Name: Ansgar Schäfer
Internship Period: 29 May – 30 November 2017
Motto: “Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
Tell us about your hometown!
I’m from Bad Hersfeld, a small town in the middle of Germany. You might find it on the return address on your Amazon packages, since Amazon built one of their main depots there. Besides that, Bad Hersfeld has such important landmarks as the largest Romanesque church ruin in Europe and one of Germany’s oldest fairs.
For various reasons I moved to Berlin five years ago. Berlin is quite hard to describe; a big, chaotic city with a vivid nightlife. But after I have been in Thailand for a few weeks now, Bangkok makes Berlin look like Bad Hersfeld.
Why did you choose to do an internship with GTDEE Department?
Back in April I entered the last semester of my Master’s degree in South- and Southeast Asia Studies and was looking for a topic to write my thesis about. At the same time I was looking for some practical experience preferably in a country I focused on during my studies: Thailand.
The GTCC first caught my attention because of its wide-ranging involvement in German-Thai relations and business activities. On further research the GTDEE Department seemed the most interesting to me because it combines a business based approach with development cooperation to the benefits of all parties involved. So when I received the offer to write my Master’s thesis about a project of the GTDEE Department in cooperation with a German company and a Thai college, I didn’t hesitate to accept.
Why did you choose to come to Thailand and learn Thai language in your Bachelor’s degree?
Before I started my Bachelor’s degree I spent one year in the south of Thailand teaching English at several elementary schools. During that time I already picked up some Thai so when I came back to Germany I wanted to keep learning the language, probably because I already guessed that I will eventually return to Thailand.
My course of study offered several language courses including Thai which I gladly joined. Especially for the different pitch levels and how to read and write in Thai it was a welcomed change to have a professional teacher instead of trying to learn it on my own.
Tell us 3 good and 3 bad things you experienced in Thailand.
1. People are always happy to help you out in any situation. The amount of help I’ve received from total strangers surpasses anything I have experienced in Germany or anywhere else.
2. Take the night train to the south; it’s a genuine experience and a comfortable way to travel. Traveling in general is great because of the fascinating nature and wildlife. It never gets boring to just look out of the train/boat/car and enjoy the scenery.
3. The white temple and the black house in Chiang Rai are worth the trip alone, but the city itself and the surrounding area have a lot to offer as well.
1. The smog, traffic and heat in Bangkok are something you have to get used to.
2. In the more touristy parts the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers can get annoying very fast.
3. Sometimes you will have ants in your food.