Hutsama Juntaratana

Thailand, MArchD Applied Design in Architecture

“Oxford for me is perfect because it is not that far from London so if there is any event that you really want to go, you can go in one hour. I feel like I can focus more here because I can’t stay home and work while there is lot of things going on.”

Why did you decide to come to Oxford Brookes University?
The programme of the course is very interesting. Especially for architecture and I just know that it is really famous here.

Why did you choose to study a Masters in Architecture?
I graduated in Interior Design so I am was passionate in Interior Design in Bangkok and I found it quite interesting in the architecture field, especially in overseas study because the course is really different from Thailand. I looked up about the course, the Master’s course, which I am studying and they have like the advanced Architecture, specialisation which I am really interested in, like conceptual design it is more like a kind of fine art and artistic. I found that not really like many places teach that so I saw that and I liked it so I came here.

What is the best thing about your course?
The tutors are, they are amazing like really helpful, my main tutor he is really good. They kind of help us to think differently from the usual way that we used to see things. I found that is really like good way of looking at things to get new inventive design.

How different do you find the University’s teaching style to what you’ve experienced back in Thailand?
Actually a lot different. Like a bit conservative so it is like of course they try to bring students in to teaching, like student participation but still there is a lot of traditional ways of teaching. The professor and tutor want you to make students buy in to their own ideas so they want student to do what they think is good but here everyone kind of brings that. Here I would say I want to do this, I want to do that and tutor says yes or if they do not agree the student can just say OK I want to do this because I think this is better for me. I like this more, this helps us to improve. Thailand also nice as well but it is just a different way of thinking. You can do whatever you want and the tutors guide you the right way and they introduce you to the things they know and they experience more. They are really helpful.

Did you get any support when you arrived being an international student?  

I arrived on arrivals weekend. The weekend before the first week started. At Heathrow Airport there were staff there and I came here with a group of students, there were many people arriving that day so and they guided us to our halls and it was very easy to make my way here.

Have you been on any international student trips with ISAT ?
They set up the international welcome event at the beginning of last semester, I joined that and some of us I went to the ISAT meeting in the first week as well.

Will you be doing a work placement?
I am doing my Master of Architecture part 2 but I don’t have part 1 because part 1 is a bachelors for Architecture in the UK but I didn’t do it here. I need to give myself more experience in the UK so I am planning to do some internship in the summer.

Would you recommend this course to another student?
Yes, yes I love to, there is already a lot of my friends here and in the year below me. Back home like they always ask like how is it going.

What do you hope to do when you finish your Master’s?
I hope I can find a job here because I really want to gain some more experience in the UK or in Europe before I go home. For me it is for sure that I am going to go back to live in Thailand for the rest of my life because my parents, my whole family are there. Art here is very different from Thailand and there is a lot more opportunity.

What do you like most about living in Oxford?
Oxford is nice, it is not like London. Before I came here I used to live in Bangkok which is the capital city and but there is like a lot happening all the time like London. If you live in London there is a lot to see especially for design students, a lot of exhibitions, a lot of events to go and see, really famous artists.
Oxford for me is perfect because it is not that far from London so if there is any event that you really want to go, you can go in one hour. I feel like I can focus more here because I can’t stay home and work while there is lot of things going on.
I like it here and it is beautiful.

Are you involved in any clubs or societies here at Brookes?

OxArch Society is the Oxford Architecture society.  It belongs to Architecture School, they have a lecture every week and invite famous architects.

Have you found it easy to settle in to university life? 
The first week is quite hard for me because there is a lot to do like I need to open a bank account, there is just a lot to do but it is not that hard to do so after the first week everything is OK. The first week I needed to fight with my Jetlag as well, it was horrible. I came here and in two days it was induction week already, so if I can suggest to anyone I would really, definitely tell them that you should arrive a bit earlier.

Do you have any top tips for international students?
I developed my English by traveling. I have been travelling a bit around and kind of learnt a lot by that but it is like wherever I go I need to come back and live in Bangkok which I never get to speak English. 
There is nothing to worry about much like just don’t worry and be happy. It is like everything will be fine, I think there is always like some problem. Like the first week is kind of hard and lectures are kind of like at academic level English, it is quite hard and I remember like first two or three lectures I didn’t get it, I needed to always ask my friend. On my course there are so many British and European students so it doesn’t make you look silly if you ask them, you get used to it after two or three lectures. I used a recording tape as well for some lectures, I use it in tutorials as well so that I can play it back. I learnt that if you have any problem, you just ask for help. I think there is a good advantage of being international student as well like because we’re not from here, we don’t know. So we can ask whatever.