MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN AND THE BALAC DIRECTOR

  • Associate Professor Kingkarn Thepkanjana, PhD
  • Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Director of the BALAC Programme

The Bachelor of Arts in Language and Culture (BALAC) International Programme was established in 2008 as Thailand’s only academic programme in languages and cultural studies, and was one of the few in Southeast Asia. It sought to develop students’ skills in English and other languages and to provide students with a new approach to understanding cultural life in our world. Although we are now celebrating a decade of academic excellence and student achievement made by the Programme, we also continue to innovate by launching a new and improved curriculum from 2018. By offering new concentrations in global cultures and media cultures, and new credit-based internship and research opportunities, in addition to more practical courses and a wider array of languages and cultural studies courses, we want to ensure that we prepare our students for their future careers in a changing world.

The BALAC Programme continues to enhance its international mandate. Besides developing more extensive international networks and relations with globally-renowned universities, we have also expanded our foreign staff and our student academic exchange schemes. In the first semester of 2017 we welcomed 32 incoming exchange students in the first semester of 2017 from China, Japan, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, while sending more than a dozen of our students abroad. By adding three new cultural studies lecturers of high international standards from South Korea, Germany and Australia to our current foreign lecturers, we now have the most diverse BALAC faculty yet. Already strengthening and expanding our teaching, they will be central to realising the new curriculum for our students.

The BALAC Programme and its students has been an integral and significant part of the prestigious Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University since it started. Over its first ten years, our BALAC students remain the Programme’s most worth legacy. BALAC alumni have gone on to succeed in many fields. Besides doing postgraduate studies at world-class universities like those at Oxford, Cambridge, Andrews, Yale, and Columbia, and many others, BALAC students have also prospered in diverse careers, whether in international organisations such as the United Nations, in prominent government agencies, or in leading global companies. Our Programme has provided students facility in critical thinking, English proficiency, abilities in other languages, and deep awareness of how cultural and socio-political issues shape our changing world. This unique set of skills allows BALAC graduates many opportunities and avenues for success. All BALAC lecturers and administration staff continue to pride ourselves in our students.

On behalf of the BALAC Programme and the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University, I invite prospective students to join our academic family and to become part of our BALAC community. It will enrich your academic interests, enhance your career potential, and help to shape you as empathetic and well-rounded global citizens with the right tools and experiences to help you reach your goals and to succeed in our rapidly transforming twenty-first century world.