Course studied: BA (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practice
Country of Origin: Thailand
Sirunyu Thongmee is an international student from Thailand, Nonthaburi who completed her BA (Hons) in Contemporary Arts Practice at Bath Spa University.
Sirunyu's Bath Spa story
I come from Nonthaburi, a small town in Thailand. Choosing to leave my home town to study in the UK was the most difficult decision I've ever had to make. Prior to coming to the UK I spent two years living in India, but choosing to live so far away from home was very difficult for me. The opportunity to learn from, and about other cultures was one of the main factors that helped me decide to come and study in the UK.
Studying at Bath Spa University has been very different from my educational experience in Thailand. At first I found it quite difficult to adapt to this system, but after a while it becomes normal. We are encouraged to experiment with our ideas and concepts which I find to be a very effective way of studying. It is great to have the different professors and teaching staff pointing us in the right direction, but the responsibility lies with me. I enjoy having the freedom to decide what I want to do and how I am going to do it.
Living in one of the world’s most famous historical cities (Bath) is exciting and interesting because it is a place where tradition meets modern society. I find Bath to be quite a colorful city. There is always some sort of special event taking place. My favorite is the Jane Austen Centre Festival when local people dress up in traditional period costume and walk around the town.
In my spare time, I like to visit the different museums and galleries in Bath and my favorite museum is the Roman Baths. Since I'm studying an arts-based course, I find the city’s different historical attractions great sources of inspiration for my art work. I also enjoy discovering and eating out and socializing with my friends.
After I graduate, I would like to become a practicing artist in the UK, but I also want to go back home and help contribute to developing the educational system in Thailand, so that poor children and orphans can have the chance of a good education, like I have.
"Since I'm studying an arts-based course, I find the city’s different historical attractions great sources of inspiration for my art work."
Why did you decide to study in the UK at Bath Spa University?
I came to Bath Spa University for a private tour, and it was like love at first sight. I had visited many other universities in the UK before I made my final decision about where I wanted to study, but there was no other university that offered what Bath Spa did. The environment here is warm and welcoming and all the staff are so helpful and friendly. The campus is quite small which is nice because it means I am never too far away from my tutors.
"The best thing about Bath Spa University ... "
The environment here is warm and welcoming and all the staff are so helpful and friendly.
"I recommend Bath Spa University because ... "
It's become my family!
Sirunyu's exchange experience
Seian University of Art & Design, Japan
I still remember the day that I decided to apply for an exchange placement in Japan. It was exciting and challenging in the way that this would be my first time to live in a non-English speaking country. I have always had a keen interest
in East Asian art, especially in Japanese traditional art. And settling in a non-English speaking country would open my eyes to another side of the world. And I thought there may be many chances of doing great things out there, who knows.
"I would recommend an international experience because ..."
Everything that I have learnt from the university, Japan and what I have gained from this placement, has been priceless.
Sirunyu's international story
I really do not want to believe that now my study exchange program is over. It has been an unforgettable experience for me to have a great opportunity studying in one of the world's most wonderful countries, Japan.
My biggest concern before boarding was the language barrier. As an international student studying here in the UK, I still think English is difficult. Therefore, I do not need to mention anything about my Japanese language ability. I thought - what should I do if I cannot communicate with others? No friends, no food, no part-time jobs etc. But I have always had a keen interest in East Asian art, especially in Japanese traditional art and that is the reason why I didn't let language become an issue that stops me from going there.
I really have to say thank you so much to Seian University for making all those worries disappear. Everything was ready for me when I arrived. Moreover, Japanese people are friendly and willing to help you even if they are unable to speak English.
2nd September 2014, the day that I stood in Shiga prefecture (where I decided to take a placement), Japan. The smell of fresh air, the beautiful scenery of lake Biwako (‘The largest freshwater lake in Japan, located in the central of Shiga prefecture’) and the quiet and natural environment told me that, finally, I had become an exchange student, and the most wonderful things were waiting for me in the next months. How exciting that was.