University of Santo Tomas (UST) Political Science student Janyn Montealegre was among the six students from the Philippines who participated in the Bangkok International Student Conference 2019 held from January 21 to 22, 2019 at the Thammasat University under the theme “Redefining Democracy: The New Battleground.”
The Bangkok International Student Conference (BISC) was organized by the Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand in order to promote a global understanding of national and international issues confronting countries around the world while building intercultural cooperation and friendship.
The BISC is an annual academic conference that aims to provide international students a venue where they can experience more challenging and productive “classroom assignment” by presenting, defending, and discussing their research paper with international peers. It is open to students of any field of study, nationality and age to make the experience diverse.
The whole delegation was subdivided into four groups under the topics: Democracy and Economic Development, Social Media Influences on Electoral Campaign, Democracy and Populism, as well as Voter Education and the Stakes over First Time Voters. Representatives from major political parties in Thailand discussed the role of the youth in upcoming elections, not only in Thailand but in other Southeast Asian countries as well.
Workshops and networking sessions were likewise conducted to enable the delegates to socialize and connect with other youth representatives from the different Asian countries.
Montealegre and other youth delegates from the Philippines discussed national and international issues affecting the status of democracy in the world, toured the Thammasat University, and visited Thailand’s historical spots such as the Wat Pho, the Wat Arun, and the Chao Phraya River.
“I am really grateful for this learning opportunity. I gained a lot of Asian friends and the program expanded my knowledge regarding the issues confronting democratic nations around the world. Alongside, the program also led me to appreciate Thai culture and behavior even more. It [the program] made me realize that Bangkok is not just a hub for tourists but it is also imbued with a rich historical legacy and advocacy for equality,” Montealegre expressed.