HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Innovative US University Education Program “CC2U: College Connect”

Spirit Week at APIS

CMIS students explore the rain forest

Community Service Project at village school

An evening with two young pianists

Orawan explores cultural identity at CMU exhibition

Innovative US University Education Program “CC2U: College Connect”

Sutthichok Linprasert

Earlier this year U.S. Consul General Beatrice Camp was the guest of honor at a ceremony to launch “CC2U: College Connect” at Montfort College, Chiang Mai. Recently, Dr. Elena Garate, the dean of international education of Santa Monica College and her colleague Darlene Culbertson, director of international programs at Foothill and De Anza Colleges came back to give more information on the already successful program.

Relaxing with tea at Rachamankha were (from left) Michael Vogt, (managing director Chiangmai Mail); Sutthichok Linprasert, (division manager IC-ACE); Master Phiphat Gnoksamoe, (Montfort College); Dr. Elena Garate, (dean international education of Santa Monica College); Darlene Culbertson, (director of international programs at Foothill and De Anza Colleges); Mike Hock (senior counselor IC-ACE), and the F and B manager Rachamankha Hotel.

CC2U is innovative, structured and managed by IC-ACE (International Center, Chiang Mai University) to link elite local high schools with leading U.S. community colleges.

CC2U offers qualified local students smooth access to a high-quality, cost-effective system to enter the US university education system for undergraduate degrees. Applications are streamlined as all documents can be verified and processed by IC-ACE for Web-based submission to colleges, ITP TOEFL scores are accepted - (monthly tests at the International Center, Chiang Mai University instead of traveling to Bangkok for CBT TOEFL), and American SAT scores are not required.

In this Launch Phase, students from Montfort College, Prince Royal’s College, and CMU Demonstration School will be eligible to apply through IC-ACE for expedited admission to Santa Monica College (Los Angeles, California), Foothill College (San Francisco area, California), and De Anza College (San Francisco area, California). Under the CC2U program, they will also be considered for over US$ 2,000 of Performance Recognition Awards.

US Consul General Beatrice Camp (2nd left) gave a warm welcome to delegates from IC-ACE’s CC2U program; Darlene Culbertson of Foothill and De Anza Colleges (left), Dr. Elena Garate of Santa Monica College (2nd right); and Mike Hock of IC-ACE (right).

Ranked by size of international student population in 2003-2004, Santa Monica College was #1 (over 2,900), De Anza College was #3, and Foothill College was #9. Santa Monica College (SMC) was also the most successful in transferring large numbers of international students to the University of California system (UCLA, UC Irvine, etc), while Foothill and De Anza Colleges (FHDA) transferred the highest number of international students to the California State University system (San Jose State University, etc) and UC Berkeley.

Consul General Bea Camp expressed support for the timely introduction of CC2U as a real option for Thai students considering US undergraduate education. She further stated that students pursuing legitimate courses of study are welcome to apply for F-1 visas at the U.S. Consulate General, Chiang Mai, where the issuance rate for such visas was “over 92 percent in 2004” and typical processing time is less than two days. Free educational counseling and visa advice is available at IC-ACE.

Sutthichok Linprasert, Division Manager of IC-ACE, added, “We’re fortunate to have the support of Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, with special fares for our students to fly from Chiang Mai directly to Singapore and connect conveniently to San Francisco or Los Angeles, plus a free trolley bag/backpack. Local students will receive world-class guidance and assistance in our CC2U program.”

Spirit Week at APIS

Fang An, APIS Intern

The students and staff of American Pacific International School (APIS) recently enjoyed a fun-filled Spirit Week. Spirit Week is an American school tradition where students bond through a variety of activities. It is also a way to support the school’s sports teams in the week’s competitions.

This is ‘Amazing what you can do with school colors - red, blue, yellow and white’.

A pep rally in the gymnasium Monday morning signaled the official start of Spirit Week at APIS. Students competed in a poster-making contest and a modeling contest by grade. They had 15 minutes to plan and complete these projects, but despite the time constraint, all of the grades finished with colorful and artistic designs.

Students showed their spirit throughout the week by participating in each day’s theme activity. For example, Monday was school color day, so everyone decked out in the APIS colors of red, white, blue, and yellow. Students put their creative talents to use again on Tuesday, which was bad hair and clash day. It was one day when no one was reprimanded for wearing mismatched socks or came to school with wildly frizzy hair. Wednesday seemed like a sleepover because it was pajama day. Madam Tussaud’s figures came to life on Thursday as students dressed up as famous people from past and present. And Friday was Nerd Day, when thick spectacles suddenly became a chic fashion statement.

Teachers get into the spirit too - clash and bad hair day featuring Dr. Naji and Grade 11 students.

The evenings were also filled with fun competitions, including a table tennis tournament, water balloon toss, and eating relays. Win or lose, the most important lessons learned were that effort counts the most and every member of a team is valuable.

Amidst all the activities, the girls’ and boys’ volleyball teams had a busy week when they both played CMIS and NIS. APIS students also competed in the senior swim meet at Prem and the junior swim meet at NIS.

Grades 1&2 get into the spirit, winning the best original chant.

Spirit Week ended in grand fashion on Friday, when all the winners from the week’s competitions were announced. The sports teams were also recognized for their excellent results from the past week.

This event was organized by the APIS Student Council. During the week, they designed flyers, prepared materials, and refereed competitions, on top of all their regular schoolwork. Spirit Week would not have been as successful without Student Council’s dedication and effort.

CMIS students explore the rain forest

Nicky Gamble

Third grade students from Chiang Mai International School (CMIS) are discovering the wonders of the rain forest. Recently they went on a field trip to the Queen Sirikit Botanical Gardens where, with investigative worksheets in hand, they explored the model rain forest housed inside one of the garden’s glass greenhouses.

A student inspects the giant rafflesia flower.

The students observed each of the four layers of the rain forest, and worked hard at identifying the characteristics of the different types of plants that thrive on the forest floor, the under story, the canopy and the emergent layer.

One of the most spectacular and unusual plants they examined was the giant rafflesia, a type of lily, which is the largest flower in the world and which emits the stench of rotting meat to attract flies.

Third Grade rain forest trekkers from CMIS.

The children later wrote down their general impressions from the field trip. One very enthusiastic student commented that, “The field trip was fun because I got to see the biggest plant in the world, and the plant that eats flies, and the smelliest plant in the world!”

The third graders are currently constructing large-scale models of the rain forest in their own classrooms as they continue their studies into one of the world’s most precious and threatened resources.

Community Service Project at village school

Kristen Smart, Intern, Visiting Schools Program

While completing a week-long program at the Prem Center (PTIS), Grade 8 students from Sekolah Pelita Harapan in Indonesia participated in a community service project in Mae Rim. In collaborative efforts with the Grade 8 students of PTIS, the students spent a day at the Ban Nong Pla Man village school, painting the tables and benches of the cafeteria and playing with the local school children.

The students spent the day painting the cafeteria of the Ban Nong Pla Man village school.

In the course of a day, these two groups of students worked together, transforming the cafeteria furniture from a dull brown to a brilliant blue. They also spent time brightening the beams and outside walls of the cafeteria, making it a welcoming place for the students to convene during meal times. As half the group painted, the other half went into the classrooms of grades 2 through 6.

Throughout the day, games of musical chairs, hokey-pokey, and light-hearted songs ensued as the Grade 8 students thought of ways to keep all the children engaged. Games of soccer also kept the groups in high spirits, and the lower school students of Ban Nong Pla Man amazed the students from Indonesia with how well they played.

The village school provided lunch for the Grade 8 students, which gave the students from all three schools more time to interact. At the end, the head of school presented the students and staff of Sekolah Pelita Harapan and PTIS with a gift and thanked them for their work on the cafeteria and their thoughtfulness with the children.

An evening with two young pianists

Jan Verwers

For this concert, the Music Department at Payap University had invited two young piano students from Bangkok. Usa Napawan and Monsikarn Promsukkul both study at Mahidol University, where they are preparing for their master’s degree with Dr. Nopanand Chanorathaikul. For them, this concert was a kind of try-out for their Degree Recital on November 7. They both played on this evening the program that they will present on that important occasion to the examination board.

Usa Napawan (standing) with Monsikarn Promsukkul.

Both musicians started their performances with a Bach ‘Prelude and Fugue’. They then moved on to the great composers of the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Monsikarn brought us a Beethoven sonata, his No.6, Op.10, No.2. Later she played Schumann’s well-known ‘Papillons’ (Butterflies), a lively composition that was first played by Schumann’s future wife, Clara in 1831.

Three piano pieces from Brahms were the choice that Usa made for her examination. More light-footed were the ‘Danzas Argentinas’ from the famous South-American composer Alberto Ginastera; both the rhythm and the romance from the tango were thrilling.

French composers were well-represented on Monsikarn’s program. There were two ‘Pr้ludes’ from Claude Debussy, and a wonderful interpretation of Ravel’s ‘Jeux d’eaux’ (Fountain), with the sound of running water very much present.

The concert was concluded by Usa Napawan, who played Schubert’s ‘Sonata in A Major, D.959’, one of the 31 that he wrote during his short life. Her interpretation of this monumental composition was very impressive. It was a highly appreciated end of a beautiful evening of piano music. We wish both musicians much success with their forthcoming examinations.

Orawan explores cultural identity at CMU exhibition

Preeyanoot Jittawong

Chiang Mai University Art Museum is presenting the works of Orawan Salis-Kusonsong, with an exhibition entitled Cultural Identity.

Orawan Salis-Kusonsong (right) poses with students viewing her self-portrait artwork.

Orawan is a Thai artist who has stayed in Finland and the Netherlands and she presents eastern and western cultures through her paintings. She uses rice as a material that represents her personal identity as well as a cultural identity.

This exhibition is composed of mixed media, drawing, and DVDs. A particularly poignant piece shows the artist’s face on a DVD, slowly filling with grains of rice.

Cultural Identity is open from Tuesday to Sunday, between 9.30 a.m. and 5 p.m. until October 25.