Thai Cultural Assimilation through Extra-curricular Activities: A Case Study of Exchange Students at the Institute of International Studies, Ramkhamhaeng University


  • Chatchawan Chaiyasat Institute of International Studies, Ramkhamhaeng University



Culture, Acculturation, Assimilation, Exchange Students, Extra-curricular Activities


     Newly arrived international students who are participating in their semester aboard may face a lot of difficulties in adapting to the new culture. This study aims at exploring and analyzing German exchange students’ perceptions towards Thai culture, society, people’s way of life and their perception towards the difficulty factors which they encountered during participating in Buddhist-related activities and ceremonies at a rural Dhamma Center. A total of nine German exchange students participated in this study. Data were gathered by means of a qualitative approach including open-ended questions, semi-structured interviews, and reflective reports. The thematic analysis techniques and qualitative data analysis (QDA) software package (NVivo 10) was employed to analyze the data. The finding showed that exposure to such extra-curricular activities had a positive impact on German exchange students’ understanding and perception towards Thai culture, society, and people’s way of life. However, there were two factors which caused exchange students to feel uncomfortable whilst participating in Buddhist-related activities and ceremonies: the Thai language barrier and practicing of the morning chant. These extra- curricular activities appeared to have beneficial effects on German exchange students regarding their cultural adjustment in Thailand. The results of this study might benefit the International Affairs Offices in all Thai tertiary educational institutions in order to enhance opportunities for international students to understand more comprehensively Thai culture, society, and its people.


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How to Cite

Chaiyasat, C. (2016). Thai Cultural Assimilation through Extra-curricular Activities: A Case Study of Exchange Students at the Institute of International Studies, Ramkhamhaeng University. Community and Social Development Journal, 17(1), 121–134.



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