Blog post

My study abroad experience in Thailand

Computer Science student Robert headed to Thailand for a month to expand his scientific and mathematic knowledge. 

By Robert Forynski - 27 February 2023

19 June 2022 was a special day for me. It was the day I started my Turing Scheme traineeship to study abroad. I was proud and very happy to be a part of this wonderful journey to visit Thailand and join King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) for a month.  

As a BSc (Hons) Computer Science student at the University of Derby, I had a great prospect to work with the best mathematicians and scientists led by Professor Poom Kumam, Director of the Center of Excellence in Theoretical and Computational Science (TaCS-CoE) at KMUTT.  

The opportunity to join the Turing Scheme was announced by my Computational Mathematics Professor Ovidiu Bagdasar. Because I enjoyed the engaging module during my studies, I decided to apply, and ultimately I was successful and granted to go to Thailand. 

I travelled with two of my University of Derby peers who went onto a different university, located in northern Bangkok: Rajamangala University of Technology Thanyaburi (RMUTT). 

Traditional buildings and trees in Thailand

Expanding knowledge and experience

I was able to work with and learn from knowledgeable scientists including Profressor Wiyada Kumam, Dr Printaporn Sanguansuttigul, Dr Kornwut Kammahawong, Dr Parin Chaipunya, Dr Jamilu Abubakar, and other members engaged in the development of science and fields of mathematics.  

Attending meetings and lectures helped me improve my mathematical skills, extend my knowledge, and showed my different approaches and methodologies used by scientists. On daily basis I was conducting scientific research related to mathematics, computing and engineering, mostly focused on optimization, algorithms, iterative methods and machine learning. My hosts enabled me to understand and develop nonlinear functional analysis and comprehend Fixed Point Theory and its applications. 

The amount of knowledge and the level of complexity were a bit challenging for me, especially at the beginning, but thanks to my very approachable tutors and lecturers, I was able to be involved in many interesting and meaningful activities. 

If you are interested in studying abroad, I advise you to carefully consider what area of study you would like to expand. Every destination is unique and universities vary from specialised fields to more universal ones, but all of them guarantee progress and development. It can be challenging sometimes – but it is worth it. 

Feeling safe 6,000 miles away from home

While I was out of the country, I got support from my university peers and most importantly from coordinating Professor Ovidiu Bagdasar. I felt confident, well-prepared, and safe, even 6,000 miles from home.  

I have improved my knowledge about some absolutely mind-blowing theorems and their applications, and I have benefited from working with great scientists. I am still in touch with many people I was introduced to in Bangkok. Simply, I made friends. These connections will stay with me forever – I will definitely go back to Bangkok in the near future.

Three students and a professor at KMUTT in Thailand

Top tips for travelling

If you’re thinking of taking part in the Turing Scheme, here are some tips you might find useful.  

I embarked on a 12-hour flight to Thailand and you also could be travelling long-haul. Be prepared by bringing things like a neck rest, headphones or a good book.  

The first thing to do after arrival is to buy a SIM card. After this, I got an app called Grab which allowed me to book taxis, order food, and much more. Thailand is quite cheap, so going out for dinner or travelling by taxi wasn’t too expensive. 

My next tip would be to enjoy your spare time by travelling or taking part in activities. I benefited from playing football and other sports. I also travelled around the big capital city and went to see the seaside in the south. I tried many delicious local dishes, even a grilled scorpion! Visiting their famous temples was also a great experience. There’s so much worth seeing so it’s good to be prepared and plan what you’d like to do.  

Go for it!

The application to take part in the Turing Scheme and the traineeship itself were well prepared and I cannot fault anything in the whole process. Great communication, fantastic people and beautiful places. Most importantly it was a wonderful chance to improve my skills and contribute to innovative projects.  

If you have an opportunity to apply to study abroad, go for it. It is an amazing experience that cannot be missed.

Group of students at Arches National Park, USA

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About the author

Robert Forynski

Robert Forynski
Undergraduate Student

Robert Forynski is a beginner, enthusiastic University of Derby student and freelance full-stack developer looking for development opportunities in the IT industry. Determined and open-minded, constantly expanding his knowledge, he will be happy to talk about my programming projects. He is looking for opportunities to enhance his capabilities and acquire new experiences.