Bless Kulphassorn Wongrukrut and Pun Jarurat Narksen came all the way from Thailand to attend the unique Master in Music Management at UiA where they are staying for one semester.
"My dream is to start a music camp for children, and the Master in music management combines music with business. This is exactly what I need," Bless Kulphassorn Wongrukrut says.
"I have always loved to sing, and I would like to help young children who also have this dream. During the grade 4-7, they are especially eager to learn. The things we learn at the university open up for so many opportunities later, and I get so much inspiration from my studies, teachers and fellow students. I now have a completely new network in a different country, and maybe we can even work together and be partners in the future. I think international experience and connections are very important in the music industry," Kulphassorn Wongrukrut says.
"In addition to what we learn at the university, I have learned so much about life after being an exchange student. There are no words to describe it, you have to come and experience it yourself. I have to get used to not having my family and friends around me, and I have to make new friends. I also have to get used to new ways of living, a new language, behavior and food. It’s been so meaningful and I would recommend it to any of my fellow students back in Thailand. It is a great experience that I will remember for the rest of my life," Kulphassorn Wongrukrut says.
Pun Jarurat Narksen, also from Thailand, agrees that it has been a great experience so far.
"I really like the teachers, they are awesome. So full of knowledge, and since the classes are small, I feel comfortable asking questions. Also, my fellow students are really nice, and we have a great learning environment. I have some years of work experience from Thailand already, but this experience has inspired me to maybe try out new areas in music business. I think there are so many opportunities," he says.
Travelling to a country across the world reveals new differences. The safe environment you are used to is suddenly not there, and you have to get used to a new way of living.
Kulphassorn Wongrukrut and Narksen think it is important to be open-minded about the differences.
"One of the biggest differences here is that it is so quiet. In Bangkok, there are always so many people around you, but here you can have peace and quiet if you want to," Narksen says.
"Yes, and the Sundays are especially busy in Thailand, everything is open. That is quite different from here where the shops are closed, and most people spend the day with their families," Kulphassorn Wongrukrut says.
They are also interested in the Norwegian language and culture, and would like to continue practicing the language when they go back.
"We will always remember the time here in Norway, which has inspired us in so many ways," they say.