Daniel Whitehouse

Studying Thai and South East Asian Studies at Leeds provided me with a wealth of opportunities, experiences and abilities that will be invaluable throughout my life and future career.

During my studies I had the opportunity to give a presentation to the Thai Foreign Minister, arrange The University of Leeds Thai Forum, meet lifelong friends and learn to read, write and speak a language of which I had absolutely no previous knowledge.

The course itself is made up of an eclectic and stimulating assortment of modules, which reflects the diversity of this fascinating part of the world. In the morning you may attend a lecture about dissident movements in the Philippines and in the afternoon have a seminar about the history of Orientalism in western academic literature. I found such a broad spectrum of topics and disciplines fascinating and it really allowed me to discover and concentrate on the issues that were most interesting to me. Moreover, the lecturers and staff of the East Asia department are very supportive and passionate about the courses they offer, which was very important to me as student.

One of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of this course was the chance to live and study for a year in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. The teachers at the University of Chiang Mai provided a fantastic course and my Thai improved considerably while I was there. Additionally, during the year I was able to journey throughout Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia which helped me to better understand the region as a whole.

The course also offers many additional opportunities for students. I have just returned from an internship at the Office of Educational Affairs, Royal Thai Embassy where I helped them prepare for a large research project, and I am about to return to Leeds to study a Masters by Research for which I have received a scholarship from the Royal Thai Embassy in London. The photo shows me on placement at the Royal Thai Embassy.