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Ing. Richard Sasko, Brno University of Technology, ročník 5.5 /Done/

Faculty Faculty of civil engineering
Field of study Civil engineering
Field of internship Civil Engineering, Geology and Mining
Specialization of InternshipAny
Internship period (from - to) 4.10.2019 - 27.12.2019
Internship duration (weeks) 12
Transport (means, price) Flight, lowest possible by kiwi.com. together approx. 550 euros
Insurance/Insurance company Uniqa
Visa/Work permit (yes/no) Yes /Student visa/
Price of Visa 60 euros. Apparently already now it is 70 e
City of Internship Zobrazit místo na mapě  Thailand, Bangkok BKK, Phuket
Internship reference number TH-2019-C05-1

About the country

Location of the place

Didn't know more than it was written in the Work Offer before coming to Thailand because email i had as contact to the company didn't work/ later found out they forgot a dot in there/ and nobody in any IAESTE helped me to solve the problem and only told me that everything 'll be allright and they r expecting me in Thailand.
But as it was saying "office/site", so it was. I spent 1.5 months in BKK office and half on site in Phuket island /airport terminal building project/.
Bangkok office had its house for few employees where i was staying with 4 more local Thai employees.
Phuket site had rooms similar to american motel, where i had my own "apartment".

City

Bangkok is loud, full of smog and traffic jams but has places to go to eat any time easily, has public transport n things to wonder around.
Phuket was calmer, cleaner n more green but was much harder to move around while i didn't get a car or scooter and site was far from cities so nothing much besides of hotels n beaches around the site. N renting scooter isn't the cheapest for every day.
All has pluses n minuses.

Surroundings (possible trips, ...)

BKK house was in good area for me while i was the white population of the area. I didn't like going to center mingling with white tourists. So I just enjoyed wondering around, struggling with shopping or eating n finding a way to solve it all.
Otherwise was easy to get to center by red trucks /buses/ and see all the touristic classics - night markets, night life areas, temples, shopping malls, China town.
*Night markets end up all looking the same at the end n all the big ones n known ones r full of tourists so prices r higher so at the end just better to shop somewhere around the place of living. But good to see n try.
*Night life areas- Soi Cowboy, Nana, Patpong - good to go n see, but careful with going to "free" ping pong shows. U end up getting forced to stay in n pay 100 e per person easily. Best to have local Asian face with u n help.But strip clubs let u in and u just pay beers n watch or have boom boom if u want. So that works well. But again u end up paying around 100 euro for sex so nothing super cheap. Better to find happy massage places.
*Temples- Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Grand palace. Didn't go to grad palace, just heard guys paid 500 per entrance n wasn't that amazing.
*Shopping malls- Central Chidlom, Terminal 21, Central world.
Out of BKK:
Kanchanaburi city, Pattaya city, Ayutthaya city, Phuket island, Krabi island, Phi Phi island, Koh Phangan island n its full moon parties once a month, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai.

Employer

Employer

The original name in offer was Kaiser Construction Thailand Co.,Ltd but once I tried to google anything i found nothing besides of some shady looking facebook so i decided not to search n see on my own. When i came i got to company Charoen Pokphand Engineering Co.,Ltd.
Apparently they changed names, as i understood they went through some changes i guess somebody bought them. It was too complicated to try to get it out of them what actually happened so as we say" i have only one nerves" so i decided it's not that bad to die not knowing exactly.
The funny/annoying story that came out of that for me? I came in, they told me they have dress-code i need to follow n wear long jeans n long shirts. Fortunately i had one set of jeans n shirt with me/ in case of some classy event/ but of course wearing that 5 days a week n sweating as a white guy, i needed more.
They gave me few shirts they had with company tags. Week later they told me I can not wear those because they have name of old company n HR might not support it so they taped over the company name tags. Week later they told me I can not wear them at all cause HR saw me n they don't support the pattern while it still reminds of old company shirts. But of course they had no new shirts printed for me to wear. N what was even more ridiculous was that half of the office was wearing jackets on their shirts /because of course AC has only one type of setting n that is the lowest possible so everybody was cold n sick/ which had old company logo all over it but that was still okay.
So they wanted me to buy myself shirts n spend more money on clothes i ll wear for a month n then leave behind cause i have no place for them in my luggage. Fortunately house was full of old polo shirts of somebody so i was wearing those Asian L sized shirts being super tight on my European M sized body n showing my underwear all the time but they were quiet, i paid no extra money so all was good.

Work description

I had office/site work conditions.
1.5 month in office n second half on site.
In office they showed me they whole design process of price estimations for project competition, design n calculations on Autodesk Robot n Revit n their cooperation n local methods n tricks n again also real final estimations of projects.
on Site in Phuket i came in such a dead point of the project where it was mostly about final touches n corrections for hand out of airport terminal building n interior works in entrance hall for customers n before next stage of connection terminal to already existing airport via so called taxi way which had to be built but could have been done only in specific strict periods which r based on some strict international airport laws/ as i understood/.
Office:
I got few things shown, of course got classic IAESTE 500 pages PDF file to study, practiced on few small projects in robot n revit n spent most time later on on tinder n google to plan my trips. Because as they said, normally they have some English project to help with but now they don't so i am useless with Thai documents of course, my main supervisor for Robot left to China for holiday so i faked i was busy so they don't give me something bigger to work on,my Revit supervisor told me " i don't like, don't do please" when i was looking at him working in Revit n tried to learn something. He wouldn't understand my explanation so i didn't try. Youtube was blocked on PCs so i had no way to learn form videos so i just kept something busy looking on the screen n played with my phone around 3 last weeks. Everybody was happy- they didn't have to deal with me taking them form their busy main work, i didn't have to struggle with their English.
Site:
While it was this dead point where they were getting ready for the taxiway/road/ building permissions they made me to prepare the method statement/ how would i do it n how long would i take, what would i use, how would i solve the limitations/. That included excel with quantities of all materials as the soil to remove, soil to replace, asphalt, new compressed aggregate... all take out of drawings.
Seemed serious but was just to make me do something n to maybe see if i don't find something better to solve n do, but mostly to make me do something while at the end i had to make presentation for company big boss so they didn't want to get yelled at that company paid me n I did nothing the whole time.
Of course i got a supervisor who knew how to say "morning" n "lunch" n most of the time called me Lucas.He knew a lot lot n i saw that when i followed him around but unfortunately it got all lost in translation so again with my new approach, i stopped trying after a week or 2 n just enjoyed my simple lifestyle.
So mostly i was what is Mickey Mouse for Disneyland. I walked around the site smiling n waving to site workers from Burma, Laos, Cambodia n Myanmar /mixed men n women 50 to 50 / they had some distraction from long work on sun, smiled back, girls liked the white cute boy who waved at them, some took pictures with me, sometimes i said something in Thai n made them laugh n then i sat in office n enjoyed finally having wifi after 1.5 months, downloaded movies n searched on google where to go during the weekend on rented scooter.

Salary (sufficient for local conditions?)

7000 Thai bahts per month. At the time 1 euro was around 32 bahts.
It was totally enough for daily life, but still i always somehow managed to blow it up the chimney every single month.
Breakfast around office 35 bahts/ 45 in Phuket, lunch 50, dinner 50 as well. So easily daily demands on good street cooked food of decent size is 150, what means 4650 monthly.
Transport to work n back 8 bahts n 8 bahts per day. Company car rides in Phuket so for free.
But still i spent 100 euro per week somehow the first month. U go to 7/11 try this, try that brand of crisps u don't know, this drink that drink, get bubble tea, ice cream, pineapple, corn, try to bond with coworkers who r shy to speak English the only logical way u know n go for few beers, every weekend travel here n there to manage to see it all n suddenly all those cheap things piles up n you have no money.
But yes possible to survive on that amount, but pointless to limit yourself on food n travels. Whoever spends even a night cooking some horrible spaghetti to spare money is an idiot. At the end u spare probably nothing cause u spend so much time shopping n cooking instead of having a meal for 1.5 euros.

Language requirements

Requirements on me were Good English.
On both places there was usually one person who was in charge of me n had some okay level of English but they didn't understand me n after a while i stopped trying to explain myself all the time. Very often the information got lost in the conversation and after a while i was not even trying to talk and ask for anything. In case i needed something i rather sent a message. That way i was a bit more safe I ll get the proper answer to the question I really gave. Can feel anxious for some ppl. I only lost my patience and stopped talking n trying to be friendly. But at least got me to learning the thai language n search for people also out of the office.

Accommodation (price, who provided it)

Accommodation was free provided by the company.
Only trick they played on me / well probably just didn't know how to explain me that so they didn't tell me/ that once i moved to Phuket i left my stuff in BKK house room cause i was supposed to be back for last 2 weeks to be in the city during Christmas in case parents come for visit n also have easier way to airport while i already had my tickets of course.
One weekend i came back to get some more stuff n found out somebody new is in my room n just threw all my stuff to corner.
To avoid problems before those last 2 weeks in BKK i let them know early when am i coming so they find me a place n told me they contact me back. But at the end they didn't n just let the Phuket manager to tell me that I am staying at the island until the end n don't go back to BKK.
So i had to fight to get to BKK, at the end they said yes n said that i can get those days off as well n can shorten my contract so i don't have to go to work.But forgot to mention that also means i can not stay in the house while i am not an employee anymore n have to find my own accommodation in BKK during the Christmas with one week notice.
Phuket boss offered i can stay at the island for free but of course without car there is nothing to do at the island n i didn't want to spend 2 weeks walking around while i had plans in the city as originally promised.
There was a room in the house n there was nooooo problem to let me there but of course my office supervisor wasn't trying to be helpful so at the end coworkers from the house helped me to keep me at the house officially without problems.

Social life

Meeting IAESTE members (pick-up at the airport, organized events...)

Pickup at the airport was okay. Guys came few minutes later but we met at the agreed spot, took me to exchange money n get sim card at the airport/ hard to tell if it was the best n cheapest option but it happened so/ then drove me to the company building n left me there.
The company didn't know about me when i came there /they expected me on different date/ but at the end they sent me to walk around n when i got back at the end of the day they took me to the house where they found a place for me.
About the events. I am used to very high standard of care for exchange students and with them connected events and trips. So comparing my previous experience of constant offers n trips to this where I have only received invitation into a group conversation n then did all my trips on my own just thank to Thai girls i met here i would call it very poor. I didn’t need any serious help so i guess they would be able to provide that, but besides of one guy who took us out on his own to see Ayuttaya one weekend because he came from his exchange n knew how it is to be somewhere abroad knowing nothing n no tricks n ways, i don't know about any organized trips.

Meeting other foreign students

I didn't come here to meet other European exchange students n hold on to my comfort zone so besides of the one start Ayuttaya trip n one more time i went to bar with them n to see China town I wasn't really trying to keep in contact with them unless i had no better option.
Didn't need to hear about following all the sites of Hangover part 2 movie, go to classy bars they saw on tripadviser, party at Khao san road to hit on other exchange students, hear about how different it is to their home town n how they miss their friends or be surrounded by group of Serbian girls who ignore the rest of the international group n only came to get to the famous temple to get great pictures for their profiles.
I came to suffer on every corner, be lost n confused most of my time n be amazed how difficult it is to understand something that is totally automatic for them n vice versa.

Sport and culture

I don't really do sports. But few times played football on the beach with coworkers, went to Sunday free muai thai match in BKK next to Chatuchak market where they wanted to immediately seat me into white tourists. Some guys went to muai thai classes, others to thai massages, others to happy massage places.
I wanted to get to museum from the beginning but u spend all week in office n then weekend somewhere out of the city so when i finally had a change i ended up sightseeing the city center of BKK.
Every day is cultural experience.Just trying to get somewhere n taking bus n boat n red truck n eating n asking why this n why that n why dogs have short tails n why do ppl wear yellow on Monday n where is my knife n what is this weird thing in my soup. Best is to find somebody local with already some travelling experience who understands your astonishment on every pity thing.

Food, local specialties

I don't really care about food. If i could i would eat once a month like a crocodile. So i wan't the one to read all about cuisine n search for top star restaurants around. I enjoyed guys taking me for lunches to places, ordering for me n just always placing in front of me something different n then laughing i'm sweating n drinking lot of water cause it's hot for me. Just going outside of the house n trying anything i saw or just pointing to the thai menu n waiting what they place in front of me.
Everything is spicy, everything is good. Only thing i didn't enjoy was chicken intestines, chicken butts n chicken feet. But just because i knew what is it, not because it was bad.

Other information

Possibilites to communicate with the Czech Republic

Data was totally necessary thing to have. Didn't know if i really need to buy a sim card but while house as well as office had no wifi, i would have no other way to communicate than email so.
Then the signal in the city or even anywhere else was good enough. Haven't had any bad conditions.

Recommendations for students who will go to the same place

*Bringing lot of cash for exchanging is a good idea. Withdrawing is more expensive n at exchange places u get nice rates n like i said, paycheck is enough for your life but if u live a little, u ll need more.
*They opened a student account for me to send me money on, having a card to it is pointless cause u don't really get to use it anywhere besides of mcdonald's pretty much n u can use your phone app to withdraw or just go to your bank's local branch. If you want a card, just open for example revolut account at home n use their card here.
*Having jeans n long shirts can save u from shopping here for the office dress-code outfits.
*They don't use toilet paper but wash their ass with a little sprayer that's by the toilet. At the end really good cause at least your ass doesn't burn from the spicy food.
*Don't ask "is this spicy?". it is embarrassing n of course at the end it ll be spicy for u cause their limits r set somewhere absolutely else. Just take all u see n can eat n u get used to it after a while. It's not such a problem on the top end after a while but if u eat on empty stomach, it always burns u.
*Don't read any stupid articles about warnings n things not to do. Just scares u n then u come here n nothing happens. Unless u damage king's poster or beat up a monk, nothing bad happens to u. If u have sex in club, u r not the first or last, u get beaten up n kicked out like anywhere else in the world.
* Also all these health warning about malaria n medication n so on. Was so worried after reading all the articles n didn't know if to buy it at home or here. Then i came here n forgot. Traveled all around, slept on islands, beaches, in forests n nothing happened to me or anybody around. Of course probably can but would not worry about it.
*Warnings about food. Once again just use simple peasant sanity n maybe avoid something that u see people selling all day n then buying it in the evening while it spent all day on sun n wasn't grilled or fried before they gave it to u. U won't avoid diarrhea because the hot food ll burn you from time to time, but it's part of it. Some ppl also drank water from tab, i did not cause our old house water smelled like iron, but then u come to restaurant n get water with your lunch that tastes exactly the same as one at home, u immediately know it is from tab but u drink it it n survive.
*Make your own opinions on things n places. Don't read n watch idiotic reviews on blogs n youtube describing this n that as best place in the world n hidden gem n then u come there n it's hidden maybe only for locals cause u get to be surrounded by tourists.

What not to forget with you

*I brought raincoat, never used. I don't really feel they have rains. They have storms, those r wild n big n last around hour n then vanish, so unless u want to be all the time ready n have it on u, just leave it.
*I brought lot of euros to exchange as i mentioned before, deodorants while i didn't know if they ll have the brands/ n they did not/, packed light into small backpack cause if i go for 3 months or a week, at the end it's same amount of clothing n u can always wash during weekends or after work.
*As i said, office dress-code can be helpful, so u don't have to shop here. It is not as cool super cheap as everybody was saying at home. Primark is at the end cheaper than even markets here n any shopping malls H/M stores or similar tend to have same prices atm.

Benefits of the internship

Seen places, met ppl, had much better experience than i would get from some 2 week Christmas holiday with company. Lived a while as a local among locals.

Cooperation with IAESTE in the foreign country

Besides of pick-up I haven't met anybody. Their office is at the university that's crazy far for me from the centre so i didn't get to have any experience with them. Also didn't need any help so.

Overall experience with IAESTE

Great. Definitely gave me something I could not get that easily on my own.

Student's website

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Employer's webiste

https://www.cpe.co.th/

Other useful links

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