Boarding as an anthropological field
Visiting anthropological student researcher
Nina Kaae chatting with students.
By Nina Kaae, MA student in educational anthropology,
Aarhus University, Denmark
Told in three parts by Nina, this is the first section on her fieldwork
with Third Culture kids in Chiang Mai.
In spring 2013 I was told by Aarhus University to find a site for my
anthropological fieldwork for the fall semester. It could be anywhere in
the world, anywhere I could spend three to four months in research. At
the time I was working on an exam paper about globalisation and global
citizenship. I was inspired and keen to find a place where I could learn
more about these topics. Since education has been a big part of my
professional life I thought an international school would be a great
fieldwork site – people from many different places gathered at one
place; a meeting point between national and global, global citizenship
as an educational goal, and the main focus group being children and
A friend of mine, a Canadian who was teaching at The International
People’s College in Denmark had visited the Prem Tinsulanonda
International School last year and recommended the school to me. As Prem
seemed to be just what I was looking for I contacted the school through
Principal Stephen Mcllroy and Director of Boarding Linda Buck and four
months later I was on my way to Thailand.
For four months I lived in the Prem boarding community while doing
anthropological fieldwork, researching how global citizenship comes into
play at the school. As a fairly well travelled Dane, I am aware that I
viewed Prem thought my own cultural glasses. Had someone else been here
instead of me they might have observed something different.
“Immigrants” and “expat children” are relatively recent terms in the
schools I had been teaching at in Denmark, so the intercultural
dimension at Prem was new and exciting. I wondered what daily life at
school and in boarding would be like with children from all over the
world. What connected them? Which cultural differences even mattered in
an international school?
I spent lots of time observing the students and talking to them about
their daily life at school, where they were from and what their future
plans were. I participated in many lessons and the morning assembles,
and attended special celebrations, but primarily examined boarding
routines. I learned a lot about what boarding life at Prem was like –
but I am sure I could learn more if I could have stayed longer! As an
anthropologist it is important to know and to understand the people
around you, and that is what I tried to do.
The second part of Nina’s story on Third Culture kids will be in the
Zonta distributes scholarships
Zonta Chiang Mai distributed funds as part
of their Scholarship fund program at the Thai Red Cross Station 3 on May
Members of Zonta International Chiang Mai were joined by guest of honor
Chao Dr. Duangduan na Chiang Mai at the ceremony to distribute
scholarship funds to members of the ZAO Education Fund Adopt an Orphan
program on Thursday, May 1, 2014 at the Thai Red Cross Station 3.
Zonta International Chiang Mai has several programs running to assist
orphans and to empower women in helping themselves. Zonta Chiang Mai
holds many fund raisers and awareness programs over the year to focus
people on the needs of HIV/ AIDS orphans as well as for women who find
themselves disadvantaged, either through poverty, violence in the home
or other issues.
Interested parties can find out more information at their website:
NARIT awards students in 11th Thai Astronomy Olympiad
Three students will represent Thailand at the
International Astronomy Olympiad at the junior high school level while eight
students will represent Thailand at the 8th International Olympiad on
Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) at the senior high-school level.
Chiang Mai Mail reporters
Three students from Thailand will represent Thailand in the upcoming
International Astronomy Olympiad junior high school level in Bishkek and
Cholpon Ata, Kyrgyzstan in October, 2014 after winning the Thailand
Astronomy Olympiad held at the Faculty of Science Chiang Mai University from
April 24 – 29, 2014.
The Director of the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand
(Public Organization) (NARIT), Ministry of Science and Technology Asst.
Prof. Boonraksa Sunthorntham, the NARIT Director attended the closing
ceremony and awarded the medals on April 29, 2014 at the 40 Years Science
Building, Faculty of Science, CMU.
The three students that will be attending the IAO are Pawarit Lappakittaro
from Suankularb Wittayalai School, POSN of Suankularb Wittayalai School,
Athikom Wanichkul from Punyarat School, POSN of Chulalongkorn University,
and Yannapat Hemratpan from Suankularb Wittayalai School, POSN of Suankularb
Wittayalai School. The team leader is Dr. Paisan Tooprakai, Chulalongkorn
An additional five students from Thailand will compete at the 8th
International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) in the senior
high-school level from August 1-11, 2014 at Suceava, Romania; Nawat
Sawattong from Mahidol Wittayanusorn School, POSN of Mahidol Wittayanusorn
School, Pitchapon Jirawongsapan from Bangkok Christian College, POSN of
Samsen Wittayalai School, Chanita Tubthong from Samsen Wittayalai School,
POSN of Samsen Wittayalai School, Kankawee Sriyutthasak from Mahidol
Wittayanusorn School, POSN of Mahidol Wittayanusorn School and Jittapon
Loetprasoetpong from Suankularb Wittayalai School, POSN of Chulalongkorn
University. Dr. Siramas Komonjinda, Chiang Mai University is a team leader
and Asst. Prof. Dr. Sorasak Danworaphong of Walailak University is a team
The next Thai Astronomy Olympiad will be held at the Prince of Songkla
University (Pattani Campus) next year.
Prem kids focus on the issue of water for Earth Day 2014
Prem students learned about earth’s most
precious resource, water, for Earth Day 2014.
By Joy Huss
Earth Day is always a day of fun, learning and community at Prem
International School. The first worldwide Earth Day was held in 1970 as a
way to capitalise on the growing environmental movement, and give people all
over the planet a chance to come together to drive change in the way we
interact with the Earth. Earth Day is traditionally celebrated on 22 April,
but this year because of the term break, Friday 25 April was chosen instead.
Donal O’Connell, Sustainability Coordinator at Prem, was responsible for the
day and with help from Dr Emma Shaw, Environmental System Science teacher,
and Sarah Handley, Director of Library Services, O’Connell arranged a
splendid day that explored the theme for the day: Water, Our Most Precious
Almost 500 students from the Junior School and from the Senior School
participated in fifteen workshops centred on the theme. The Shark Guardian
group from Koh Samui were also invited to present to the students on the
unsustainable treatment of these top predators. Among the many activities,
students were asked to make pledges to change their behaviour towards water
in the “Promise Pond”. Grade 11 students researched the ethical implications
of water distribution for their Theory of Knowledge class, and the day was
capped by boat races and other water-centred recreation.
“I had a great time,” Sabrina Makmur, Grade 10, said. “I learned so much
about pollution and I was shocked to see how much water we use, especially
in the food we eat.”
From water droplets created in the art studio with messages of hope, to
facts researched and posted by students during the Water in the World
workshop, Earth Day may be over for this year, but its message of
conservation and stewardship is ever present on the Prem Campus.