On Tuesday 12th January the Embassy English team was invited to The Royal Palace in Bangkok, Thailand to present three scholarships to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The scholarships for Embassy English Brisbane (Australia), Embassy English Oxford (United Kingdom) and Embassy English San Francisco (USA) centres were presented to The Princess of Thailand, who will provide opportunities for her staff and esteemed members of the Thai educational community to study English abroad.
Embassy English presents Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn with English scholarships.
But why Embassy, of all of the English languages schools in the world? Well, (because we are the best of course!) but how were we chosen? In mid-2015, a group of agents from the Thai agents association TIECA spoke to “Nan” Suchada Deesapsathitkhoon, Sales Manager, Bangkok, SE Asia, in our Bangkok office about visiting Embassy English New York. With the support of Johnny Peters Director, International Business Development, Luke Sikorski, Regional Recruitment Manager N. America, Zac Piper and his academic and student services team in the NY Campus, and of course our Managing Director Robert Morgan, the agents were given the full tour and VIP treatment at our New York centre, the full Embassy experience, the full #EmbassyLife.
The Embassy English Thailand Team: Mark Bailey, Suchada Deesapsathitkhoon, and Araya Tangcharoenkul.
Roll around November 2015 and those same TIECA members approached Nan and I at one of the region’s largest events, OCSC Thailand, and asked if we were interested in being involved in the Royal Scholarship Program. On hearing the details we just had to be involved. In Thailand there is simply no greater honour than being invited to meet with royalty.
Mark Bailey presenting an Embassy English scholarship to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
‘The day’ started with Nan having her hair and make-up done, whilst “Izzy” Araya Tangcharoenkul, Sales Manager, Bangkok, and I added the final touches. This of course sounds relatively simple but under Thai Royal etiquette we had a long list of do’s and don’ts. Making sure we clearly knew what we had to do, we arrived to tight security at the working quarters of the palace and ushered in for some refreshing Thai tea. Everyone was clearly excited.
Suchada Deesapsathitkhoon presenting an Embassy English scholarship to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Once people had snapped the various ‘selfies’ and ‘groupies’ the etiquette training officially began, how to stand, where to stand etc etc. Embassy with three scholarships would be front and centre. Following a short delay while the 5 major TV networks and 2 official royal photographers got set up the Princess and entourage entered the room. Khun Nithiwat – TIECA President (and one of the visitors to our New York centre) outlined exactly who each of us were, where we were from and what we offered, as the various schools and airline staff presented one by one to the gracious Princess.
Araya Tangcharoenkul presenting an Embassy English scholarship to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
When we were all done we were delighted to have a chance to very briefly mingle with the Princess, a true linguist and scholar who is fluent in 5 different languages including English. She spoke openly about the challenges to the Thai international education market and was well aware of visa and economic issues currently facing the cohort of students wishing to study overseas.
ขอบคุณ (thank you) to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn for selecting Embassy English to participate in her scholarship program!
In wrapping up I would like to thank Mrs. Saijai Srijayanta, Manager of the Thai International Education Consultants Association (TIECA) who worked with us throughout the whole process, and at aged 72 is one of the founders of this unique program. Finally a huge thanks to Nan (Suchada) and Izzy (Araya) from the Study Group Regional Office in Bangkok who made all of this happen. Their support and professionalism was second to none, and that was seen loud and clear as we went live as the headline story of the 8pm news on every mainstream TV channel in Thailand. What a special and honourable day!
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