By AIT Public Affairs
5 January 2024: The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) kicked off its new 2024 academic term with a hybrid orientation event on January 5 to warmly welcome students.
In his address to the new students, AIT President Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto expressed gratitude and recognized the diverse and multicultural community they were now a part of. He underscored the importance of unity in diversity, urging respect among peers. Prof. Yamamoto encouraged students to capitalize on the opportunity by focusing on studies, expanding professional networks, and contributing to society. He envisioned students as essential stakeholders in AIT’s community, embarking on a transformative journey. The president also unveiled a visionary plan for achieving Net Zero status by 2030, fostering active participation in sustainability efforts.
Vice President for Administration (VPA), Russell Bruce Rein encouraged exploration, participation in extracurricular activities, and the forging of lasting connections, emphasizing the real-world experiences awaiting them. He stressed the responsibility of being a guest in Thailand, urging respect for local laws and customs while highlighting the advantages of AIT’s diverse environment. He reassured students of AIT’s commitment to their well-being, establishing the campus as a ‘no harassment’ zone and advocating the ‘FAT’ philosophy – Flexible, Adaptable, and Tolerant – as a tool for navigating cultural differences.
Vice President for Development (VPD), Dr. Roger Levermore, underscored AIT’s mission as a capacity-building institute focused on sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. Stressing AIT’s commitment to sustainability, he cited initiatives in climate change, infrastructure, water, energy, food, smart communities, and technology policy. Dr. Levermore further, offered practical advice to new students, urging the exploration of passions, engagement with researchers, effective time management, and ethical conduct in a diverse and international environment.
This semester, a total of 104 new students from 21 countries across Asia, North America, Europe, and Africa embarked on a transformative academic journey. These students are enrolled in regular Master’s and Ph.D. programs, special programs, flexible programs, and exchange and visiting programs from partner institutions worldwide. Among the total admissions, 40% joined the School of Engineering and Technology (SET), 33% joined the School of Environment, Resources, and Development (SERD), and 28% joined the School of Management (SOM).
During the orientation, Professor Sangam Shrestha, Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology (SET), urged students to embrace global outreach, international networking, leadership in teams, and entrepreneurial skills, assuring them that, despite challenges, their time at AIT would be fulfilling.
Professor Abdul Salam, Dean of the School of Environment Resources and Development (SERD), emphasized the diverse cultural backgrounds of the students, encouraging them to build lasting friendships and networks. Additionally, he stressed the importance of using available facilities and opportunities for career development.
Student Representative Ms. Priya Shrestha urged students to explore, engage, and participate in various social events and student clubs to make the most of their time at AIT.
After the senior leadership’s welcome, the students underwent orientation covering AIT’s Harassment Policy, the Office of Sustainable Campus, and the AIT Entrepreneurship Centre. They also received information on academic requirements, career services, student welfare, language center offerings, English language requirements, campus-wide IT services, and facilities management and accommodation policies from directors and staff in each respective unit.
Messages from new students:
May Thukna Naing from Myanmar, Masters in Computer Science, SET
Eager to advance academically, I chose AIT based on a friend’s recommendation and further research. AIT’s outstanding facilities, cutting-edge technologies, and global recognition align with my academic goals. The institute’s commitment to excellence, research, and innovation convinced me to join. Excited about the program, faculties, and labs, I am here to learn, specifically seeking to undertake a data analytics course.
Surasak Surathunmanun from Thailand, Sustainable Energy Transition, SERD from Thailand
I am a scholarship doctoral student from the Provincial Electricity Authority pursuing a doctoral degree in sustainable energy transition at AIT. With globally renowned professors, including my advisor Professor Weerakorn Ongsakul, AIT’s reputation in this field is exceptional. I aspire to contribute to energy research, benefiting society and Thailand, and preparing for the future peer-to-peer energy market. The warm welcome, diverse international community, and talented individuals at AIT have boosted my confidence in choosing this institution.
Axelle Courteille from Frace, Masters in Business Administration, SOM
I am an exchange student from EMLYON Business School. Initially, my goal was to experience an exchange program in a country vastly different from my own, delving into a unique culture. Considering Asia, Thailand, and AIT, as my institute’s partner, caught my attention. AIT’s strong reputation, robust programs, and appealing campus in Thailand influenced my decision. The prospect of immersing myself in a diverse culture, combined with the university’s positive attributes, became the key factor guiding my choice.