On July 29, an online audience of more than 250 students from many countries in Asia and Africa tuned into the Fall Semester Overseas Students Forum focused on addressing the concerns of AIT’s new and continuing overseas students about the entry process into Thailand for the Fall Semester.
The Zoom meeting forum conducted in one of AIT’s new Smart Modified Classrooms (SMCs) featured a welcome message from President Dr. Eden Woon, who hosted the 90-minute virtual information session and answered a large number of questions posed by students and their families participating from abroad. “This forum is designed for our students overseas to have a good understanding of what they need to do, step-by-step, to get themselves to Thailand and AIT,” President Woon told the online audience.
Vice President for Administration Russell Rein delivered an in-depth presentation on the process students must undertake from their home countries. He outlined a number of necessary procedures to follow for their re-retry into Thailand, such as visa application and collection, certificate of entry, flights, quarantine and departure and arrival. Other panelists included directors, who also responded to questions submitted by the students.
While stressing the gravity of the Covid-19 global pandemic and its enormous impact as it rages around the world, President Woon highlighted the success of Thailand in addressing the situation and pointed out that the country has not experienced a case of local coronavirus transmission in the past 2 months. “The world we live in today in 2020 is not the same as the world of a few months ago, and is certainly not the same world as August 2019,” he said. Consequently, AIT’s host country has put in place a very exacting, meticulous and comprehensive process to admit any person into the country from abroad, he explained.
The President, therefore, requested the students anxious to get to AIT to be flexible and patient, and to adapt and understand the process in their home countries in order to get back to the campus as soon as possible. He added that the process may take anywhere from a few weeks to 2 months. “The Covid-19 situation is extremely fluid, and the situation is subject to change,” President Woon cautioned, so he advised overseas students to consult closely with the Thai embassy or consulate in their home country, as the procedures explained may vary, depending on the country.
The President stressed that for those overseas students who are not able to get back to AIT on time, the Hybrid Instruction System put in place will allow them to remotely access their classes and interact with their classmates who are studying in person. “They will be sitting in the classroom and you will join them – and you will be seeing and experiencing the same things, and will be interacting with your professors and classmates just like you are sitting in the classroom,” President Woon explained to the overseas students. “So even if you are learning at home in your country for a while, you will be getting a quality AIT education, without missing a beat.”
AIT itself has been extremely vigilant since January, and there has not been a single case of coronavirus on campus, since the beginning of the crisis, President Woon stressed, so the institute is extremely careful to make sure the community of students, faculty, staff and their families are living and learning in a safe environment. “Above all, make sure to maintain your health and make sure that when you get to AIT the whole community remains healthy,” he said.