The PSU-BSU English Camp 2015 was once again a successful and enjoyable experience for the 140 PSU students, who improved their English proficiency by communicating with native English speaking teachers while having fun, making new friends and participating in creative activities. In the same way, the 13 American camp leaders enjoyed not only teaching English, but also learning about Thailand and Thai culture via various trips in Bangkok, Hua Hin, Surat Thani, Krabi, Phuket, Phang Nga and Trang. The camp, organized by the International Affairs Office of Prince of Songkla University (PSU) in collaboration with Ball State University (BSU), USA, took place from 19-31 May and marked the 15th year of complete success for the PSU English Camps.
Since 2001, almost 1,500 PSU students have had the chance to participate in an animated English Camp, where about 250 foreign camp leaders taught not only in the classroom but also by direct experience in real-life settings. Throughout the camp, teachers and students exchange knowledge and experiences, and learn together during the morning classes and the afternoon trips to tourist attractions in southern Thailand. This way, students gain confidence in talking with foreigners and develop their English language skills.
The 2015 English Camp truly surpassed itself in English teaching and leisure activities and was a great success. Friendships were made all around. Thai students made new friends with other Thais, and all camp leaders created lasting kinship with their newfound Thai students. Most important, however, was the motivation given the students to love and continue to learn English, fulfilling an important goal of the English Camp.
In Surat Thani, participants enjoyed the monkey training center at Kradae Jae, where all learned how monkeys can be trained to harvest coconuts. At the Salaka Garden they learned not only how to grow the succulent salaka fruit, but also the process of growing and roasting coffee beans.
In Krabi and Phang Nga, students and camp leaders took part in a voyage to the Andaman Sea’s James Bond Island and a tour of Koh Panyee, a 200-year-old floating Muslim fishing village, where hand-woven silk garments and inventive bric-a-brac reign.
In Phuket, everyone was excited to visit the “Pearl of the Andaman Sea” with its wonderful tourist attractions, as the Phuket Bird Park and beautiful white sand beaches. The day ended with a relaxing time spent at Phrompthep Cape watching the fabulous sunset.
On May 30, the colorful and fascinating Closing Ceremony was honored by Dr. Tatiyaporn Jarumaneerat, Assistant President for International Affairs at PSU Phuket Campus, and Dr. Kris Rugsaken, Professor from Ball State University, who delivered speeches and presented certificates to all participants.
A special appreciation goes to Dr. Kris Rugsaken, who has been collaborating with PSU in organizing the camp since 2008, and annually recruits well-qualified volunteers from the United States to come and teach English to PSU students.
The camp became a lifetime experience for the participating students, some expressing their gratitude with “Thanks for being a part of my life.” Therefore, all PSU students are invited to join the next PSU-BSU English Camp and have a unique experience while improving their English skills.