Kraiwuth Jaikampan from Thailand is studying for a PhD in Public Administration at the University of North Texas.
Why did you decide to study in the USA?
Studying in the USA has been a great opportunity for me to expand my outlook. More importantly, I trust in the high standard of the PhD programs in U.S. universities.
Why did you choose the University of North Texas?
For me, there are three major reasons for choosing the University of North Texas (UNT). First, the Department of Public Administration at UNT is recognized at the national level. Second, the tuition, fees, and living expenses are affordable at UNT and in Denton, Texas. Third, the Public Administration faculty members are renowned in their specializations.
What do you like best?
I am proud to be a PhD student at the Department of Public Administration—we are a very competitive program. The department is magnificent in supporting an academic environment and career achievement.
What do you miss most?
Since I am an only child, I miss my mom and dad the most.
What was your biggest surprise?
What do you think about Texas? Is it a desert? No, it is not! This was a very big surprise when I first came to the northern part of Texas. Here, in Dallas-Forth Worth, the climate is nice, the landscape is very beautiful, and there is always something to do.
... your biggest disappointment?
My biggest disappointment is that I lost my wallet with $60 cash!
How have you handled: ... language differences?
Of course the Thai language is totally different from English in many aspects, including grammar, writing, and style. I had lots of problems when I first started at UNT’s English school, the Intensive English Language Institute (IELI). However, because the IELI instructors treat international students very well, I quickly overcame my problems.
There is a big difference in the exchange rate between the Thai baht and the U.S. dollar. However, the tuition fees and living expenses for studying at the University of North Texas are very affordable. Also, it is very easy to achieve scholarships and other funding at the University of North Texas.
... adjusting to a different educational system?
It was not difficult for me to adjust to the U.S. education system. UNT professors are very helpful and always give good advice regarding my studies.
What are your activities?
I am …
- A student assistant working at UNT-International Recruitment
- A member of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM)
How relevant is your U.S. education to your personal goals and to the needs of your country?
My personal goal is to become a professor in a renowned university. The PhD program at UNT requires students to take several courses that teach us the newest theories and practices in the field. Also, having academic positions, such as being a teaching assistant (TA), research assistant (RA), or teaching fellow (TF), is a great opportunity for all PhD students to prepare and practice teaching before becoming full-time professors.
Regarding the needs of my country, the field of public administration is highly recommended for any person working as a government officer. Also, instructors and employees in the field are required to pursue a public administration degree by many universities, local public offices, and non-profit organizations, not only in the Bangkok metropolitan area, but also in other provinces. Local governments in Thailand are still at the beginning stages of development, in my opinion.
What is your advice to other students who are considering a U.S. education?
Most prospective international students might not know that in the U.S. there are many good universities across the nation. The most important thing for any international student is to know themselves and choose the university that is most suitable for them. The standardized test scores, i.e., TOEFL, IELTS, GRE or GMAT, their GPA (grade point average), and their field of specialization should also be involved in the decision-making.
For me, the PhD program in public administration at UNT is the realistic and reliable choice. The reputation of the faculty, the national ranking of the department, the affordable tuition, and the living expenses influenced me to come here.