How the hospitality school provides opportunities like no other.
One of Thailand’s most well-known national universities, Silpakorn University International College (SUIC) was founded in 1943 and has since been devoted to teaching its students practical skills for real-world, modern-day application. Having partnered with Vatel Thailand – Hotel & Tourism Business School, their international faculty and opportunities to study abroad help it stand apart even among Thailand’s wide array of hospitality schools. Khwan Dubey, a former Thai-Indian student at SUIC, speaks to Masala about why he chose the university, and the unique opportunities afforded to him.
Why did you choose SUIC/Vatel?
At first, my father chose this university for me because he had some connections in hospitality, and SUIC was recommended primarily because of its connection with the French Vatel hospitality school. My family has been very intellectually connected to France – I have an uncle who did his Master’s there, and ever since I was a kid, it’s been my interest to go there. I continued in SUIC because compared to other hospitality schools, SUIC focuses not just on lectures, but on practical aspects, from service, kitchen work and administration.
Tell us about the curriculum, and what makes it unique.
Since we are connected to Vatel, we’re all given an opportunity to go abroad for an internship, and we can choose where we want to go. I chose to go to France, and the university took care of our documents and visa requirements.
What skills are you acquiring, or have you acquired, at SUIC that will help with your future career prospects?
We learn about all the aspects of hospitality, from the bottom up. For example, for my internship, I went to Nice in the South of France, where I interned in a five-star boutique hotel from the hotel chain Relais & Châteaux. I divided my time between service and the kitchen, and before I started, I was afraid of kitchen work. However, after I started, I became close to the chef, who was very kind and generous, and I learned a lot about kitchen work that way.
Tell us about SUIC’s faculty, the learning environment, and the facilities.
It’s a very international environment, and all the teachers have great English, and they make sure that we understand everything as much as we can. We also have many international teachers – from Canada, China, and France, among others – and they help to familiarise us with their own country’s culture. They’re all very friendly, and not as strict as people expect.
There’s a rise in the number of Thai-Indians and Indians pursuing a hospitality degree, would you recommend SUIC to them?
Yes, I would. If I hadn’t come to SUIC, it would have been far more difficult for me to go to a foreign country for an internship, an experience that many universities don’t provide. SUIC/Vatel has what we call the Marco Polo Programme, an exchange programme which really helps with our cross cultural learning.