International colleges are becoming more and more popular as we realize the need for intercultural understanding and communication skills. This phenomenological study takes a look at international students at one international college in northern Thailand. Because the courses at this international college are taught in English and the undergraduate degrees offered are not directly related to Thailand or Thai culture, the researcher was interested in the connection between the educational environment and the surrounding community.

This study examines the experiences of international students studying at an international college in Thailand in regards to the local culture and people. The findings show that the students did not choose this particular college because of it’s location but because it was the best fit for them financially and with regards to visa regulations. Most of the students’ only interactions with local Thais was either in the classroom or with friends they met through their courses. It is evident that because of this low level of interaction, lack of prior international experience, and lack of proper guidance, the students did not possess the skills necessary to be able to gain a true understanding of the local culture. The findings of this research can assist Thai U in developing a program that equips their students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in meaningful interactions with the local community.


International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication