectively in the world marketplace and ultimately benefit the national economy.

GIS students present boxes for Camillian Centre children during Songkran

Over the course of last term, staff and pupils at GIS collected a variety of new items of clothing, toys games, toiletries and more. On Wednesday April 9 these were all secured into a box (with a struggle) which was then decorated and labelled, one for each child at the Camillian Centre.

Camillian Centre children with their boxed gifts.

Year 6 present their box to one lucky recipient.

Year 10 making their presentation to the Camillian centre students for whom they had wrapped the gifts.

The following day, Thursday 10th April, 32 children from the Camillian Centre, Rayong, came into GIS, had lunch and spent the afternoon in school. They joined in a variety of fun activities organised by the Primary classes nearest their age group. The Secondary aged children enjoyed the use of new computers in a computer session and the equipment in the Art room for a ‘one off’ the art lesson.

At the end of the afternoon the GIS pupils & staff presented the boxes for which they had been collecting items to each of the children who were very excited. The boxes were full of goodies and children were squashed into the transport to return home. Once back at the centre the boxes were opened and presents for Songkran enjoyed over the holiday.

For a small amount of cost and effort from staff and pupils at GIS the lives of these children were made happier and their new year was made a really special time as they played new games, used new stationery and wore new clothes. The day-to-day needs of these children are taken care of by the Camillian Centre but at this special time of the year for Thais it is nice for these children to feel special and receive gifts bought especially for them.

AFT-ERC treats children from Ban Jing Jai to a day at Pattaya Park

Songklod Kaewvisit

The Association of Filipinos in Thailand-Eastern Region Chapter (AFT-ERC) took the children from Ban Jing Jai (Sincerity House) for a day at Pattaya Park, allowing them to play games, swim in the pool and take a general break from the humdrum of their Soi Nernplubwan home.

All aboard for a ride on the SS Air Mattress.

Bending over backwards trying to win the limbo competition.

Uh huh, that’s right. We look good.

The family day out included a lunch for the children brought by AFT members and which was kindly supplied by the McDonald’s branch in South Pattaya. The food and friendly interaction brought smiles and happiness to the kids.

The group also celebrated the 7th birthday of Jian Ronna Padilla, complete with birthday cake. More games and fun activities followed including limbo competitions and a tug-o-war.

Virginia Sorensen, AFT-ERC president explained, "The family day out was held to not only bring the AFT members closer together within the community but to provide the children from Sincerity House with the opportunity to have some fun and play as children are supposed to. These children already have a tough life. Many are either orphaned or discard by their own families because of economic reasons."

Sauber Club opens kindergarten in Wanginsah

Text and photos by Stefan Ryser

The Sauber Fan Club Pattaya is not just a motorsports fan club. Members also undertake projects during their spare time, and if they can combine this with good deeds, then it is all the more beautiful.

Stefan Ryser, president of the Sauber Club Pattaya, presents toys to the children.

Members of the Sauber Club take a moment out of the busy schedule of fun to pose with the children from Wanginsah.

On 9 December 2002 on the occasion of Stefan Ryser’s 40th birthday, the foundation stone was laid for the building of a kindergarten in Wanginsah. On 18 April the club could finally open and inaugurate this kindergarten. A small delegation from the Sauber Fan Club Pattaya participated and enjoyed this beautiful journey into the northeast of Thailand.

The journey began at five o’clock in the morning on April 17. In the bus the group was spoiled with drinks and food by Marlies Fritz and Rolf. After a nine-hour travel into the northeast, they all arrived healthy at Udon Thani.

Some used the afternoon to explore the city, while others enjoyed a cool beer in the hotel lobby after a refreshing shower. Only praising words were heard for Marlies and Rolf, although Rolf had slept through the most beautiful viewpoint. The driver was also praised for his good driving fashion.

After a good breakfast, the group tackled last 100 km to Wanginsah. On rough jungle routes they approached their goal, which, after 2 hours, they finally reached. At the temple, decorated with flags, they were received by the village inhabitants and a merry crowd of children. Under shady trees a table was laid out for this legion of Samaritans, who were then presented with flowers and traditional clothes from the Isan region. Happy, laughing, but also a few scared children’s eyes thanked them cordially for the toys brought along and distributed to the children.

It became clear once again how little means one needs to bring large joy. After a small refreshment under the cooling trees, the tired travelers unpacked colorful paint and distributed it to their new little friends. The small ones soon realized that they were allowed to paint their kindergarten. Gradually, the children’s pictures began to cover all the walls. Everyone in the kindergarten painted, laughed, played and outside under the trees all enjoyed roasted and cooked chicken. Colas and a few cold beers were also supplied.

On beautiful days like these, unfortunately time always runs faster than in normal everyday life. Thus the time came to say goodbye. Just another group photo and a small gift for our small sparrows, and then the bus departed Udon Thani.

In the hotel lobby, the happy group relived the wonderful experiences. It was a unique experience for all. On the next morning the return journey to Pattaya started and by nine o’clock in the evening, all returned home healthy and happy. And now discussions are already underway as to what good deeds the club can undertake next.

The Asian University enjoys 5th year of English Summer Camps

by James Saville
Summer Camp Director

The Asian University of Science and Technology has now entered into its fifth year of English Summer Camp programmes. The two four-week camps are held between the middle of March and the middle of May each year. Over the last five years the English Summer Camps have trebled in size, commencing with forty students on each of the first two camps. Now, in 2003, we have the largest number of students to date with a total of two hundred and twenty-eight students: one hundred and thirty one students enrolling on the first camp and ninety-seven on the second.

Students learn the fine points of preparing exotic cuisine.

Students practice English while doing crafts.

Summer Camp teacher assistants pose at the entrance to the Academic Building.

Initially the Summer Camps were the brainchild of the president of the Asian University, Dr Viphandh Roengpithya. Dr Vip conceived of the Summer Camps as an ideal way for students from all over Thailand, from the age of 14 upwards, to study English in an environment that is safe, attractive, friendly, and conducive to learning. It was felt, moreover, that as the students lived and worked together, their experience would be made more valuable through a balanced focus on team building and individual development.

The English Summer Camps provide an intensive academic programme in English ranging from beginner through to advanced conversation classes. In addition, students have the opportunity to brush up their mathematics, information technology (IT) and prepare for such public examinations as the IELTS and TOEFL. The standard week of a Summer Camp includes twenty-two hours of English language study, three hours of IT and two hours of mathematics, thus making it the most intensive English language Summer Camp programme in Thailand.

The academic programme is taught by twelve well qualified and experienced native English speaking teachers from countries such as England, Canada, America, New Zealand and Australia. In addition, regular lecturers in the university’s Faculty of Liberal Arts supplement the work of the Summer Camp teachers by providing classes that cover English, drama, art and the humanities. Then, in the evenings and at weekends, there are further activities that include cooking, arts and crafts, and Latin dancing as well as day excursions to various local attractions. The camps also include weekend sports competitions like Mini-Olympics, team building, and basketball and badminton competitions between the campers and the full time university students.

For the after-class and weekend activities the Summer Camps employ twelve teacher assistants who in general are Thai nationals, although over the years we have had university students from Austria and England to enhance the international flavour. Their main responsibilities are to assist the campers in many different areas such as in the dormitory, during meals and on day excursions. In addition they ensure that there is open communication between the campers and their families, check that all the campers are well behaved, and take care of any minor disciplinary problems that may arise.

All this gives the campers an ideal opportunity to experience and prepare for life as a university student. We were, therefore, happy to see eight campers from the 2002 English Summer Camps subsequently enrol as full-time students at the Asian University. This year we are looking forward to seeing around the same number of campers enrol as regular students at the university for the 2003/2004 academic year.

The English Summer Camps are a great opportunity for Thai students to use their summer holidays effectively. Through them, students can further their English language skills, enjoy living and working together and experience life at an international university.

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