Planning for my future in Thailand

ICTE-UQ Bridging English Program student Sirin, from Thailand, has spent many years studying away from her family with the goal to return to her hometown of Ayutthaya in Thailand to open her own pharmacy business and provide support to her family members. This is her story of how she hopes to reach that goal – from studying pharmaceutical science in Thailand to learning English at ICTE-UQ and now completing a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UQ.

I graduated from Prince of Songkhla University, Hat Yai in Thailand with a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science. This was a six-year degree which I chose to study in a city more than 1000kms away from my family. This meant that I would only have the chance to see them three to four times a year, which was challenging as a young student.

Once I finished my university studies I was able to find a job as a Clinical Pharmacist at Bumrungrad Hospital. This had brought me back closer to my hometown but of course, I still missed my family. I worked seven years at the hospital and had the opportunity to work with local and international patients, which was useful in improving my English. Bumrungrad Hospital is well-known in Thailand as a hospital for medical tourists.

However, despite already having a career in Pharmacy, I also had a plan that one day I would start my own pharmacy business, but I did not know anything about business. This is when I started to think about studying a Master degree overseas, to gain experience in a foreign country, learn English and see something different. Two years ago I started thinking more seriously about my plan and began researching where I should study. I spoke to some senior colleagues and they had suggested Australia as they had studied in Australia too.

Australia was very interesting and so I decided to continue my research by applying for a Work and Holiday Visa to live in Australia for one year. I chose to live in Sydney and studied English for three months. But in this time I knew that I wanted to study my Master degree in Australia and started looking at university courses which I wanted to study. I only stayed in Australia for four months before returning to Thailand to apply for my student visa.

I researched many universities and applied to study at UQ. The program I chose was a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation because it has fundamentals of business courses which is important for new people to the business, just like me.

I have found Brisbane a very easy place to live. It is not as busy as Bangkok and Sydney, people are relaxed and friendly, and the weather is similar to Thailand. In my spare time, I can do activities such as going to the park, shopping at the farmer's markets and spending time outdoors with friends. The scenery is beautiful, especially close to the river and I love seeing it when I am jogging and exercising around UQ.

I only know one other Thai person in Brisbane. All my friends are from other nationalities, which I made from studying the Bridging English Program (BEP) at ICTE-UQ and also by joining the UQ Yoga Club. This has been great for me as it has made me use my English language skills. Once I am settled into my university studies I plan to join more UQ clubs to try new things and to meet new people.

BEP has improved my English in so many ways. I have liked learning about writing structures, having teachers check my assignments and providing me with helpful feedback. I am more confident with speaking with friends and other people and my listening skills are a lot better as I can practice with native English speakers and understand different accents. At first, I thought Australian people spoke fast and not so clearly but now I am very comfortable with it.

It is great to be finally studying my Master degree so I can meet new friends and learn from experienced professors. The course is two years and after I graduate I look forward to returning to Thailand and getting more work experience in a hospital setting. As I am the eldest child in the family I feel a responsibility to return to Thailand and take care of my parents. I had planned my study so the year that I graduate from UQ will be the same year my father will retire.

I hope to be able to achieve my plan and open my own pharmacy where my parents want to retire and be close to them. I know my UQ course and studying in Australia will give me the skills and experience to do this.

Find out more about studying the Bridging English Program at ICTE-UQ.

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Last updated:
13 April 2018