Life at Sasin School of Management, Bangkok

Sasin is the School of Business in which we study during our Transco. The building is huge, very modern and located in the center of Bangkok, near the Siam and MBK shopping centers.

What does Sasin look like?

Sasin is a very high-tech and comfortable place: classrooms are equipped with microphones for each student, and there is a full setup in order to video tape and register the sessions. All of the courses can be taken online, so you can find in every classroom three big screens for those  who are not physically present.

To enter, you must go through face recognition (Sasin REALLY is into high-tech!)
Typical Sasin classroom

The building comprehends numerous rooms dedicated to the students: small ones with whiteboards to work in teams, bigger ones with sofa, fridge, musical instruments, table football to relax (yes, I know it’s fabulous). In Sasin free coffee, tea and hot chocolate, beverages  are readily available that are really appreciated during the thirty-minute break we have between each half of the courses.

You can buy food and eat it in Sasin’s cafeteria which is called the Food Lab (the food is good, a bit expensive and takes a long time to be prepared though). If you prefer a smaller snack, there are also vending machines.

Sasin also has a shop where you can purchase all kinds of goodies showing rabbits (the totem of the school -so cute). Even better: there is a no-waste shop at the ground floor, where you can buy hand soap and washing powder .

How are the courses organized at Sasin?

During our stay at Sasin we go through 3 different modules. In each module, we can select various courses (2 is recommended), knowing that the ones taught by a Gem teacher are compulsory. Some of the courses include a final exam, some are based on continuous grading, but all of them require us to carry out at least one team project. At Sasin most of the courses take place on the afternoon or in the evening (until 9:30 pm). On average we have class for three hours and a half each day. 

Working with Thai students is a great experience, as they truly are hard workers and perfectionist, but it also requires commitment from ourselves!

Team meeting in one of the numerous Sasin workrooms

The Gem courses are untitled “Social Innovation and Design Thinking” and “Comparative Business Environments”.
For the Thai courses, you can choose among the followings: “Investments”, “Marketing and Consumption”, “Family Business”, “Business Strategy”, “Data science and analysis”, “Branding” and “The age of Disruption”.
What is very convenient at Sasin is that there is a period of time during which you can choose to drop out of a course if after one or two sessions you figure out it does not suit you, and then register for another one instead.
Also, we have about one week of holidays in March, and two in April.

What about other Sasin students?

Through the classes and the numerous team projects we have to carry out, we are able to meet the other Sasin students. Most of them are Thai but we are not the only exchange students. All of them speak English very well, and are older than us, as we follow an MBA program. The other students have already worked or currently have a job, quite often in their family business (very common in Asia). Sometimes after the night classes we get together  and chill out in one of the relax rooms, as the school closes after 11 pm.

Shared dinner with other students

What activities can we take part in at Sasin?

Two weeks ago, Thai students organized a Sasin Sports Day, where various programs and alumni competed against each other in badminton, football, basketball, and fun games. As exchange students we could participate too, and it was so much fun!

Sasin staff also organizes numerous activities for the students: visit of temples, lunches, trip to Phuket etc. All of those, except the trip, were free (thank you so much Sasin!).

Sasin posted a memory on Instagram about our visit of The Great Palace

In case of any problems or questions we can reach out to teachers or Sasin staff through Line (Thai messenger), and they are very responsive.

Conclusion: Sasin is a great place for exchange students! Teachers, other students, and administrative staff are all very welcoming.

This article was written by Lisa Montaldo.

Housing in New York

Difficulties you may encounter when looking for accommodation in NYC

In New York, landlords are required by law to rent their flats for at least 6 months. This is why many landlords look for one-year leases. Besides some of them can be adamant to lease their flat to foreigners. It is also important to be on the lookout for any scam or fraud. Try to check the landlord’s documents (proof that it is their property) or that the company you are signing with is legit.

What documents you’ll need : (may differ from company, landlord…)

  • Passport or state ID issued identification
  • Proof of employment or guarantor
  • Bank statement or financial information
  • DS-2019
  • J-1 Visa
  • Photo of your passport and Visa

OUR TIPS TO FIND THE PERFECT APARTMENT

Finding an apartment in New York can be a little difficult; but don’t worry, here are our tips to find the perfect one.
Indeed, several options are available.
It is possible to stay alone in a studio but generally the prices are quite high.
We suggest that you get a roommate. It is very common in New York to rent a room in a shared apartment. This has many advantages; you can have your own space but also enjoy the company of other American and foreign students in common spaces.

Photo by Gabriel Beaudry on Unsplash

Here are some websites that can be useful to find accomodation in the city:

Uniplaces
https://www.uniplaces.com/fr
EHS
https://www.studenthousing.org/
● Student
https://www.student.com/fr-fr/us/new-york-city
● The Webster Apartment (housing for women only)
https://websterapartments.org/
● Helloaya
https://helloaya.com/
● Nest Pick
https://www.nestpick.com/rooms-for-rent/new-york-city/

You could also, join groups on Facebook, like “Les Frenchy à New-York” which could provide help, tips, and lease offers.

When it comes to the apartment’s location, it is no surprise that apartments are very expensive in Manhattan.
The budget is one thing, but other personal criterias can also come into play, such as the safety of the neighborhood or the proximity to Pace University.

Another solution, is to find a sublease (a lease of a property by a tenant to a subtenant), when you usually join an apartment-share. This is the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, countries… It is typically the best solution to get a great apartment and for less money.

This article was written by Julie Trinh and Emma Eymery

The cultural diversity of New York

A land of immigration

When thinking about New York, the skyline is probably the first thing that comes to mind. However, beneath the famous towers lie an exceedingly diverse city. Little Italy, Chinatown or little Brazil are famous examples of the town’s cultural richness. However, New York’s diversity is more complex, and is the best representation of the US’s history of immigration. New York City was a hub for immigrants, and it still is today. About one-third of the city’s total population of 8 million is foreign born. About 800 different languages are spoken in New York. Actually, more languages are spoken in Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, than anywhere else on the planet. New York City has long maintained a municipal government Office of Immigrant Affairs tasked with assisting newly arriving immigrants in assimilating into their new communities. The city served as the historic port of entry for southern and eastern European immigrants such as the Russian, Jewish, Italians, Germans and Irish. The newest wave of immigrants is no longer predominantly Europeans as the city has continued to attract a significant number of people from all parts of the world such as Asians, Latin Americans and Africans.

Focus on Harlem

Photo by Ronny Rondon on Unplash

I had the opportunity to live in Harlem for a few weeks. Only a couple of subway stations away from downtown Manhattan, the atmosphere is very different. The Hispanic and Caribbean influence constitute the charm of this quarter. This is noticeable not only in the spoken language but also in the architecture. The buildings have a specific clay coating that is inherent to the quarter. The restaurants in the area also match Harlem’s ethnical background. Scents of Caribbean cuisine, Hispanic spices and African delicacies emanate from the small, local places which constitute the character of the neighborhood.

Strolling downtown is an exceedingly interesting experience. If you are willing to walk for hours at a time, you will notice the strong diversity of New York at each glance. Few of the people you will meet downtown are New Yorkers, as tourism is constantly flourishing even during the coldest months. This may not be strikingly noticeable as most of them are American, but they usually come from different states and have their own specific ways of speaking and interacting. This subtle difference is no less important regarding the diversity of the population. Being an international hub, people come from all around the world to work in various sectors or to study. Indeed, many colleges are implanted in the heart of the city, and international students like me contribute to the population diversity.

Culinary diversity

The cuisine of New York City includes several cuisines from many ethnic groups that came to the United States through the city. In New York, almost all ethnic cuisines are strongly represented, both within and outside of the many ethnic communities.

New York was also the birthplace of New York Restaurant Week, which has now expanded throughout the world owing to the reduced pricing that such a deal provides. There are about 12,000 bodegas, delis, and grocers in New York, with many of them operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This article was written by Louis Roche and Adrien Vitet

Why a good knowledge of coffee shops might save your life during your studies at McGill

I am going to start with the obvious; because it needs to be very clear in your minds, you, brave students moved by the will to apply to McGill.

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After the Beijing Tanscontinental Track


Feedback from the Beihang Transcontinental Track students

“This experience made me grow as a person, in term of relationships and open-mindedness. I had the opportunity to travel and meet people from various part of China. I discovered a new way of living and different cultures from all over the country. I learnt a lot!” Aurélie

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