3. MODULE "DEVELOPMENT"

STUDENTS' VIEW

by Levke and Luca

After a much needed half free week our seminar on "Economic Transformation and Development" lectured by the Head of EOC started.

We were happy that also two Thai and two Bhutanese Master students joined our course. They were already with us in the previous seminar and they found our seminars really different and interesting.

The first day was about early history of mankind up to the history of South-East Asian countries. 

Our focus was on the difference of how countries developed and also some of the theories and reasons why they are today how they are. We defined what we think development is and we had similar thoughts about it. So most said that development is change, chances and progress.

A week before we already got a task to collect information about selected countries and Polynesian Islands to analyse criteria  influencing development (e.g. potential for agriculture, climate, area size, secluded location, political situation etc.) of those specific countries
and islands. It was actually not that easy to find so much detailed information because some of the islands are just very far away from everything and people there are totally cut off and self-supplying. But finally we could succeed and classified all information as a matrix for a full picture to understand environmental attributes influencing early development of places, cultures and societies.

This homewrk actually took longer then expected and we still needed to work on our group presentations for the next day.

The following day we had quite a lot of input and at home most of us had to spend a nightshift because the presentations where not yet finished.
That day  was the big day: Teams of two students presented different topics, e.g. eceonomic aspects, mining, palm oil industries, corruption, etc. with a focus on countries in Asia which were all really interesting.

On 4th day we did a short research project: We all went to Patong Beach which is very famous as tourist hot spot and party street, but of course we didn't go for partying...

We went to the beach area to talk to the vendors which were mostly from the informal sector. The people were very open and told us details about how their business works and also about their private situation. With a little help of our Thai guys we could also ask people who didn't speak much English.

So all in all we found it a great way to get to know people struggling outside the "formal" sector and understanding  how they live and survive in a sector which is not comparable with the economy we know from industrializd societies.
Then all of us went to the beach to enjoy one of our last days in Thailand.

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